The masses of Easter weekend visitors to Hermanus looking for a great Saturday morning fix were no doubt driving right past it – or not even coming close.
After receiving an anonymous tip-off from a Cape Town source, we took a ride out from Voelklip on our bicycles – to prime our taste buds – and headed for the Hermanus Gateway Mall. Juxtaposed, in an unexpected space – between the big Fruit&Veg and Bargain Books signs – we spot ‘The Beanery’.
Lucky to find owner Mike, serving Saturdaymorninghappiness, willing to be interrogated by to two sweaty, inquisitive strangers (his bright white smile self confessed courtesy of his dentist), we sat down to taste a coffee that he has been perfecting for over a decade. An unassuming guy with 15 years of local underground coffee roasting guru-ism under his belt, Mike has been some what of a silent teacher having supplied many of our pioneer coffee aficionados their first roasters and espresso machines. He serves us each a flat white and an espresso from his incredibly beautiful La Marzocco espresso machine, handmade in Florence by boutique espresso machine craftmasters. It produces a different level of perfection. (Mike is also an agent for this iconic Italian brand, bringing us the amakhulu of espresso machines, famous for its quality and reliability, locally used by W-Cafe’s and Seattle Coffee.)
Mike supplies custom coffee solutions of his coffee brand Arabikaz and caffe tools to the local hospitality industry. He is passionate about relationships – his clients and his environment – the system in which his brand thrives. The frog in his logo represents his committed sensitivity to the changing environment which he serves and in which he functions and forms a part of.
As an expression of his two passions – coffee and the relationship with our environment / the earth, Mike / The Beanery hosted a ‘Coffee Party’ at the Hermanus Old Harbour over Earth Hour weekend, celebrating the biodiversity of the area and to symbolize a commitment to protecting the increasingly vulnerable natural environment in collaboration with the Overstrand Conservation Foundation (OCF). A coffee mosaic – an interactive installation of
4 704 cups of coffee of various strengths, creating an image of a frog (the endangered Cape Leopard Toad).
They managed to break the Ausie record for a similar piece of quirky coffee art – one of of the Mona Lisa with 3 642 cups.
Mike tells us he’s not one for big egos, which I assume is why he likes to keep things real and local with his Hermanus based business. In an ‘ultra cool’ industry, increasingly geared at a younger, more stylish, intellectual public that proves to be ever more sophisticated, if not fanatical, the Beanery is a refreshingly unassuming spot with coffee that speaks loudly, clearly and memorablely for itself. Back in coffee crazy Cape Town, my (old-school coffee) beau still can’t stop talking about how unbelievably good his Arabikaz flat white was and their plunger blend is serving me with morning mocha pot happiness and productivity at home. I’m definitely a fan. (Even if there’s no Facebook page… yet!)
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