Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
  • Continent of Aroma

What to Expect from The African Coffee Experience

29 May 2019

a vibrant voyage of discovery into the exceptional coffees that are both grown and roasted on the continent


Where do coffee’s origins lie? Apparently in Ethiopia, says research on genetic biodiversity that appeared in the International Journal of Forestry and Horticulture. “Origin shares a passion, together with Father Coffee and Bean There, of being highly committed to showcasing African producers and coffee to South Africa and the world,” comments Joel Singer, owner and founder of Origin Coffee Roasters, on the trio’s unique Festival partnership. “We think Africa produces the brightest and most vibrant coffees on earth and we’re hoping to deliver something in the ACE zone that does this justice – an experience that’s fun, engaging and memorable,” adds the team at Father Coffee.

These three prominent coffee brands have two festival goals: to celebrate and expose coffee lovers to the diversity and quality that is African coffee; and to showcase their own roasting principles, products and team dynamics. A glance at the schedule they’ve set up, to be presented on the ACE stage and Espresso Bar, reveals a wealth of both independent and collaborative sessions. Visitors can expect double the fun (two presentation areas) and triple the learning (three prominent brands).

The SCA Flavour Wheel by Bean There is one of the most interesting independant sessions. This roastery plans to present the full spectrum of characteristics that are commonly found in African coffees, from berry to floral notes. Visitors will taste their way around the wheel and find out just how critical genetics and processing are in a coffee’s taste profile. 

The collaborative sessions range from “Cup Across the Continent” to “Pick the African” and “Brew With A Champ”. Because the three roasteries agree that the journey from bean to cup should be a conscious one, they’ve split up the “Good, Bad & Ugly” session into Bean There’s “Sourcing”, Origin’s “Roasting”, and Father Coffee’s “Brewing”. In this way, each brand will take on an area of the process in which they are most experienced.

“We will be showing customers what happens when you take a unique and exciting African coffee and roast it from ultra light to very dark. This clearly shows how the unique characteristics of the best coffees are lost with dark roasting,” enthuses Singer. “We’ll be tackling the Brewing end of things – showing people just how easy it is to ruin the good work that goes into the Sourcing and Roasting of a great coffee … with some exaggerated looks at how it can go wrong from ratio, to temperature, to brewing water,” advises the Father Coffee team.

At the Espresso Bar, top baristas will pour rotating locally roasted and single-origin African coffees. Visitors can take a tour of the latest cafĂ© equipment and relish the scent and aroma of intermittently spread roastings from Origin, Bean There and Father Coffee, of course. This location will be highly educational, but also a feast for the taste-scent combo. 

The team at Father Coffee is keen to “put on a memorable show that gets more people thinking more carefully about the coffee that they’re drinking and where they’re getting it from”, while Singer concludes: “[Origin was] a pioneer in SA speciality coffee over 13 years ago, and remains at the forefront of exposing coffee lovers to the diversity and extraordinary quality of African coffee, roasters and baristas. Together with Father Coffee and Bean There, we are passionate about helping African producers and African coffee claim their rightful place in the minds of South Africans and people around the world.” 

For the full ACE Zone schedule of events, click here.

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