The Cape Town office is on a caffeine high at the moment with all the new coffee spots opening up around here – including the sexy boys at Rosetta. We got a chance to ask Jono le Feuvre, one of the founders, what makes their coffee special.
How did you get into coffee?
‘When I left varsity and moved into my own flat, I decided to draw a line in the sand by vowing never to drink instant coffee again. I read an extract from a book by coffee guru David Shomer, who described his childhood disappointment over the incredible smell of freshly ground coffee, and the often-awful taste of that same coffee once it was brewed. He vowed to seek out coffee that tasted as good as it smelled. I guess part of our journey at Rosetta Roastery has become that same search – to present coffees that taste as incredible in the cup as they smell straight out of the grinder.’
Do you have a limit on the number of coffees you drink per day?
‘Not really. If we feel like drinking coffee, we usually drink coffee. There are times when we just don’t feel like drinking coffee anymore (after we’ve been sampling ten or more coffees for an entire afternoon), but I suppose that’s different to setting yourself a limit. We’ll usually drink anywhere from two to five double shots per day. If the “studies have shown” articles are anything to go by, I’m at a very low risk of developing prostate cancer. Or ovarian cancer for that matter.’
Tell us a bit about your ‘Crop to Cup’ process?
‘A great roastery should place more emphasis on its sourcing practices than its roasting practices (although those are important, too). We work very closely with coffee brokers who are specialists in various coffee-growing regions around the world.
We sample coffee from as many estates, co-ops, or farmers associations as we can get our hands on. We might try ten coffees from a single region and not find any that impress us, so we’ll keep searching until we find a coffee that we think is worth becoming part of the Rosetta Roastery range.
Once we’ve finalised our range of coffees, we ship them to our roastery in Woodstock and roast each coffee three or four different ways until we find the perfect roast profile for each particular bean.
We then roast coffees to order and deliver them around the country. One of our central philosophies is that the world’s finest coffees should be able to be enjoyed without disrupting your daily routine. This is why home and office deliveries form such an important part of our business. We deliver coffees around Cape Town city centre and the Southern Suburbs twice a week – with no minimum order and no delivery charges. We also deliver nationwide, but delivery terms and conditions apply.’
What is the best way to store coffee?
‘In whole-bean form. If you can grind your coffee immediately before you use it, that is always first prize. However, if one is given some pre-ground coffee, then a simple Tupperware stored in a cool dark place, like your pantry, or secret underground lair, will do just fine. The major enemies of fresh coffee are sunlight, oxygen, and heat. If you can keep your coffee away from those three things, then you’re on the right track.’
Who writes your imaginative coffee descriptions?
‘I write out all the characters, but the way they’re developed can differ from coffee to coffee. Sometimes it’s immediately obvious, and I’ll just jot down some thoughts and we’re good to go. Other times we’ll collaborate and sit down as a team and chat about how the coffee makes us feel (but in a very manly way). There have been occasions where I thought I’d crafted a delightfully romantic picnic scene, only to be told it reads like a sex criminal laying in wait for his prey! But then, I guess that’s what draft two is for.’
Why the formal attire? Is it a ploy to attract female coffee drinkers?
‘I guess in the past, coffee has been seen as a generic product that sells itself for its stimulant properties. But we don’t see it like that at all. Each coffee we source is extraordinary and incredible. It is an event worth celebrating. We wanted to make sure that we communicated that celebration in every way possible. Perhaps that’s why we dress like it’s a night at the Oscars or something. That is the realm in which we see our coffees functioning – award winning and celebratory. That, and the fact that I feel kinda sexy in a tie.’
If you live in Cape Town, we have four packs of Rosetta coffee up for grabs! Simply tell us where your favourite coffee spot is in the comment section below. Entries close on Friday, 10 June at 5pm. For those in other parts of SA, look out for a nationwide coffee giveaway coming soon!