A Visit to Beaver Creek Coffee Estate – South Africa
The rich aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans permeates the cool early morning air, and awakens my taste buds, leaving me to swallow back the saliva in anticipation of my first sip of coffee. It is a smell that brings a wide smile to my face and that of the five other amateur coffee lovers in the Barista Course offered by Beaver Creek farm, a short distance inland from Port Edward on the KwaZulu Natal coast of South Africa.
Said to be the most southern coffee estate in the world, and one of only two coffee farms in South Africa, it was bought in 1984 by Ed Cumming. Its conversion from a banana to a coffee farm started in 1986, and the original four coffee trees have, since then, multiplied to an impressive 60,000.
Dylan, our host for the morning, is charming in a down-to-earth way, and swiftly takes us through different brewing methods and tools, patiently answering all the questions being thrown at him. We taste each brew, whilst discussing its merits and our preferences with a mounting caffeine induced enthusiasm. We debate the influence of the different variables that make a cup of coffee unique, and vouch to experiment with these to brew the perfect cup at home. After two hours of coffee indulgence, we join the their daily ‘crop to cup’ tour that starts at 12 noon each day for a closer look at where the coffee we have so thirstily consumed comes from.
Beaver Creek is still a family-owned business with three generations earning their living from it. Picking and harvesting is done by varietal in a quest for making their coffee distinct from the rest, and apart from selling their own single origin coffee, they also import, roast and sell single estate coffees from other parts of the world.
Visited: November 2015
- GPS co-ordinates: S31⁰ 02′ 42″ E 30⁰ 10′ 57″
- Brown tourist signs will help you find the estate easily.
- The restaurant is open every day, except for Christmas day, from 8am – 4pm, where coffee and light meals are served.
- To order directly from them, visit their website.
- Whilst my husband prefers the intense flavour of an espresso, I prefer my coffee to be lighter and less bitter, and we both marvelled at how the exact same variety can acquire a completely different flavour and body depending on how it is brewed.