Coffee is the world’s second-most traded commodity, just-just behind oil. And many people would argue that it can be called human fuel. Exciting news for all the Capetonian coffee fanatics, is that the first annual Cape Town Coffee Festival will be happening the 1st and 2nd of June 2019.
The event takes place in the Castle of Good Hope, in Darling Street. It’s a weekend long family-friendly event full of coffee, coffee, and more coffee! From funky barista art displays, to coffee cocktails. Together with the coffee you can sample delectable local food and enjoy live music.
A Coffee Celebration in Cape Town
The festival will have something for everyone. Whether you simply enjoy savouring a good cuppa Joe or you’re a self-confessed coffee geek – the Cape Town Coffee Festival aims to make high-quality coffee accessible to everyone.
The inaugural event will host more than 65 innovative exhibitors. Meet the faces behind some of your favourite coffee shops in town. You can ask them all the things you’ve wondered about, learning more about why you enjoy their specific coffee flavours. There will be hundreds of different coffees to taste. And you can boost your coffee know-how with informative workshops and interactive demos. Meet the big names in the African coffee scene including artisan roasters and baristas.
Get Ready For a Caffeine Infusion
The two-day festival has morning and afternoon sessions. This is to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the coffee festival experience, regulating the flow of foot traffic. The festival will follow a similar format to the other international coffee events hosted by the Allegra Group, but with added African flair. Events include Latte Art Live, The Coffee Cocktail Bar, Small Business Lab, The African Coffee Experience, a Coffee Art Gallery, and more.
Saturday (1 June)
Morning session: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Afternoon session: 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Sunday (2 June)
Morning session: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Afternoon session: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Tickets cost from R150 (online) and R180 (at the door) per person. If you are very serious about coffee, consider the VIP Single-Day Access at R300 (online) and R400 (at the door) per person. It includes all-day access, a limited edition Cape Town Coffee Festival tote bag, priority access, as well as a copy of The Meaning of Coffee book.
Or the SUPER VIP Multi-Day Access at R480 (online) and R600 (at the door) per person. It includes multiple all-day access for Saturday and Sunday, a limited edition Cape Town Coffee Festival tote bag, priority access, exclusive access to the VIP Bar, two coffee cocktail tokens, and a copy of The Meaning of Coffee book.
To give you an idea of what the festival will entail:
Sipping Coffee for a Good Cause
All the decadent coffee cocktails, delicious food, and head bobbing live music is in aid of Project Waterfall. They are partnering with local life-changing projects, such as Woza. The Woza Coffee School trains South African youth in townships to become baristas. They also connect them to their first job. Project Waterfall has raised over $1.5 million since 2011, to bring clean water to more than 37 000 people across seven countries. Visit projectwaterfall.org and wozacoffee.co.za for more information.
“We are delighted to be bringing the Coffee Festival to the African continent for the first time. Cape Town is a city of culture and creativity, and coffee and food play a huge part in the fabric of the city life. The event is a celebration of the vibrant African coffee culture, of the deep spirit of community that coffee fosters and of the career opportunities that it generates.”
– Jeffrey Young (Allegra Group CEO)
Cape Town Coffee Festival Line-Up
The Cape Town Coffee Festival is supported by top local and international coffee brands and personalities. A few of the behind the scenes names include Bunn South Africa, Sanremo South Africa (imported and distributed by Electrical Industries), Ultipure (Brita), Alpro, Tia Maria, Yoco, Origin Coffee Roasters, Father Coffee, Bean There, Truth Coffee Roasters, and Fair Cape Dairies.
At The Coffee Lab you can learn more about the latest coffee trends in the industry. And The Small Business Lab focuses on promoting and supporting local small businesses through interactive workshops and talks.
The African Coffee Experience will showcase the diverse African coffee scene. Three of South Africa’s key coffee roasters will be available for discussion in this section. Representatives from Origin Coffee Roasters, Father Coffee, and Bean There Coffee Company will introduce you to the best African origin cups. Taste coffee under the guidance of these industry leaders.
The Coffee Cocktail Bar will offer you a cocktail with the highest buzz you’ll ever have. Challenge your thinking around how coffee should be served and enjoyed!
The Coffee Art Project Gallery showcases the creative talents of local artists, both established and emerging, who are inspired by African coffee. One of the gallery highlights, is a photography series by local artist Andile Bhala, depicting the rich coffee culture of Soweto.
Latte Art Live interactive zone will showcase the intricate details of latte art. The world-renowned barista Dritan Alsela will be hosting demonstrations and workshops. Learn the tricks of the trade from the professionals. And admire the jaw-dropping masterpieces.
At The Innovation Zone you can rub shoulders with the personalities behind the cutting-edge brands and small businesses of the coffee industry. These range from technology, to apparel, to the freshest micro-roasters.
After all the coffee tasting, you will want to visit The Street Food Market to refuel and relax before heading back to the coffee exploration. The stalls will include artisan street food, offering you the best of the South African food scene
Complement the excellent coffee and delicious food with The Live Music Stage. Throughout the festival talented local artists and bands will infuse the festival with great vibes to celebrate the amazing power of coffee to create a spirit of community.
In Conversation with Joel Singer – Origin Coffee Roasters
Joel is a Canadian that found a second home in Cape Town. He’s one of the original pioneers of artisanal coffee in the city, entering the coffee industry 13 years ago. His passion has made Origin Coffee Roasters one of the best in the Mother City.
When he arrived in Cape Town, he noticed a mind-set that he had encountered years before in his hometown of Montreal. Locals believed that if you wanted a high-quality product, you had to import it. And he realised that this mind-set stretched even further, with many people believing that Africa can’t offer the world anything of high calibre.
But as Joel points out, the fanciful coffees imported from the likes of Italy, are produced from African-sourced beans. So Joel challenged the locals, asking the question “why could we not take African beans, and produce world-class coffee right here in South Africa?”
Being a foreigner in the country, he wasn’t interested in drinking imported coffee. And he was adamant to convince the Cape Town coffee industry that other foreigners felt the same way. During his coffee journey, he noticed people slowly started warming up to the idea of enjoying locally produced artisan coffee. Their taste buds evolved from drinking instant coffee, to searching for better coffee, to insisting on excellent coffee.
Joel wants African people to celebrate what we can offer the world – coffee that’s on the same level as imported brands, if not better. He believes the next big coffee industry trend will be people insisting on high-quality locally produced coffees. And investigating how the coffee is sourced and produced. Plus maybe people will slowly start realising that you don’t need milk to enjoy a good cuppa coffee. You can either enjoy it in its pure goodness, or move across to a plant-based alternative.
Looking Forward to the Coffee Festival
Joel and the other Origin team members are very excited about this innovative event venture. He’s looking forward to being surrounded by people passionate about coffee, who are keen to learn more about the industry. Collaborating with Jeffrey Young (Allegra Group), Joel feels it’s a great step towards Cape Town being included in an international family of coffee fanatics. The next festivals will be a great gathering point, bringing together the coffee industry professionals across South Africa and Africa.