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Rosetta Roastery

Rosetta Roastery is all about fine coffee - and coffee re-education. Through their scrupulously selected speciality coffees, they aim to move the coffee-drinking public away from an obsession with blends, and show them the true characteristics of single origin coffees.

Woodstock, Cape Town, Western Cape

Website    Phone 021 447 4099   Email

Coffee with personality

On first impressions the guy is tough to warm to; a grizzly beard, soil stuck beneath his fingernails, and the pervading smell of raw potato and lawn cuttings. A poster child for vegan anger management classes. But from his very first word he has you enchanted. His quirky turn of phrase forms the savoury herbs to season his weighty philosophy. Your mind spins long after he's left you.

No, we’re not describing the owner of Rosetta Roastery here. This is but one of their ‘coffee characters’ – a new take on flavour profiling – written and carefully romanticised by Jono Le Feuvre (co-owner to Rob Cowles). What they’re trying to do is bypass the clichéd and all-too-familiar flavour descriptors which traditionally adorn coffee packaging, and replace it with something a little more interesting and interactive. We think it really works.

A re-education

Rosetta Roastery is all about fine coffee - and coffee re-education. Through their scrupulously selected speciality coffees, they aim to move the coffee-drinking public away from an obsession with blends, and show them the true characteristics of single origin coffees. “We never blend coffees because, for us, the adventure is in finding coffees that truly represent their terroir,” says Jono. They believe that coffee should be appreciated similarly to wine: for the different varietals, styles and vintages. However, they’re not completely against blending, as long as it’s done artisanally rather than as a way of making coffee taste the same year in and out.

Jono and Rob trawl the internet researching the individual farms and checking out certifications. They seek out the top brokers - those who work closely with award-winning farms around the world - to source only the best of the best. They specifically look for beans that can be appreciated as individuals, identifying the “naked potential” of each and roasting it with the utmost precision. They then package the coffee using a specially developed system that they hope will help their customers learn to identify the traits of the individual source environments.

Premium coffee is fair

Rosetta believes that paying top-dollar for premium coffee inherently protects farmers from exploitation, and makes growing the commodity sustainable. “With speciality coffee every link in the supply chain needs to look after the next one, otherwise business will suffer”, they say. Some brokers are heavily involved in ensuring the sustainability of their coffee farmers. For example, Rosetta’s Ethiopian broker spends months out on the farms assisting farmers to produce the highest quality goods. He’s even produced his own certification, Operation Cherry Red, which produces a premium product and uses the higher profit margin to improve quality and hence the sustainability of participating farmers.

Nothing less than fresh

It’s clear that Rosetta aims for excellence in both sourcing and roasting. But how can one best enjoy a cup of Rosetta coffee? Jono and Rob say it’s really up to the individual to decide. They don’t preach purism, and in fact, argue against the snobbery and elitism that often goes with the speciality coffee industry (see their blog “Rosetta and the Coffee Nazis”). However, they do insist on one thing: the coffee must be fresh. Anything more than four weeks past roasting time and most of the incredible flavours and aromas will be lost. It will still be drinkable, they say, (coffee is one of the most stable consumables around) but the subtleties of character will be gone. Kind of like drinking champagne without the bubbles.

Roasting in action with Jono

Drum roasting is a highly precise art

Carefully designed packaging using geometric shapes and colours to help customers learn and understand different coffee characters

Order some freshly roasted speciality coffee directly from Rosetta Roastery. They deliver (for free!) around Cape Town.

Image for 'Rosetta Roastery Organic Single-origin coffee: Honduras Marcala'

Rosetta Roastery Organic Single-origin coffee: Honduras Marcala

from Rosetta Roastery

Strictly High Grown Organic Arabica Coffee from Marcala, La Paz, in Honduras

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Sounds good

by Hugo Venter  |   08 February 2015 07:10 AM   |   0 replies

Great stuff guys, placing my first order this week! Can't wait.


Annoymous poster  |   22 June 2011 08:49 AM   |   1 reply


by RosettaRoastery  |   22 June 2011 09:36 AM

Hi Vanessa,

Ideally you only ever want to store coffee in the wholebean form, which is why a grinder is one of the most essential elements to a great cup of coffee (as important, if not more important than the quality of your brewing machine).

But if you're not at the point where you're grinding all your coffee immediately before you brew it, then the four major elements you want to keep your coffee away from are: Heat, UV light, moisture, and oxygen.

These can pretty much all be conquered through an airtight container kept in your cool, dark, pantry. While the fridge is cool and dark, coffee can display the unfortunate ability of absorbing all the weird and wonderful aromas that float around in your fridge's atmosphere (think onions, last night's curry, your prized store of gorgonzola...), so best keep it out of the fridge.

With regards to keeping your coffee in the freezer, some say this changes the character of the coffee, others swear by it being the only way to store coffee. As far as we're concerned it just seems like too much hard work for very little objective benefit.

I hope this helps.


Nice Photo's

Annoymous poster  |   08 June 2011 07:50 AM   |   1 reply

Hi there very nice photo's! I have been to Rosetta Roastery and did take pic's but your photo's win by far.

by Deni Archer  |   08 June 2011 09:18 AM

Thanks! That's very kind :)


by The Archer  |   08 June 2011 05:35 AM   |   1 reply

I can certainly attest to the freshness of the Rosetta coffee. We had some in the fridge and the delicious aroma permeated everything! It's a whole new experience to taste freshly ground coffee as opposed to something that has been packed for months before you consume it.

by Deni Archer  |   08 June 2011 09:19 AM

Yes and that smell eventually drove me to break my "no coffee for one year" resolution. Just the once, and it was worth it :)

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