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Barista’s joint coffee venture draws many

If you’ve recently travelled on the R44 between Wellington and Hermon you may have noticed a little coffee van just off the side of the road.

Each morning from 07:00 Caoyt Zharare is at his post, ready to serve travelling motorists with a freshly brewed cup of coffee passionately made from the finest of beans.

Born in Zimbabwe, he used to work as a trainer at Vida E Café’s head office.

One day Zharare received a call from Wessel de Wet, who approached him with an offer to run a coffee van in Table View, Cape Town under the auspices of Morale Coffee to Go.

He had heard of Zharare through the grapevine, and the two embarked on a joint venture.

Shortly before lockdown, the regular spot in Table View became much quieter, to the point where Zharare sold only 20 cups of coffee a day.

They knew it would not be profitable to continue standing there once they were allowed to sell coffee again.

So De Wet, living close to Hermon, on a drive home recently came up with the idea to move the coffee van to its current location.

“I wasn’t convinced because I didn’t know the area and wasn’t sure how busy the road would be, but we’ve come a long way and I trust him,” says Zharare.

“We went and spoke with the owner of the farm, who graciously agreed we could use this piece of his property rent-free.”

They also switched to a new blend of beans and decided to use beans from local roasters, Beans about Coffee, in the nearby town of Riebeek-Kasteel.

Zharare said relocating has proven to be the best decision they could have made seeing as he is busier than ever.

In the month he has been there, since the start of August, he has been selling 150 to 170 cups of coffee on a normal weekday, and between 250 and 300 over weekends.

Zharare has also built up a regular customer base of more than 25, who stop to get their coffee fix every day.

Those living on neighbouring farms have also popped in to show their support.

“The customers have become family; they are very friendly to me,” Zharare said.

He thinks the reason the support has been so great is that it is a new idea and provides a different experience.

“It is also a nice view and gives people the chance to breath some fresh air while enjoying a good cup of coffee. It’s like a coffee shop situated in the middle of nowhere.”

And his customers won’t have to worry that he won’t be there. Zharare says come rain or sunshine he will be there, ready to serve coffee lovers with their choice of java.

His secret to the perfect cup of coffee?

“It lies in the way you froth the milk. The milk has a sweet spot and if you pass that sweet spot, the coffee becomes bitter.”

“Furthermore,” Zharare says, “it is important to clean the machine regularly and use a good bean,” both things he prides himself in.

With summer approaching customers can also look forward to a new menu, which will include a variety of iced coffees and smoothies.

Morale Coffee to Go is also available for hire at events.

“It’s funny, that used to be our focus and now that we are here full-time, that has become something else we do.”

For more information, contact them at 074 744 4120.

Stop by Morale Coffee to Go weekdays from 07:00 to 16:00 and weekends from 07:00 to 17:00. The coffee van is just off the R44 on the right about 10 km before Hermon driving from Wellington.

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