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The new "Pick n Pay on Nicol" is set to raise the bar when it comes to grocery shopping in Joburg. The store's contemporary cafe, Thyme on Nicol, offers a selection of nutritious breakfasts and lunches with unusual combinations of home-baked breads and exotic offerings from the deli. The cafe also boasts a "store within a store" concept, with the well loved Vida E Caffe responsible for keeping the coffee flowing.

We love the store not only because it's taking coffee seriously, but also because it is officially the "greenest" supermarket in the country. Every aspect of the building and functionality has been considered with the environment in mind. Skylights and double-glass walls diffuses natural light during the day; and the roof harvests rainwater for the irrigation of the landscaping. Even the traffic lights at the intersection outside the store are solar-powered. They also have an intensive recycling management system throughout all departments within the store.

Solar panelling and timers have been installed to reduce energy required for geysers, as well as low-flow sanitary ware and electronic taps. The number of illuminated signs outside has been reduced, as well as the number of light boxes in-store; and only environmentally friendly paint was used. In addition, all timber was locally sourced, in line with the Forest Stewardship Council recommendations.

4_ladies_drinking_coffeeThe Joburg Coffee Club meets every Thursday evening at different venues across the city. Coffee club meetings generally consist of coffee tasting presented by the host, guest speakers and lucky draws. Meetings are very informal and everybody is welcome. Here are the details for our November meetings:

Date:     Thursday 18 November at 18:00.

Place:    Cafe 54. (54 Hornbill Road. At the Kings College and NCCB property).

Date:     Thursday 25 November at 18:00.

Place:    Motherland Coffee Company. (Rosebank, The Zone - phase 2).

old_school_coffee_drinkerWe love the fact that drinking coffee not only makes us feel good, but in some instances, it can actually be beneficial to our health. Research indicates that coffee provides protective effects for the following conditions:

  • Asthma – Drinking coffee can help to control asthma, and in some cases can even be used to treat an asthma attack when conventional medication is not available.
  • Colon cancer – 2 or more cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 25%.
  • Gallstones – The likelihood of developing gallstones is decreased nearly 50% by drinking at least 2 cups of coffee per day.
  • Headache – Coffee cures or diminishes some types of headaches.
  • Liver cirrhosis – The risk for this condition is reduced by 80% with the ingestion of 2 or more cups of coffee each day.
  • Parkinson’s disease – 6 studies have found that regular (caffeinated) coffee drinkers reduce their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by as much as 80%.
  • Tooth decay – A compound in coffee called Trigonelline has anti-adhesive and antibacterial properties, which helps prevent cavities.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – A Harvard longitudinal study of 126,000 people found that 1 to 3 cups of caffeinated coffee per day can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by less than 10%, while 6 or more cups per day reduces women’s risk by 30% and men’s by 54%. Drinking decaffeinated coffee reduces the risk for diabetes by approximately half that achieved with caffeinated coffee.

Some of coffee’s health benefits accrue as a result of its caffeine content, whereas others are generated by its antioxidants. The reduced risk for Parkinson’s disease and coffee’s efficacy in treating asthma and headaches are linked to caffeine.

Source:   Jennifer Copley  (Suite101.com)

While South Africa is not really recognized as a major coffee producing country, the rest of the world has taken notice of a few local farmers. We caught up with Tim and Kim Buckland from Sabie Valley and found out that it is more than just a good dose of caffeine that keeps them going.

coffee_berries_on_treeBetween Hazyview and Sabie, on the R356 lies Riverbend Farm, the home of Sabie Valley Coffee.  When the Buckland’s arrived in the Mpumalanga Lowveld in 1980, the farm consisted of nothing but wild bush. They knew they had to do something with the land because, for them, going back to the rat race in the city was just not an option. Tim experimented with various crops and after much research discovered that the location of the farm, on the misty slopes of the Sabie Valley, would be ideal for coffee cultivation. Tim sourced a few Arabica beans from Malawi and planted the first coffee trees on Riverbend Farm in 1984.  The rest, as they say, is history.

“Coffee is a personal thing for us,” says Tim.  “We don’t mass-produce and we have a personal relationship with each of our clients.” It was this raw passion for what they do that inspired the couple to open their doors to the public and develop the tourism side of the business.  They established a coffee shop on the farm as well as an espresso Riverbend_Coffee_Farm_roasterbar and a gift shop.  “Most people don’t even know what a coffee tree looks like!” notes Tim.

“We love meeting new people that visit the farm and enjoy teaching them about how coffee is cultivated and produced.”

For more information contact: (013) 7378169 or www.sabievalleycoffee.com




Copy_of_group_of_friendsThe next Joburg Coffee Club meeting will take place on the 18th of November at Cafe 54 in Bryanston (see address below). We are looking forward to a great evening of coffee tasting and mingling with fellow club members. We'll start at 18:00 sharp. See you there!

Remember, membership of the Joburg Coffee Club is absolutely free and everyone is welcome. All you have to do is register on our website and voila, you're a member! To get more info on what the Joburg Coffee Club is all about, visit our "About Us" page.



Cafe 54:         54 Hornbill Road, Bryanston. (on the Kings College & NCCB property).

 Ever felt inspired to make a truly great cup of coffee at home?  A good starting point would be to look at your brewing options.

There are many ways of brewing coffee.  It ranges from the traditional Turkish ibrik which is usually used over an open flame (most South Africans will render this coffee undrinkable), to more common methods like filter coffee machines and plunger pots.  So unless you employ a full time barista at home, here’s a bit of help in your quest to prepare no fuss, great tasting coffee.








Plunger pot

Also referred to as a “French press or Cafetiere”, is probably the easiest and most hassle free way of preparing a good cup of coffee at home. Plunger pots are relatively inexpensive and are commonly available at good home stores.  It simply consists of a jug (usually glass), fitted with a mesh device called a plunger.

Using a plunger pot:

1. Preheat the jug by filling it with boiling water.  Leave it for a few minutes and then pour the water out again.

2. Dry the jug and place your ground coffee in it.  Work on about 55g of dry coffee per 1 litre of water. Always use coarsely ground coffee in a plunge pot.

3. Now add the water. Remember never to pour boiling water over the dry coffee as this will “burn” the coffee and affect the taste.  Instead, switch the kettle off just before the water starts boiling for the perfect temperature.  Pour the water into the pot in a circular motion.  This will ensure that the coffee and water infuses evenly.

4. Using a tablespoon, stir the brew gently.  When stirring, try and submerge any coffee floating on the surface.  Allow it to stand for about 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Place the lid on the jug and slowly push down the plunger.

6. Serve the coffee as soon as possible.