Cape Coffee Beans is a business dedicated to South African speciality coffee lovers. We sell everything from artisan-roasted beans to brewing equipment, espresso machines, home roasters, and everything in between. We serve passionate home consumers, as well as businesses that care about coffee. Our mission is to provide everything you need to make, serve and enjoy a delicious cup. On this page, you can learn a little bit more about who we are and our history.
How CCB Started
My name is Phaedon, and I founded Cape Coffee Beans in 2013. I have a background in strategy consulting with a focus on technology, and before starting Cape Coffee Beans I worked for some South African eCommerce companies, both as a full time employee and a consultant. Back in 2013, my interest in coffee was really taking hold; I’d bought my first burr grinder (albeit a terrible one), and I was grinding and brewing, and even starting to question my relationship with milk. It wasn’t long before I started asking myself, “why can’t I buy a good selection of freshly roasted coffee beans online?”
That question was the spark that got me started. Initially, Cape Coffee Beans was just an intriguing project, something to mess around with on the weekends, but it quickly became a side gig and more.
At first, the idea was only to sell beans (as you probably noticed, the name stuck) but as CCB quickly found traction, I realised that there were plenty of people out there who didn’t only need beans, but also the equipment to grind them and brew. As I pivoted the business model into something new, becoming a retailer for all things speciality coffee, things really started to take off. Before I knew it, I’d jumped in full time, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What CCB is today
Today, CCB is anything but a side gig. We sell freshly roasted beans (within 2 weeks of roast) from several different artisan brands. We also sell an enormous variety of brewing equipment, accessories and tools. We offer both domestic and commercial espresso equipment. We deliver internationally. We even have a little shop, which I fondly refer to as CCBHQ, in Claremont, Cape Town. From there we sell in person to the local community, and also dispatch to thousands of customers across the country and beyond.
The Cape Coffee Beans Team
Needless to say, all this requires a top notch team, and I’m particularly proud of the people that I work with. I’ve been lucky enough to hire several superstars each of which I rely on heavily to help me with all the aspects of the business. We have a few important things in common, including the fact that we’re passionate about specialty coffee. We love to drink it, cup it, talk about it, and learn about it!
We’re also passionate about delivering a great customer experience. From logistics to customer service, we want to make sure that we do everything that we do well. While we do sometimes make mistakes, we also all strongly believe in taking ownership and fixing them when they do come up.
Last but not least, we all believe in trying to do our jobs a little bit better every day. We’re never happy to just execute. We always want to improve, whether that’s in how we brew our coffee, how we serve our customers, or how we carry out our day to day tasks. I believe that this is the value that helps us earn such incredibly positive customer feedback.
Let me introduce the members of our team...
Michaela is my right hand woman at CCB. She’s been with us the longest, and she was the very first employee I was able to fully trust with my baby. She started in customer service, then she managed our operations. She has helped to set up many of our key functions, and helps me to oversee the business. She makes sure that everything happens smoothly, takes care of problems when they come up and has an uncanny ability to anticipate what needs to be done. She's the one I chat to when I need help making a decision. She often helps me clarify my thinking. She loves coffee, and she has some quite strong opinions about some of it…
Daleel began his career at CCB as the man in the engine room. He received the stock. He packed the orders. He coordinated our courier partners. Today, Daleel has focused on and specialised in our purchasing and inventory management, leveraging his sharp analytical skills. He has always done it all with a stoic determination. A few years ago, he obliterated my old record for the amount of orders packed in a day, and it wasn’t even a full day of work for him. Today, he single-handedly ensures that we always have the right amount of stock across several hundred items, including coffee and equipment. Thank goodness for Daleel!
Ngoni is someone that everyone is really happy to have around. While his credentials are behind the espresso machine (and that's definitely a place that he shines), he has demonstrated an impressive aptitude for all things operational. When he's not packing and dispatching orders, organising returns, coordinating with suppliers, or troubleshooting customer issues, he's helping customers in-store. The knowledge he brings from his background as a professional barista is an asset both to our customers and to our team. He is also a master of the brew bar, and specialises in making some pretty mean batch brew. One of the things I really admire about Ngoni is his confidence and poise. He is not afraid of new challenges, and he's shown me that his self-confidence is well-placed!
Nuvin is a bit of an anomaly... there's really no other word for it. When I hired him, he was still finishing up his degree at UCT; he was a young guy, and yet, he had somehow already developed a breadth of knowledge of speciality coffee that many people who have worked in the industry for many years would envy. Needless to say, I'm pretty glad that we've found him. I attribute his surprising amount of coffee knowledge to his palpable curiosity and general passion for the topic. Luckily for us, his learning skills are not limited to coffee-related information, and he hit the ground running in our customer service department at quite an impressive speed. Between his blazing-fast typing speed and his can-do, customer-oriented attitude, he now shoulders an impressive load, handling many of our customer service requests and sales. I'm looking forward to watching him continue to grow.
Johann is a bit of a gem. He has a bit more grey hair than most of the members of the team, but his exhuberance for everything he does is incredibly youthful. He's roasted, run coffee shops (including one in India), sold and repaired espresso machines, and done pretty much anything else a coffee professional might do. As far as I'm concerned, he was destined to work at Cape Coffee Beans. Beyond his knowledge of, and love for, coffee, Johann has figured out our way of working at an unrivalled speed. He has a natural understanding of people and real passion for delivering a great customer experience. He is an invaluable asset to our team where he focuses on customer service & sales, particularly in all areas technical and commercial.
You could say that Sam has taken over from Daleel as the main man in the engine room. Sam joined us, at fairly short notice, in 2021. He got started during one of our busiest periods ever, and somehow got up to speed on dispatching pretty much all of our orders in no time. There was something about his attitude that inspired confidence in all of us, and he lived up to the impression that he made. In addition to being a ruthlessly efficient picker, packer, and stock counter, Sam also has great charisma that helps him work very effectively with our logistics partners. When you receive a perfectly packaged CCB order, in record time, think of Sam. He's the one that made it happen.
Benry is our coffee nerd extraordinaire. If you want to go deep into the details, he’s the man to speak to, which is great for our customers, because he spends his days on live chat, the phone, emails and at client sites. He can help anyone from a home coffee brewer to a cafe owner and if you are a commercial buyer, he’s the man that can help you plan your setup and even do training for your team. As if all this wasn’t enough, Benry also dazzles with his attitude. He is always up for a challenge, always positive about it, and always trying to improve. He is everything you would want a team member to be.
Cape Town customers will need no introduction to Jaime. After all, he has become our main man in the store, and he plays this role with aplomb. It's not just that he loves coffee, or espresso gear (though he certainly loves both); he also very clearly loves people, and they tend to love him back. A person with more enthusiasm is hard to find, and Jaime has made it his mission to share that enthusiasm for all things coffee with everyone he comes into contact with, while also delivering a great customer experience. Whether you want a flat white or a chat about how to brew, Jaime is always happy to deliver!
Sibahle (Siba for short) moved across the country to come work for CCB in Cape Town, and we're all glad she did. Another ex-pro barista (one that competed at the National Champs no less), Siba has many talents beyond coffee-making. She's a writer and she's been an entpreneur, both of which have prepared her for leading the charge to assist our customers online, solving problems, coordinating with the rest of the team, and dispensing the right information wherever it's needed. You may find her on the phone, on live chat, responding to emails and also in store at CCBHQ. Wherever you interact with her, you'll know you're in safe hands whatever help you might need.
Cameron (Cam for short) may not have a background in coffee, but it sometimes feels like he was destined to work in operations at CCB. Whether it's the software and technology we use, how we handle stock and inventory or simply how we approach our processes, Cam has taken to all of it like a duck to water. He has become Daleel's right hand man, helping to order stock, receive it, count it, organise it and keep close track of it. When he's not doing this invaluable work for us, Cam also assists with projects of all sorts; he even does some of our in-house IT support! Cam's best qualities are his positive attitude and his motivation to grow. I know they will take him places.
That’s the CCB team. Together we’re accomplishing amazing things. When I launched this company, I don’t think I imagined that we would become the leading South African retailer in the specialty coffee space, but that’s where we’ve landed. I attribute it all to a shared passion for coffee, people, and excellence in everything we do. And we’re not done yet… watch this space. There’s definitely more to come.
We'd also like to say a big thank you to our friend, customer, fellow coffee lover and talented professional photographer, Dan Edwards for taking these photos!