Cup of Excellence – The Ultimate Coffee

Origin-coffee-roasting-cape townIf coffee is more to you than just a caffeine jolt, the Cup of Excellence awards are not to be missed. Known as the Oscars of the coffee world, they identify, assess and reward the best coffees available year by year. Any coffee farmer can enter, and the coffee goes through three stages of rigorous judging with the winning coffees being auctioned off to the highest bidder. 80% of the proceeds go direct to the farmers, the rest paying of the costs of the international competition.

Of course the coffees that win a Cup of Excellence award are the most prestigious in the world, and as different to your common or garden commercial blend as you can get. Continue reading

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

cape town jazz festivalThe 14th Cape Town International Jazz Festival is on this weekend from Friday 5th April till Saturday 6th. Over 40 international and African artists will be playing at the CTICC on four different stages bringing world class music once more to the Mother City.

Tickets are now sold out, but you can still get to hear some great music at the free community concert in Greenmarket Square tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd April, featuring the Brand New Heavies, Jimmy Dludlu and Candice Thornton.

Voices of Africa – New Website Launched

voices-of-africa-websiteIf you, like me, tend to turn straight to the lifestyle section of the Sunday paper, if the news headlines get you down and you prefer to read stories with a positive vibe, personal stories, real people, then the new Voices for Africa microsite from the Mail & Guardian is for you.

Voices of Africa features stories from all over Africa, stories written by real people living there – not news but personal stories, funny stories, a peek into everyday life. It has a blog feel in the informal style and varied topics, great for browsing if you want to get a feel of the real Africa that doesn’t hit the headlines, the Africa that isn’t currently starving or fighting or politicking or striking. Continue reading

South Africa at the Oscars

Searching for SugarmanTwo films that were filmed on location in the Western Cape are in with a chance at the Oscars next month; one of which has been an international music sensation and the other a short film that hasn’t yet made waves but which has been very well received at international festivals.

Searching for Sugarman is a documentary with the feel of a movie – the story is so well told, such a human drama that whether you love the music or not you are drawn in. It’s the story of Rodriguez, the Seventies singer whose two albums never made it at home in the United States but who was a huge hit and a mysterious legend here in South Africa. Continue reading

Go Up Table Mountain This Christmas!

Father_Christmas_and_the_Christmas_Fairy_on_Table_MountainTable Mountain is a happening place this summer! My favourite natural style icon is getting into the Christmas spirit with a few extra activities, as if we need any more persuasion to be whisked up in the cable-car for sundowners at the end of a long hot summer’s day.

Kids will be excited to know that Father Christmas and a Christmas fairy helper will be visiting the top of the mountain before setting out on their delivery round on Christmas Eve! They’ll be taking a break there on Christmas morning too, before heading back home to the North Pole. Continue reading

Shop Online for Stunning South African Design

Africandy design emporiumA fabulous new South African design shopping site has just launched – Africandy sources all the coolest products from established and emerging South African designers, so that you can find funky furniture, gorgeous cushions, cutting edge ceramic art and even luscious artisan body products all at the same place.

Browsing through the site it’s hard to resist adding item after item to your wish list, as fabulous bronze bowls and delicate jewellery all inspire “I want that!”s.

The store is carefully curated, every product chosen for its integrity and all made in South Africa by local artists, artisans and designers: so if you are looking for proudly South African pieces for your home, or for Christmas gifts, this is a great place to start shopping. Continue reading

Supporting Causes African Style

Relate  bead braceletsThese stylish African bead bracelets are more than just a fashion statement – each bracelet is made to support an individual cause. The bracelets are an ideal way to raise funds and to show support for a cause and are the inspired idea of Relate – a South African not-for-profit social enterprise.

The idea is to create opportunities at every stage of the project. So the making of the bracelets provides income and skills training for unemployed township youth, the elderly in need of income to supplement meagre pensions or refugees struggling to make a new life for themselves. The bracelets are sold by the individual causes to raise revenue and the wearers feel a connection to the cause and know that their contribution is reaching those it’s meant for. Continue reading

Coffee Style

Origin Coffee Roaster logo-by-DEEPOrigin Coffee Roasting, Cape Town’s very own centre of the art of great coffee, now has a new logo and there is newly designed packaging to look forward to.

Not that their Cape Town de Waterkant headquarters isn’t already as stylish as you could ask for as a dedicated coffee aficionado!

With their own artisan roaster on site, a professional barista school an atmospheric cafe and a specialist tea room it’s a mecca for anyone who takes coffee seriously. Continue reading

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