Creative Coffee Week 2023 – By Nicole Terblanche

Creative Coffee Week was the highlight of the year for me. It generally is, even though I haven’t been there in the flesh since 2019. I drank copious amounts of coffee, white hot chocolate, not enough water, a few cups of gelato (yes, the real Italian one) and ate very little veggies. It was a mischievous time for me, time to play and learn and mingle, which is what I do best. Coffee truly is community.

It is all about community

Creative Coffee Week reminds me of an inter-faith conference. You have all your different religions gathered in one place – you have the gurus and the masters, the lay people, and the servers. The gurus do the talking and teaching, the masters talk about the equipment and the lay people bounce from station to station, looking for the best coffee to drink. Once they have found that station, they will be back every day and will struggle to drink anything else. The servers draw people to their stations and sell whatever they can. We all believe in different things, but we have one thing that brings us together, and we make it work so well… coffee! I always try to draw from everyone, even the ones I don’t necessarily know or agree with, and I keep an open mind. The content is incredible – we have such a huge amount of knowledge in the industry, and it’s great when we all get together and play. I have yet to see some of the franchises pull in and hang with us, but then, imagine there’s no heaven – it’s easy if you try!

My highlights

For me, the most moving talk was by Erika Koss. Erika’s research centres on the need for sustainability, resilience, and gender equity in the global coffee sector, particularly in East Africa. Her research focuses on colonialism; global governance; climate resilience; and the need for gender justice in agriculture in general and coffee in particular. She made me think about how many hands had been instrumental in making the cup of coffee I was holding in my hand, from farm to cup. Not only how many hands, but how man women’s hands. She also read poetry as a beginning, and that to me was more beautiful than anything anyone could have said.

David from Truth coffee did a similar thing – in fact, the way he speaks is like a rap song – he spoke about marketing and the art of deep brand (or marketing for dummies). What I love about this guy is his up-front honesty. He does not beat around the coffee bush, and he really challenged me in terms of how I will be marketing our project Sacred Space around the city.

I also might have accidentally fallen in love with the new Eversys Legacy coffee machine. Froths the milk better than I can 😊

Thanks and summary

What benefit is CCW to us as a community? It makes us all love each other again. It teaches us to play and respect and not push anybody off the jungle gym. I like that. And I love these coffee people.

Thanks, Mel and Iain for a jol of a week.


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