April 19, 2010

Coffee in Port Elizabeth.

As you know, I am a lover of coffee. A big lover. Almost as big as Rob used to be, before he shed the kilo’s and changed his life on Way of the Warrior.

There are a couple of things Port Elizabeth does well.

1. Host Ironman – sterling job done by Triangle Sports.
2. French Crepes – post race Nutella/Banana/Coconut/Peanut Butter crepes in the Boardwalk are legendary.

One of the things it does very poorly, in my opinion, is coffee.

I was so concerned about this, I actually went out and did something about it. Whilst being hosted so nicely by James I thought it would only be orderly if I was able to make the best coffee for morning consumption. This means unburnt, Ethiopias best, with steamed milk, not Mugg-and-Bean froth so big it looks like a Lady Gaga hairdo.

So I went out and got a Bialetti gift set. Looks like so…


Frother. Check. Coffee pot. Check. Next was the beans. Oh the beans. The flavors, the aroma, the taste of a fresh espresso on the back of the throat as it warms your soul. I wanted the best beans.

We are spoilt in Cape Town with coffee. Deluxe, Truth, Espresso Works are all here. I love all their coffee, but I wanted to try something different. I called on the head coffee snob, herd bull and otherwise known as my Dad. He has a habit of sniffing out these tiny little artisans who make fantastic product.

Dad: “Oojah.”

Son: “Kom weer?”

Dad: “Oojah.”

The conversation was going nowhere. I asked for a contact, and it came. I had a bit of a conversation with Louis from Oojah about why I should be buying coffee from him. Turns out they fresh roast it as you need it after having a mule cart it down through Africa to remain carbon neutral.

True story.


Oojah get only the best beans from only the best suppliers in the world. Louis was passionate and knew more about coffee beans than I know about, well… I should really pick up new skills after Ironman. Can’t seem to think of any right now.

So I ordered some beans to try, to combine with my Bialetti obsession. I was so excited that I made the first cup straight away, ignoring the fact that it was far too late in the day for more caffeine.

My Harrar was smooth and laced with a trace of chocolate. Ethiopian Harrar coffee beans are grown on small farms in the eastern part of the country. They are dry-processed and are labeled as longberry (large), shortberry (smaller), or Mocha (peaberry). Ethiopian Harrar coffee can have a strong dry edge, winy to fruit like acidity, rich aroma, and a heavy body. In the best Harrar coffees, one can observe an intense aroma of blueberries or blackberries. Ethiopian Harrar coffee is often used in espresso blends to capture the fine aromatics in the crema.

After the espresso I made one into a Flat White and that was magic. I didn’t have any of the tell-tale signs of caffeine overdose later and that dry, burnt taste (that is now commonplace in my ex favorite chain of coffee stores) was just not there. Fantastic.

I have no affiliation to Oojah, at all. I just think their product rocks, and its going to make my trip to PE this week that much easier. If you wanted to speak to them, they have a website, at and just click the contact page for some details.

So take that Port Elizabeth. Your lack of great coffee has been abolished. I urge all Ironman athletes to make sure they take their own coffee with them. Life is too short for bad coffee.

4 Comments on “Coffee in Port Elizabeth.

April 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Have you tried Mastertons in Central? Think they might change your opinion about PE coffee. Also Vovo Telo is really good.

Urban Ninja
April 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I will look them up when I get there.

April 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

Kudos for vovo telo here too, apparantly their baristas are awesome and they are in the process of moving over to a boutique roaster, so the coffee tastes even better!

David Donde
September 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

To make a perfect Moka pot FYI:
Mocha Pot Stovetop or Bialetti etc:
Use Boiling water to the level of the mark or valve, this reduces extraction time, preserving the flavour of the coffee.
Use freshly espresso ground coffee
Over-Fill the holder with coffee until a cone forms above the basket
Tamp down gently until coffee is level with basket
Close tightly
Put it on the stove immediately.
Do not allow the coffee to ”burp”. Control the heat for gentle extraction.
Remove from the heat and pour immediately upon completion
Expect some crema…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.