April 2, 2016
Until just a few years ago, I didn’t drink coffee. I always drank a lot of Coca-Cola. Then someone (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) got me hooked on coffee. Although to be honest, I still knew nothing about it. I had no idea what a macchiato was versus a latte, or what made one coffee good and another less so. I knew about as much about coffee as I do about wine: in other words, nothing. I knew what I liked but that’s about it.
So when I found this coffee shop in Cape Town called Truth Coffee, and saw that it had a Steampunk theme, and read that it had been named the Wold’s Coolest Coffee Shop by the UK Telegraph, I decided to put it on my list of places I wanted to visit while in town. Then I discovered on their website that they offered barista courses as well as a half-day “Coffee Appreciation” course that would help me understand coffee. So I signed up.
The instructor for the course is a fascinating guy in his own right. José Vilandy was kidnapped at 11 years old and forced to become a child soldier in his native Angola. Several years later, he escaped, and eventually made his way through refugee camps to South Africa, where he went to college and earned a civil engineering degree. Not long after that, he discovered that he had an interest and a love for coffee that he could pursue as an occupation. In 2008 he won the National Barista Championship in South Africa.
I had a great time in this course learning about different coffee types, “cupping”, grinding, brewing, and using a commercial espresso mahine. I’m certainly no barista now, but I have a much greater appreciation for what I am ordering and how it’s made, and when it’s done right. They ought to franchise this place. It is way more interesting than Starbucks.
As I was leaving Truth, I happened to spot a guy riding up on a brand new Honda Africa Twin.
He was headed to Truth, but was unaware of their closure due to water problems. I spent a few minutes checking out his bike and talking about my trip with him. The Honda was nice and narrow (although it looked tall), and looked like a good size for a 1000cc adventure bike, though still much more bike than I’d want or need to take on this trip solo. I have to admit though, for a large motorcycle, they definitely got some things right, like the 21 inch front wheel, the narrow tank/seat junction, and what appears to be a good center of gravity. It’s definitely a nice looking package.
Then, on the way home, I stopped at a McDonald’s (yeah, yeah, I know…) and I spotted this: