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Wake up and smell the coffee this International Coffee Day with Sihle’s Brew, South Africa’s first individually black-owned coffee brand.
With specialty blends that are made from start to finish by coffee originator, roaster and barista Sihle Magubane, Sihle’s Brew offers five signature blends from; expresso, signature, decaf, original and java press.
The 35-year-old who was born and bred in Nkandla, a town in the heart of Zululand, in northern districts of KwaZulu-Natal, said his love for coffee began when he was offered an opportunity to be trained by Roberto Monterrage who is a well known master brewer.
“Roberto Monterrage organized jobs for us to work at an event that was at the Hilton Hotel where I was offered to work for four days.
"While I was there I tasted a cappuccino for the very first time in my life and that is when my love for coffee began." Since most black South Africans were only exposed to cheap instant coffee, he says, he decided to learn more about the different types of coffee available.
"I followed what I love, pursued a dream and learnt how to make coffee until I obtained an International Barista skill certificate. After extensive experience I decided to register my own coffee company in 2012 and began trading that same year. All I wanted was to own something that I love doing in life”, he said.
He was trained by Roberto Monterrage for free and thanks to working at different coffee shops, it prepared Magubane to be able to run his own coffee company and later, his own coffee shop, Barista Love in Northview Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.
"Where I was an employee, there were a lot of imitations in relation to introducing my fresh ideas and one day I just decided to open my own business."
His signature coffee blend? "I t is our dark roast coffee blend with a hint of chocolate taste profile. It is well balanced on the palate allowing to appreciate pure artisan coffee and is mellow and smooth. I source my coffee beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala and Brazil”, said Magubane.
Looking at the latest coffee trends Magubane said: “The latest trends are; coffee in a can that you shake for a few minutes and it gets hot; cold brew is also a hot trend, particular in South Africa but has been in Europe forever.
"The café latte trends have been upgraded to drawing faces on the cup and the butterfly latte art is a tradition of free pouring style. These trends will last long and filter coffee will continue to be an entry level for the next two years for new coffee lovers and for art”.
Sihle’s Brew beans are available at the selected Food Lovers Market, Chilli on Top and some Spars.
“I believe the more support from buyers on the different retail stores and easing up the trading terms and listing fees, we can turn our economy around as small and medium businesses. We all need to begin to support our own South African products."