City brews a picture-perfect caffeine kick

2015-06-16 06:00
Local Nespresso Club members were featured in the magazine, including founder of Design Indaba Ravi Naidoo.

Local Nespresso Club members were featured in the magazine, including founder of Design Indaba Ravi Naidoo.

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Cape Town and coffee have more in common than providing enjoyment to on-trend hipsters it seems.

This as the Mother City is crowned the darling of global coffee culture as the destination features in a bi-annual magazine released by luxury coffee brand Nespresso.

Joining 12 other world-renowned destinations, Cape Town is once more in the world’s spotlight through the magazine’s editorial spread of places to visit, eat and, of course, drink coffee in the city.

Cape coffee culture

Cape Town, as the first African city to ever feature in the magazine, was a natural fit for the brand, explains Pierre Debayle, Nespresso Middle East, Africa and Caribbean regional manager.

“A lot of thought goes into the selection of the featured city in each edition of Nespresso Magazine. Cape Town was a natural fit for Nespresso. With its strong heritage, the city has managed to create its own identity and cultivate a culture aligned to a global audience,” he says.

But don’t let the hipsters fool you, enjoying coffee is an age-old tradition in South Africa due to our many European influences, Debayle says.

Immigrants from Portugal, France, Italy and the Netherlands have all shaped our coffee culture, which has blended with the modern trend of restaurants brewing their own coffee.

The city boasts a range of coffee styles, each with meanings and messages, Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, explained at the magazine launch.

“Cape Town has slave coffee, as seen at Truth coffee shop at the Prestwich memorial, ethical coffee where shops source and roast their own beans, and steam punk coffee,” she says.

Developing markets

Although Cape Town’s mountain, sea and vineyards make it a prime destination, the attraction lies in the mix of cultures and the local energy to explore new trends, from design to music to food, Debayle believes.

South Africa is a steadily growing market, as luxury brands and quality coffee become more accessible to a range of race and class groups, Debayle says.

“We’re widening our target group because coffee culture is expanding. We’re embracing the diversity of the market.”

This includes a variety of coffees aimed at new palates, which move away from the traditionally strong and black coffee, Debayle says.

“Quality of life is very important to South Africans. Quality coffee with good conversations is important,” he says.Giving back

The future of coffee lies in not just growing local markets, but in sustainable and ethical farming, Dabayle says.

This is why the brand has made a choice to take care of the entire production chain, from the coffee fields to drinkers.

“We only buy the best beans,” he says. “Only 10% of that amount goes towards making our gourmet coffee. Our engineers have compiled best practice guides, which we share with our farmers.”

This includes biodiversity tips, as coffee trees grow best in an environment with other plants.

The brand pays premium rates for coffee, but also works on projects to improve the lives of coffee farmers. As an example of this, the company recently instituted a pension scheme for farmers in Columbia, Debayle says.

This responsible behaviour has filtered through to the consumer level, with each coffee pod made out of aluminium, which is 95% recyclable.

“Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and we’ve engaged with the private sector to develop a machine that separates the aluminium and the coffee grounds,” he explains.

And the pods can be handed in at any of the over 400 Nespresso boutique stores around the world to be sent for recycling.A taste of Cape Town

The magazine is distributed to over one million Nespresso Club members worldwide in almost 60 countries.

This kind of exposure will earn Cape Town a big tourism boost, Debayle believes.

“Our clients travel regularly and this magazine is fantastic exposure for Cape Town. The content reflects a selection of local club members who provide a guide of the city. They give our readers the secrets of the city, not just the popular tourist spots,” he says.

And for those looking for a taste of the Mother City, Debayle already has her pegged.

“Cape Town is a cappuccino with intense espresso flavours, made from an India blend with notes of spices like nutmeg and black pepper. The milk foam needs to be there to represent the fog that sometimes rolls in off the sea and there is a touch of African cocoa on top. And it should be drunk in a tall glass, to get you through the cold winters,” he says.


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