south african coffee culture


New member
Feb 8, 2005
South Africa
now, without being too nasty. south africans have sooo much to learn about coffee its scary!
now, i have a large setup at the moment. its a restuarant and bar. but ive been involved in the coffee industry for just over 3 years now, and i have managed to add the roastery to the establishment, and its been more than successfull. what does get to me (and this incident happened less than 2 hours ago) is a young couple that came and sat down outside, and it was just a bit chilli this morning and they took the coffee menu and randomly chose 2 single espressos (i think its becuase its the cheapest on the menu). i made it, sent it out and the cocky little boy came inside and started throwing tantrums about how shit the coffee is because its so small, and its so strong and theres no milk in it and how is he suppose to drink it, and why do i give him a glass of water with it instead of a mini milk jug, after which he asked me where he can go to find a decent cup of coffee.
now, if there are any south africans on this forum. PLEASE, take a read through this site, you will spare yourself the embarresment when commenting on coffee and also, you will make life for people such as myself alot more pleasant.
PLEASE, DO NOT compare speciality coffee to WIMPY COFFEE (a fast food chain in south africa who specialize in take aways and breakfasts)
DO NOT, call speciality coffee "MOER KOFFIE"
and DO NOT make up names or try and use the wimpy names to order coffee at an independant espresso bar or coffee shop.
not only does it tick off the barista, it just shows that people heard the name CREAM-O-CINO somewhere, and they reckon its just got to be something good becuase its not a word you use everyday!
i have mentioned on a previous post (instant cappucino) what a definition of a coffee shop in south africa was all about, but for those of you who didnt here it goes again.
this happens in a lot of small towns, bored housewives come up with the idea that she would be able to open a coffee shop. so what does she do?
she goes to a department store, buys a perculator on a sale and then pushes realy cheap rubbish coffee through it, tops it with whipped cream from a tin and calls it a cappucino. and dont you dare try and teach them otherwise. you are wasting your time. ive even had the misfortune of ordering a regular coffee from a restaurant, and getting a cup of black, instant napalm resembling fluids which they claim to be coffee.
honestly people! you are not helping the south african situation at all!

on the other hand, there are a few franchised speciality coffee bars that have popped up over the last couple of years, and i have to congratulate and thank those of you who are responsible for it. the fact that you were able to last this long without bursting a main artiry and stabbing people in the face with the blunt end of a wooden spoon is nothing less than amazing! whenever im away from town i stock my system with a few shots until i reach the other side or see at least one of the more decent places (i wont mention names but you know exactly who you are).

please people, make sure of your facts before you start critisizing!
its a pain for us. your ignorant comments wont change the taste of the coffee, espresso will be made in the same way tomoro as it was today, and unless you have a recipe for the made up names, keep them to yourself.

thanks to all

a very numb feeling little coffee :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
Jan 18, 2008
Well, it's good to know that customers are difficult in other parts of the world, and not just where I am.

Maybe this post by Cindy explains why the "positives of owning your own store" post won't get much attention, versus the "negatives of owning your own store", which received an overwhelming 45 replies and has been viewed over 16,000 times to date.

It is sad that a single customer could ruin your entire day, even if you've had 100 positive experiences with other customers that day. I've experienced this myself, here in the US. That one nasty customer could haunt me for the rest of the day and even into the night.

Anyway Cindy, you're not alone and your post did not fall on deaf ears. We feel your pain. :wink:


New member
Feb 8, 2005
South Africa
thanks for the reply.
i suppose its good (or bad) to know that its not just around here that people are difficult with coffee.

any other stories on difficult customers?
i suppose some of the stories are fairly funny if you sit back and just observe.

ive even had people moan when there is no latte art on the coffee.
i make a point of it to always put at least a rosetta on it, but when im not behind the counter or if its realy busy, there isnt always time.
im sure lots of you can add to some of the orders and customer expectations.