&Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique works with Baseline Coffee, a progressive coffee roastery settled in Woodstock. We spoke with Deon Kleinhans, MD and founder of Baseline Coffee, and asked him about the coffee culture in Cape Town and the story of Baseline Coffee
First of all, can you tell me a brief history about how Baseline Coffee came about? ‘Baseline Coffee was founded in 2008, but under a different name, Kupa Coffee. Kupa is a Swahili word meaning “to give”, and our brand was developed to not only make coffee, but also to give back to the community and support great local initiatives. Unfortunately, we found out there was another international brand with the same name, so rebranded as Baseline Coffee in 2013.’ We love that you try and give back, what are the initiatives that you support? “At the moment we donate to the Common Good Foundation, a Non Profit Organisation serving the greater City of Cape Town. We are also in talks with various other foundations as we continue to look at how we can give back to our immediate & wider community.” Where is Baseline based? ‘In the beginning of this year, we moved our coffee roastery from Paardeneiland to Woodstock, and opened an espresso bar. We roast our signature brands here and experiment with new flavours that we try out on the public, but our main focus still lies on the wholesale of our coffee and supplying local businesses like you guys.
Tell us about your signature brands? ‘We primarily sell our Signature Series Espresso Beans, 100% Arabica Filter and our Single Origin Organic & Decaf Beans. These beans all have distinct flavours, ranging from full-bodied chocolate & nuts, to fruity, to hints of caramel and citrus. We’re also always experimenting with other smaller-batch beans and roasts, and these limited edition roasts are typically sold in-store in smaller quantities. There are so many good coffee brands in Cape Town, in what way does Baseline Coffee stand out from the crowd? ‘We try not to compare ourselves with other brands in Cape Town, as coffee is more about personal taste than anything else. One of the things we love about what we do is the interactive side – getting to know the people we partner with (our wholesale clients) and our customers who spend time with us in our Woodstock Espresso Bar every day. We strive to keep a direct hand in all that goes on in the business, and to keep learning from the more developed markets such as Australia & Europe – they have so much to teach us about coffee.’ What do you think, is the biggest thing that Capetonians need to learn about their coffee culture? ‘Trends will come and go, so be open to trying new ways of brewing & drinking your coffee, but remember that it really comes down to personal preference. Don’t be afraid to play with your food coffee.’ Lastly, how do you like your coffee in the morning? ‘My day starts really early, with our Espresso Bar opening at 7am, so I have my first cup of coffee at work. I need two 3-4 flat whites in my system before I am able to talk in full sentences.’
Inspired by this great coffee story? Try out Baseline Coffee at &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique and tell us what you think.
Because bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people…