The corner cafe wins cafe society again…Posted: September 13, 2010
…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.