Two weeks ago, fellow Blogger Keeping Your Sanity and I headed over to the Coffee and Chocolate Expo in Cape Town. Upon receiving the invitation to attend the Expo, I wasted no time in telling the 30 Something Dad that he would be babysitting on that day so that I could go and explore the very best Coffee and Chocolate that Cape Town had to offer.
The first impressive stand of the day was A Thyme to Dine’s. If you don’t yet know, A Thyme to Dine is owned by Dylan Jonsson (Chef) and was launched in 2008. Dylan’s love for chocolate transformed his career as he began to discover delicious ways of manipulating and incorporating chocolate into diverse dishes beyond that of desserts. Apart from cooking for Sir Richard Branson, Dylan has been a Contestant and Guest on local TV Programs: Chopped South Africa and Kasi’s Kitchen. Essentially, he knows his stuff!
I had had the pleasure of sampling some of Dylan’s catering in Johannesburg the month before and knew that his specialty products include:
Chocolate Balsamic Reductions | Chocolate Smudge (think of it as indulgent Chocolate Spread that is healthy) | Gourmet Hot Chocolates | Chocolate Brownies
Did I expect Chocolate taste explosions from Dylan’s stand? Yes. Did I expect Coffee Stout? No.
Wait, what? Coffee Stout! Yes, you read that correctly.
For me, this was my winning find at the Expo: A Thyme to Dine’s Coffee Stout. I mean come on! Coffee and Beer are two of my favourite things and Dylan has somehow managed to combine the two in such a manner that it felt like I was drinking heaven. Better yet, I found out that Dylan is expanding his product reach Nationally and will be available in Cape Town soon! Knowing that his decadent, ethically created, preservative and additive free products will be available on my side of South Africa soon was music to my ears as I know that my two youngins are going to love having the Smudge as lunchbox treats!
After a quick walk around the first half of the Expo, Taryn and I decided to attack a Tail Gate Burger, and, with the remainders of my second Coffee Stout we sat listening to some live music. I must just commend the organizers of the Expo at this point: I could tell that every effort had been made to ensure that the Expo was 100% kiddie friendly and judging by the amount of Mom’s and Dad’s pushing prams around, they succeeded. (Maybe that’s because Parents need coffee the most?)
With our stomachs satisfied, we took a stroll through the second half of the Expo, where we found interesting offerings like: a dedicated Macaroon Stand; a Vintage Car display that housed a Coffee Percolator in the engine, To-Die-For Chocolate Fudge and the smallest doughnut in the world .
I’ll admit that at one point I felt rather overwhelmed with the rich coffee and chocolate aroma’s but Taryn quickly reminded me that we were still on the hunt for the eat-as-much-as-you-can Chocolate Fountain and I promptly snapped back into reality.
While browsing the second half of the expo, we kept hearing whisperings of:
“Black Insomnia… Black Nitro… World’s Strongest Coffee!“
Well, let me just tell you that I WAS NOT PREPARED for the awesomeness that awaited us at the Black Insomnia Coffee Stand. It was so unbelievably epic that Taryn and I decided to hang around and chat to the Owner, Sean Kristafor, and his team, because I needed to know everything there was to know about this funky Brand that immediately captured my senses.
What we found out was that Black Insomnia is the strongest coffee in the world. Seriously. Lab Tests and the like have proven it. What we also discovered was the Black Nitro Shot. What is a Black Nitro Shot you ask? It’s cold-brew coffee infused with Nitrogen Gas delivered to your glass from a Keg. Essentially: cold Coffee on Tap.
It’s ice cold, smooth (almost ale’y) and delivers an instant kick of caffeine. After chatting to Sean for a few minutes it became evident that he has his eyes set on the global market and is about to become a game changer in the South African Coffee Industry. His out-of-the-box-dare-to-be-different approach is one that I respect as a fellow entrepreneur and watching his merchandise and apparel fly off his expo shelves proved just that.
All in all, it was a good day out and about exploring Capetonian Entrepreneurial offerings and I think the only regret I have about the day was not watching Taryn spin around in the big plastic human hamster balls that were available 😉