Artisan gourmet coffee roasters based in Robertson. High quality expertly roasted coffee with a socially responsible attitude.
Website www.strictlycoffee.co.za Phone +27 (0) 23 626 6691 Mobile +27 (0) 83 270 9668 Email email@example.com
A garagista goes from wine-making to coffee roasting
If you’re a lover of wine, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you’re also a lover of coffee. That’s because there are many parallels between the two luxury items, according to Hanno Schwartz of Strictly Coffee. This is what drew him to coffee roasting after many years of hobby winemaking.
He started experimentally roasting the beans – which are pale green when raw - in his kitchen oven at home in Robertson. That process soon moved into the pizza oven, and then, six years ago, Hanno bought a small five kilogram roaster. At this point, he started selling – purely because five kilograms was too much for him and his family to consume alone! Soon small businesses around the town began seeking out the coffee for their establishments, and not too long after that Hanno and his wife Rènsché, opened their own café – Strictly Coffee. Recently the roasting operation has grown too large even for the café and they’ve moved into the new collaborative warehouse boutique called Spaces.
A complex cuppa
Coffee, like wine, has widely differing taste profiles, but it’s far more complex to be a good coffee taster than wine taster. This is because coffee offers close to 900 different tastes while wine offers only 400. In addition, the intensity of the flavour means that the palate quickly gets saturated and one can only manage three to four tastes in one go. The caffeine rush doesn’t help the situation either! Hanno, who has done all the Cape Wine Academy courses and understands the taste profiles of wine intimately, says it’s a lot harder to ‘access’ coffee and he still finds it tricky to assess.
Strictly Coffee sources its beans from 12 countries and three continents. Each different variety of bean can be roasted in a number of ways to create varying tastes, and it usually takes two or three roasts for Hanno to decide how to bring out the best in the bean. Coffee bean characteristics are basically the sum of two parts – acidity and sugar. What roasting primarily does is to caramelise the beans’ sugars, and breakdown the acidity to a more palatable level. Too often ‘dark roasts’ are associated with being a strong coffee. Actually, the beans have been roasted to the point where all the acidity is destroyed and the sugars have gone beyond the caramelisation stage (technically burnt). “The best roast is one which keeps a little bit of acidity and roasts the sugars optimally so that it leaves a sweet, caramelly aftertaste – a medium roast”, says Hanno.
Taking 'relationship coffee' one step further
Coffee is the second highest trading commodity in the world after oil. But as many of us will be aware, most of this money doesn’t reach the grower – it gets almost mysteriously caught somewhere between the grower and the roaster, who pays a sweet premium on the beans. FAIRTRADE has made a big deal about this in the recent past and now a new concept has entered the market. It’s called relationship coffee, and through this process an agency introduces the grower directly to the roaster, who can even visit the farm and participate in the harvest. Strictly Coffee has come up with an idea that takes this even further – they’re busy developing a model which takes the grower to the coffee drinker by introducing information tags that accompany cups of coffee in participating cafés. These will be linked to a website where the discerning drinker can meet the farmer. A small premium will be paid by the drinker which makes its way directly back to the grower, helping to ensure a sustainable coffee farm into the future.
Socially responsible high quality coffee – now that’s what we like to hear.
- Premium quality artisan roasted coffee
- Socially minded company
- Strictly Coffee does a range of organic coffee for certain outlets
You can order Strictly Coffee products directly from their website through their Coffee Club - click here.
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