The corner cafe wins cafe society again…

…no, we didn’t even make the top 3. i failed you Durban, i`m a big fat failure, don’t come here again, im going to open a massage parlor here, go drink coffee with the hot red head up the road that cleaned up again this year and her happy family making their perfect froth (i was with her when she won, she new man she bloody knew it, i acted all happy for them but deep down i was a little hot potato).

the awards ceremony was like a wake for me, great setting though at the end of the Moyo pier, Illovo pulled out all the stops and i loved the snax (i got there early, to put out a vibe you know). i shook hands and kissed a few babies, my usual presidential swagger. everyone who knows anything about coffee in a 500km radius was there (if a terrorist blew up that pier we would be back in the coffee stone age & everyone would love wimpy coffee again).

we really gave it everything we had this year, training was daily from 4-5pm for over 4 months, the professionals came in every morning to adjust the grind according to the humidity etc etc our coffee has never been this good, i guess the others just did it that little bit better, i actually didn’t want to win (sour grapes). A judge came up to me after the prize giving and said ‘i just want you to know that you actually came fourth’ with a big smile,fourth is like last folks. I was told our coffee was inconsistent. I felt very sorry for Tumi (our barista) he heard the inconsistency comment and felt responsible. The boys from Colombo and i tried to tell him that it is impossible to make over 300 cups a day for six days a week and get them all perfect but he wasn’t buying it.

We as a cafe will humbly bow out of cafe society, we just can’t afford that training again. We had fun and we even won once, but alas our time has come to slip away quietly. Thanks to all who voted for us we love you all, and can the judges who took our bribes and still didn’t deliver, please bring back the money…tee hee.

After the wake/ceremony i took the posse to Wodka on point road for a little pick me up, Wayne from Colombo tried to cut his wrist with the butter knife while Tumi had his first beer ever(actually a smirnoff spin) then in walked Andre Schubert (cafe society founder) i saw Waynes eyes grow wide before i saw who he was looking at. This was going to get intresting, like a special forces soldier, i pulled out my moleskin notebook on sheer muscle memory.

I got the 1st three question out the way, just so as to break the ice…

Juddy poo – how do you take your coffee

Andre poo – short skinny cappa

Juddy poo – 9 out of the top 10 are not commercial blends ie Illy, la Vazza etc what you make of this.

Andre poo – good & bad, good in that the Durbs is getting a more decerning palate, and bad in that small/independent roasters will lead to inconsistency.

Juddy poo – can i have your calamari and qunoi recipe(market)

Andre poo – no, go away.

We chatted for awhile, (over a standard meal, andre asked the waiter what wine offered buy the glass and he said red and white…wrong table bru) and i got a better understanding of the inner workings of cafe society (one of the judges actually got a death threat, buy some moody cow who wasn’t happy with her review, hectic hey). the more i listened to Andre and Wayne talk coffee and judging i realized we could never win it again. Out of some 300 cappuccinos that we make a day, 5 or 6 may be too hot or less froth than the next, these are acceptable losses for me but not for cafe society. My coffee is seasonal so there will be slight changes through the year depending on what’s been harvested and what’s in season, this is the cafe ethos, but understandably it can’t fly with cafe society. Its very sad i really wanted to knock the others off their little perch`s with my killer new eco coffee. We had fun and i made lots of friends (like i needed anymore).

Ahh, end of an era folks.

Juddy-massage parlor-owner-poo


14 Comments on “The corner cafe wins cafe society again…”

  1. Nicola says:

    4th can’t really have been last … come on ! Sorry Judd Budd but better 4th than anything else – next year you will have to just knock socks off – and maybe put a cute message in the judges coffee!?

  2. Simone says:

    Never fear Morgan Freeman. Coffee baby over food baby any day. Chin up and all that happy stuff.

  3. Zane @coffee illiterate says:

    Dear Judd and Corner Cafe guys. I’ve not been to Durbs in 7years HOWEVER don’t worry or care. The reason is that you guys and the wonderful Colombodians are ahead of the general cafe and coffee scene in SA. If anyone claims to know coffee and hasn’t heard of London’s infamous Square Mile Roasters then please google them – theses are guys helping to lead the specialty coffee scene and they themselves develop seasonal blends…ON purpose.

    I roast coffee in good ol’ Cape Town and even I play around with our coffees for my own various daily coffees (as well as go and support my favorite friends/competition from time to time). Furthermore, the way “we”‘ (guys like Colombo and I) are looking and trying and hoping for consistency in quality. We cannot guarantee consistent flavor unless we roast the hell out of our coffees but try our best to handle each roast personally and intimately to bring out the best, uphold the potential of each coffee. Over time we get to know our coffees better and this happens more often.

    Anyways, guys don’t doubt yourselves or Kyle and the boys. They know what they’re doing : )
    Bring on options and varieties. Coffee is not coffee is not coffee – they’re different and each coffee appeals to different people more than others…and that’s fine too.

  4. Paddy says:

    We love you Judd, and I can say with out a shadow of a doubt that your coffee is much better than Frisco!!!

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kyle Fraser, twoslicedre. twoslicedre said: cafe society 2010 was a pile of rubbish! first Jiran out of top 10, then @juddcoffee (corner) doesn't make top 3 – […]

  6. Glenn Harpur says:

    For a guy who failed matric, you write some pretty interesting stories, big guy! Loving the site and loved our breakfast this morning – thanks! Keep up the good work – you make Durban a better place and we love you for it…

  7. michele knox says:


  8. Glen says:

    Who digs consistency anyway? I get bored of the same old coffee week in and week out. One week I might want a bright and flowery Yirgacheffe and a zesty Sidamo the next. Throw in a superbly winey Harrar and I’d be really chuffed. You get the point: if I were subjected to the same old dreary roast profile week in and week out, I’d sooner hack my own head off and fry it in garlic thanks. But that’s just me.

    So in short, there are a few of us who are appreciative of your efforts, Mr. Judd, and would very much like you to continue in your current vein.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned seasonal variations in the coffee. It’s a fruit, so it’s a no-brainer that it should undergo seasonal variations and that these should be reflected in the roast. Anyway, that’s my two-cents’ worth.

  9. Jessica Rich says:

    Pull yourself together man….me and over 1000 other ardent fans know better!!!

  10. Derek Pearce says:

    Hey Corner Cafe guys……..Now I WILL HAVE TO WEAR THE BLACK ARM BAND AND MOVE FROM THE AREA !!!!!!! LOL… joking 🙂 really there is nothing wrong with your cappo’s…….Actually let the RED HEAD have her day…. cause next year it is yours guys !!!!!!!!!!…. I might be moving from right next door, but hey will still support.



  11. Zelda (not a Russian spy) Schwalbach says:

    Ah well, this will give you so much more time to focus on writing, which you do exceptionally well. Oh dear, I fear you may think I don’t think you do the coffee thing exceptionally well too. Not true.

    (As an aside, I once came 3rd in the 800m for girls at school, which would have been better than 4th if there had been more than 3 girls running…stupid teacher kept congratulating me for scoring a point for the team, even though I delayed the rest of the athletics day proceedings while they waited for me to finish: a lap and half behind the first two runners. Dunno why I’m sharing my humiliation – hopefully by way of consolation and encouragement.)

    Keep on brewing.

  12. Eish ‘fana. Not cool.

    Over-rated anyway. You won the imaginary competition in our minds. Sure, this competition has no validity, is unknown, and is highly inefficient when it comes to garnering publicity.. But my mom takes the results seriously..