Free delivery in SA on orders over R450

Quaffee Coffee Bean Box

Quaffee - South Africa Mpenjati Washed

R 145.00

We receive fresh deliveries of these coffee beans several times per week. Please allow up to 2-3 working days after you order for dispatch in case we need to wait for the next delivery.

While we consider all the coffees that we sell quite special, there is good reason to consider this one particularly special. In eight years of selling coffee, dozens of tonnes and hundreds of lots later, this is the very first South African coffee we've ever made available.

This isn't for lack of desire, of course. The trouble is that there isn't much coffee, let alone great coffee, grown in South Africa. Conventional wisdom would say that the climate isn't suited to coffee cultivation, but local timber-farmers turned coffee growers, Desmond and Leigh Wichmann, are challenging the conventional wisdom.

This coffee is grown on the banks of the Mpenjati River in KZN at 100 metres above sea level (masl). Most high-quality Arabica is grown at altitudes greater than 1,000 masl, so this is definitely a convention-busting coffee. Some purists might argue that you can't produce great Arabica so close to sea level, but the coffee world has started asking an important question: is it the altitude that matters, or is it the climates that one finds at high altitude that help to produce excellent Arabica?

Small projects in other parts of the world, including one notable one in California, have started to demonstrate that latitude and other geographical and climatic factors may compensate for lower altitudes and, tasting this coffee, it would seem that Mpenjati coffee is demonstrating the very same thing.

Grown on the banks of the Mpenjati River in KZN and roasted by Quaffee in Cape Town, this coffee is truly 100% local. That makes it quite a unique tasting opportunity, one that we would highly recommend you take advantage of while you can.

Phaedon's tasting notes

I've been lucky enough to taste a few South African coffees over the years, but, truth be told, I had never tasted one that I thought was of the calibre of many of the other African single origins that we sell. It's truly a pleasure to finally taste a bona fide South African specialty coffee.

In the cup, this coffee was quite complex. Had I not known where it was from, I probably would have guessed it was African, but I may have struggled to place it more precisely than that. It's very sweet with a subtle fruitiness and a well-integrated acidity. Sometimes it reminded me of a green apple, and sometimes it had a more marmalade-like note. There was also quite a lot of nuttiness, though, which is not your typical African coffee-flavour-note.

The body of this coffee is every bit as enjoyable as its flavours. It's quite silky when brewed with a paper or cloth filter, and I found lots to savour in a Chemex, V60 or siphon. It also made a very tasty moka pot fauxspresso.

Quaffee's notes

  • Characteristics: 4-star complexity with sweet almond notes and brown spice on the finish
  • Roast used: A bump and kick. Heat into drying, reduced, and then acceleration into browning and through first.
  • Quaffee's brews:
    • Espresso: 1:2.2 (24s)
    • AeroPress: 16g:180g
    • Plunger: 24g:400g
    • Pour-over / filter: 18g:300g

Coffee details

  • Farm: Mpenjati coffee
  • Producers: Desmond and Leigh Wichmann
  • Region: Southern KZN
  • Country: South Africa
  • Processing: Washed and sun-dried on African raised beds for two weeks
  • Variety: Arabica F6
  • Altitude: 100 masl

Quaffee's transparency information

  • Sourced from: Mpenjati Coffee
  • Farmgate price: R150 / kg
  • Cupping score: 82.5
  • Producers: Desmond and Leigh Wichmann
  • Lot size bought: 3x15kg
  • Relationship: This is our first coffee from this producer. We hope this is the first of many.