Honest Visits Trump & Timbal Coffee Roasters

Trump & Timbal Coffee Roasters is a speciality coffee roastery in Cape Town owned by Richard Katz, our incredibly fun and passionate coffee supplier.  We got the chance to visit his roastery earlier this week and chat with him about all things coffee, and particularly the roasting and blending of his Honest Chocolate Cafe Blend, designed especially for our cafe.

Trump & Timbal is old English for Trumpet & Drum.  The name was inspired by The Age of Enlightenment, when philosophy, art and science found a united voice in the newly established coffee houses of the time. In England they used to call the coffee shops Penny Universities!  In fact some historians believe coffee actually sparked the Age of Enlightenment.  Of course, Richard also lives in the present! In fact, he draws a great deal of inspiration from the pioneer roasters of today, whose methods have made it possible to find that sweet spot (literally) where origin character meets balance and deliciousness!

Michael & Anthony first approached Richard to roast for them a few years ago on the eve of opening their new Honest Chocolate Cafe in Wale Street:

“At the time this was the ultimate opportunity for me.  I had just left my market research company to start a new life.  And even though I had been roasting coffee for many years, this was a new beginning, it was starting over – and that is never easy. I remember they tried a few coffees from other roasters, and when they went with mine, it really felt like one of the seminal moments of my life.  I was so proud to be associated with them. There is also this great synergy between us in terms of principles. We are both strongly committed to ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility. I also really admired them for giving someone small like me a chance to shine. That has been an inspiration for me too.  Without them I would not be where I am today.”  

Richard got to work designing a proprietary blend for the cafe – something that celebrated chocolate, and so, the Honest Chocolate Cafe blend was born!  The blending philosophy follows the Italian espresso tradition while using more modern roasting principles.  

“It is no longer necessary to roast espresso dark to create a soft, sweet and richly aromatic coffee.”

What’s in the blend? It’s an Italian classic. The base essence of the blend comprises a natural estate coffee from the Cerrado region in Brazil and a superfine washed heirloom robusta from Uganda.

“For me, good robusta is like the viola in the orchestra. When it’s there you barely notice it, but when it’s gone, it just feels like something is missing.”

Richard is passionate about robusta. “There is a lot of bad, rubbery, bitter robusta out there, but there is also great, premium robusta that brings something very special to an espresso blend. Robusta is soft yet full bodied, so it’s great for espresso; but, most of all, it produces amazing, long-lasting crema and great intensity in milk.  Of course it’s a matter of taste, but I personally love it. I believe that as people, when we do what we love, and as roasters when we roast what we love, we do what we do well.”

 The two highlight coffees in the blend are Rainforest Alliance certified beans from Colombia and Guatemala. They were chosen for their rich chocolate character and also their zippy acidity that gives the blend great balance.  

Richard roasts to order, which means that the next time you have a coffee at the cafe, you’ll know that it was roasted that week.  It’s also for sale at the cafe if you feel like taking the experience home. 

If you’d like to know more about Richard’s coffee, you can take a look at his company Urban Delicious (which has the best website ever, by the way!), where you’ll also find a range of artisan inspired fare from suburban garden honey to sprouted organic wheat flour.

We’re so happy that he’s a part of the team!

Images courtesy of: Cassidy Nydahl & Rubert Fitchet

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