If 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.
With only limited quantities on the market, you’re not going to find these premium coffees in your local coffee shop, but if you are in Cape Town the best place to go looking for an awesome coffee experience is Origin Coffee Roasting in De Waterkant. Check with them for special coffee tasting events and find out whether they currently have any Cup of Excellence coffees available. They also have a fine range of single origin coffees, so you can be sure of giving your taste buds a run for their money and get your caffeine jolt in style.
Origin Coffee Roasting’s business card printed by DEEP
The 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.
If 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.
Anyone can contribute, if they have a story they want to write, a point of view they want to express, with the result that the stories are varied, personal and rich. Go and have a look if you want to get away from doom and gloom, if you want a view into the Africa that is getting on with its own life, colourful, innovative and yes often chaotic. There is commentary too, opinion pieces, humorous views on events.
The site is well laid out (designed by Deep), it’s easy to find something to dip into and as it’s constantly being updated there’s always something new.
Two 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. Two individual South Africans tried to discover what happened to him, thinking he’d died in dramatic circumstances, only to find eventually after a long and arduous search that he was alive and working as a building laborer in Detroit, completely unaware of his musical fame over here. The story has a happy ending as he is now, aged 70, touring the world and playing sold out concerts in several countries. He’ll be in Cape Town in February.
Asad is a short movie filmed on location in Paternoster with a cast of South African Somalis. The story is set in Somalia about a boy who has to decide whether to become a fisherman or a pirate.
So watch the Academy Awards in February to see whether one of these film productions with stunning South African locations receives an Oscar.
While the Northern Hemisphere is dreaming of a white Christmas, this is the closest we get to a sparkling white landscape in Cape Town at Christmas time!
A scorching summer day with blue skies and sunshine reflecting off the pristine white sand dunes just outside Cape Town, this stills production for Dune Shoes took place just before Christmas, facilitated by GS Productions.
The perfect location if you prefer warm sunshine to snowy and bright… and for those who feel that beaches, pools and outdoor living don’t quite conjure up enough festive spirit, Father Christmas has been spotted on Table Mountain recently and there were Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch and several other venues for the traditionalists!
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but more than half its inhabitants never get to see that beauty. So says the introduction to the launch video of the City of Cape Town’s newly formed Transport Cape Town.
This initiative has been formed to unify public transport in Cape Town under one umbrella organisation to increase efficiency and streamline services. Once this comes into action you will only need one ticket to travel between places however many forms of transport you use and timetables should be organised to link between different forms of transport. Good news for visitors to Cape Town, as well as locals.
The video created by D-vision starts off as a tourist view of Cape Town then focuses on the day to day reality for locals using public transport.
Looking forward to Cape Town proving this quote that went viral this year from the Mayor of Bogota:
“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.” @petrogustavo Mayor of Bogota
Table 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.
Older kids might be tempted to see in the New Year on top of the mountain taking their own bubbly and picnic basket or tucking in at the cafe. The cable way stays open till 1am on New Year’s Day and I can’t think of a better place to celebrate if you want to do something a little bit different this year.
Not everyone is on holiday yet though. Many international film and stills productions are making the most of the summer sunshine in Cape Town to shoot their collections and advertising campaigns, and some of them have been seen on the mountain recently, taking dramatic shots as the sun goes down.
So make sure that you get up Table Mountain at least once this holiday whether it’s for glamorous sundowners or more energetic hiking.
A 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.
And if you want a chance of winning a design icon for yourself, Africandy’s launch competition is still running, so go and choose between a David Krynauw lamp, a Joe Paine shelf, Duncan Stevens bangle, Urban African bag, a Woltemade table or a Snapp Orbit stool, just by sharing the prize you’d like to win on Facebook.
We’re looking forward to browsing the store ourselves and will be featuring some of our favourite designers here over the next few months, so look out for more from Africandy soon.
These 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.
Companies looking to make a difference in their local communities can also commission their own especially designed and branded bracelets to support an income-generating project. Gavin Schneider Productions, a production company in Cape Town, supports Beads for Bread in this way. Their international clients receive a welcome bag, also made in a local township project, which contains among other things this good looking bracelet with a logo bead and the signature ‘R’ relate bead to guarantee authenticity.
Origin 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.
There are ten or more single original coffees available to taste at any one time, all sourced ethically from the world’s finest coffee growers, so you can savour the best of the best. You can also learn more about the art of roasting coffee beans if you feel so inclined, or even take a course in barista training, so you can match their results yourself.
Plus I love the idea of booking Origin’s mobile coffee bar with their team of baristas for a special event – what could be more stylish than really great coffee on tap from morning to night!