Quaffee - Constantia's Hidden Coffee Gem
We learned of Quaffee in the best way possible - through another coffee roaster. It was a bit of a surprise to hear that there was an artisanal coffee roaster nestled away at the back of Buitenverwachting Wine Farm but it certainly sounded worth investigating. It quickly became clear that Quaffee is nothing short of a hidden gem, flying under the radar but roasting some truly fantastic coffees.
Quaffee is the passion project of Warren, the owner and founder, who began exploring his love for coffee in a personal capacity more than two decades ago. As a friend of some of the pioneers of small-scale roasting in South Africa, Warren got to know the industry from the outside and luckily for us, in 2006 he decided to start his own roasting business - what better way to pursue the world's finest coffees?!
The name succinctly captures what Quaffee is all about. To quaff means to drink with enthusiasm, something that Warren, the rest of the team and Quaffee's customers definitely do with their coffee. Quaffee's focus is also very much on quality coffee - so the name is also an abbreviated conjunction of those two words.
What's with the frog?
You can learn a lot about Quaffee through the story of the Frog Quaffer. In the early days, Warren was working on potential designs for a logo and in one sketch, he made an attempt to put some eyes on a coffee bean. His daughter, who was two years old at the time, saw the picture and remarked that it looked like a frog. Tickled by this, Warren decided to pursue that direction and Frog Quaffer was born.
Today, the logo serves as a reminder to Warren and the entire Quaffee team of what they stand for - the pursuit of great coffee before commercial gain and respect for future generations through a focus on sustainability. You can see these principles in everything they do, from the use of recycled packaging to the supply of great coffees at fantastic prices.
While Quaffee remains small and focused, Warren has picked up some collaborators over the years including Mzukisi (pictured). Mzukisi was originally hired as a driver for Quaffee but Warren quickly recognised that he had an aptitude for doing a lot more. He decided to invest in flying Mzukisi to the US to train with Stephen Diedrich, the maker of Quaffee's roaster, and the rest is history. Mzukisi's talents have flourished and he now does most of the roasting for Quaffee. He and Warren are joined by Maya and Sino, and together this small team supplies a dedicated base of customers with some truly exceptional coffee beans.
All of this makes Quaffee a very unique roasting business. It's small and understated but punches significantly above its weight in the variety, quality and rarity of the coffees that it roasts. We'd highly encourage you to explore what Frog Quaffer has to offer!