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Posted on: Monday, 5 May 2014

Where to get your cup of sustainable coffee in South Africa

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There are few of us who can face a day without that initial cup to get us going. Coffee is big business as a result.

But if you, like me, prefer to marry your love of the bean with the knowledge that your cuppa is not only farmed in a way that maintains the ecology but also means that the small-scale coffee farmer is given a fair price for his beans, then there are a number of rather hip Fairtrade certified coffee roasteries on the market in South Africa you might want to try…


Picking coffee beans


In South Africa 120 tons of coffee beans were sold in 2012, up 160% from 2011; 85% of this was Fairtrade and organic. By comparison the rest of the world bought only 45% of their 68 000 tons as Fairtrade and organic. There are over 580 000 Fairtrade certified, small-scale coffee farmers in the world.

Fairtrade is on the shelves of local supermarkets, but is not as in demand as it is in the hospitality industry, so you are more likely to drink it at your local coffee café, often without even knowing it.

And is it more expensive? According to Fairtrade SA the premium is not as high as one would imagine; in 2012 it was only 70c or so for a 250g bag. Whilst that price is no doubt higher today, relatively it is not a lot to pay to ease one’s conscience.

Coffee with a conscience – where to get your cup of sustainable coffee in South Africa …


Coffee with a conscience


Bean There – single origin, unblended African coffee beans from one country and region; directly sourced from the farmers and roasted in small batches.

Where: Pick n Pay, Spar, Wellness Warehouse and online – beanthere.co.za

Ciro Coffee – aimed at corporate buyers (not on the shelves of your local), Ciro is not a new brand to South Africans; their Fairtrade coffee beans are sold by the kilogram.

Where: all Protea Hotels

Fabino Coffee – certified organic and Fairtrade this is a series of Arabica beans and ground coffee from Central and South America available only in Cape Town.

Where: selected Spar stores; Continental Deli, Camps Bay; Giovanni’s, Green Point; Oakhurst Farmstall, Kenilworth; Organic Living, Constantia Village; Organic Zone, Lakeside

Motherland Coffee – create coffees blended from 100% Arabica beans sourced from Ethiopian, Sidamo and Rwanda Kivu beans.

Where: Motherland Coffee Company Coffee Houses in Jo’burg (Rosebank Mall) and Cape Town CBD

Puro Coffee – is Miko Coffee’s Fairtrade and organic range, the only Fairtrade coffee that works with the World Land Trust, saving over 2778 hectares so far.

Where: contact the branches directly (on mikoafrica.co.za), they sell mainly to the hospitality industry, but are working both on an online store and on getting Puro coffee on shelves in supermarkets

Terbodore Fairtrade Coffee – a 100% Arabica Tanzanian bean is Terbodore’s Fairtrade coffee; they also produce an organic coffee.

Where: some Pick n Pay stores

Woolworths Espresso Range & Instant Coffee Range – the Espresso is provided as beans, ground and decaf, whilst the instant coffee range is a South American blend or Papua New Guinea Single Origin coffee.

Where: Woolworthes stores nationwide


Sustainable Coffee



Annica’s Deli, The Michelangelo Towers Mall, Sandton – go simply to see the designer cakes! Book for high tea, if you can.

Chocola.j, Northcliff Galleries – Chocola.j is the Mayan word for ‘we drink chocolate together’, an amazing chocolate experience; drink your coffee from a handleless cup, presented on a wooden board.

DoubleShot, corner of Juta and Melle Street, Braamfontein – High Tea every afternoon is an experience; CNN recently filmed a clip in the shop for a feature on Fairtrade African coffee.

French Corner Bakery & Deli, Cramerview Village Shopping Centre, Bryanston – serves and sells Bean There coffee.

Nice on 4th, Parkhurst – try their breakfast cups (known as ‘egg baskets’), and make time to browse their independent book store.

Not Bread Alone, Rivonia Road, Sandton – for out of this world pies and pastries, milk tart, cup cakes and fresh bread.


Bolo Bolo anarchist infoshop and coffee house, Observatory – this alternative space serves 100% vegan baked goods, coffees, teas and drinks.

Hout Bay Backpackers – great 28 bed backpacker spot, 20 metres from the beach.

Kirstenbosch Tea Room & Moyo, Kirstenbosch – one of Cape Town’s tourist meccas, both the tea room and the restaurant serve Fairtrade coffee.

Motherland Coffee, cnr of Wale Street and St Georges Mall – try the Motha Cuppa and avo sandwich on rye, free WiFi and great atmosphere.

The Blend, 79 Roeland Street, Cape Town Central – good homemade food, cozy atmosphere; the kind of place you simply ‘pop’ in for coffee and a chat.

Wellness Café, Gardens – find this within the Wellness Warehouse; drink your cuppa and pick up your coffee beans and organic wine on the way out.


Sustainable Coffee


Wanda Coustas


Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.

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