Being fortunate enough to attend a coffee experience , I wasn’t sure what to expect (well duh, apart from tasting amazing coffee). So, not being Capetownian, I made my way from Blouberg into the city. The maps application on my phone had other plans, we are not going to the trendy city centre, but rather took a sharp left towards Observatory.
Driving on, you get a sense that you are entering a very old part of Cape Town and seems almost industrial to some extend. I arrived. A beautiful building that looks almost like a theatre, the Bijou building. I did some digging and found out that it was in fact a theatre, almost a forgotten era gem, but this is not the focus here….. coffee.
Run Rabbit Run micro coffee roastery is based in the foyer of the Bijou building. From the moment you enter through the wrought iron doors, you get a sense that this is going to be a good one. Talking to Phillip (the owner), you immediately know this guy is passionate about coffee. You see, I love coffee, but I am not nearly as passionate about it as he is. Being busy within the hospitality industry, Phillip told his story of moving from the restaurant sphere to what he loves best, coffee. 14 months being at it, roasting, trying, getting it right, getting it wrong, until he got to a point of perfection.
First up, was a bit of history and the way coffee was grown and harvested and one thing that strikes me as odd, was that he referred to it as actually being coffee seeds. Well, technically it must be, because the bean is actually enveloped by fleshy fruit. Ok, but that’s besides the point. We moved on to coffee cupping. Different blends, absorption rates, colour, acidity the whole shebang. We even roasted a batch ourselves and that only in a few minutes while Phillip looked like a crazy Alchemist, turning knobs on the roasting machine, monitoring the graphs and constantly explaining the process.
I must admit that I got a little lost there as I couldn’t stop staring at the green coffee beans turning a deep, rich, brown and smelling the change and fragrant air that developed. Done with the roasting it was time for a cup and he treated me to a pour-over of one of his special blends. Taking it all in, being narrated by Phillip around every sip. We closed the session with a trip to a nearby roastery called Espressolab and closed with a nice Kenian espresso and having a chat about consumerism and how we seldom don’t grasp the bigger picture at play.
Nearing the end I’m confronted with multiple messages, the dominant being coffee, but more so, enjoying your cup ethically. Knowing what we consume haven’t caused harm to anyone, the environment and the industry at large. Being able to buy a product that is of top grade and having a guilt-free experience is for you to decide and sadly we are dictated to what our wallets allows us. One thing that we can exercise however, is a choice over how we speak about or what we say about those things we consume. Being knowledgable and aware of what our purchase will do and what change we might affect by taking that glorious sip.