Stirring the dream with township coffee

The FNB Creative Coffee Week was established to recognise excellence within the local coffee industry while seeking innovative ways to grow and reach new members. In 2019, this was achieved by expanding the coffee footprint and promoting career opportunities in KwaMashu, a dynamic township community located in the Durban area.
 
Talks and tasting sessions were held at The Flava Club. In attendance were Philisile Mdabe – Head Barista Trainer at Ciro Beverage Solutions – and Johnson Sehoro – former gardener turned coffee champion and business owner.
 
Located in a container at a busy KwaMashu taxi rank, Flava Club is owned and run by the enigmatic Jabuh Mbhele. 
 
“It is great to have people from FNB, Innovate Durban and Creative Coffee Week come to see what we are doing with coffee in the township,” commented Mbele. “We need support from business, we need people to teach us about running our shops and we need inspiration from people like Philisile Mdabe and Johnson Sehoro.
 
Sehoro, who has been working in the coffee industry for 15 years, said: “You have to work hard and be ready to learn all about this wonderful bean. There are so many opportunities, and the big growth in coffee will come from the townships. These are the business owners of the future if we can reach them and inspire them.”
 
After enjoying coffees at Flava Club, Sehoro and Mdabe shared their personal stories with the audience about life in the township and making careers out of coffee.
 
Mdabe then led a short training session on the initial steps to becoming a barista, explaining how to extract espresso shots, steam milk and pour a few basic cappuccinos, cortados and lattes.

Along with the coffee professionals, local FNB representatives provided insight into starting businesses and what they can offer to help and Innovate Durban provided insight into what they can offer to Durban entrepreneurs with fresh ideas.