Coffefe Roastery: Take that, Corona!

By Renate Engelbrecht

Fri, Oct 16

They say that the proof is in the pudding. I say the proof is in the coffee and Cofeffe Roastery can attest to that. If you’re looking for a feelgood story of people who took the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown and turned it into something positive, this is it.

The ability to adapt and make plans have never been so important as in these trying times. COVID-19 has caused a lot of havoc around the world and it was the main reason for many small establishments and one-man businesses closing their doors. For many, like for Larry Hodes and Marco Da Silva, it meant change and, in this case, it was clearly a change for the better.

What had previously been a client-supplier relationship has now become a partnership and an inspiring one at that. Larry and Marco saw an opportunity amidst the chaos of Corona and from their combined love and appreciation for good coffee, the Coffefe Roastery was born. Located within the Gourmet Grocer at Voodoo Lily in Birdhaven, this roastery and coffee shop has already become a favourite among locals, serving a Birdhaven Blend (now the house blend) that was developed with the involvement of the local community.

Did you know?

On 31 May 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump used the word Covfefe in a tweet that instantly went viral. His tweet read: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” and many media outlets presumed that it was a misspelling of the word ‘coverage’. Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary said that he thought that the president and a small group of people knew exactly what the president had meant. President Trump also said that the wording of the tweet was intentional, but he deleted the tweet six hours later.

The name Coffefe

The name Coffefe has nothing to do with U.S. President Trump or his viral tweet, other than the fact that it sounds the same and that the roastery wants to come across as “a little bit in your face; a little bit unapologetic.”

“We’re not snooty or trying to be coffee snobs or hipsters. We just want to appreciate great coffee. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about it or if you know lots about it. People can come in and learn about what coffee is,” says Marco.

Coffee tastings

Coffefe has been doing coffee tastings every now and again and they invite people to experience with different blends and find what they like. Coffefe adopted an approach where they came up with six different blends and during the first couple of weeks they asked customers to tell them what their favourite blends were by filling out a form. The blends covered various flavour profiles, including African flavours (very fruity and acidic), darker roasts (less acidity and more chocolate) and more. From this feedback, the Birdhaven Blend was born.

During my visit at Coffefe, I tasted a 50/50 blend of coffee beans from Guatemala and Ethiopia. Elements of milk chocolate, nuts and lemon tart were evident and I absolutely loved it.

Larry says: “Coffee can become complex if you make it, but for 90% of us…” Yup, most of us just want to enjoy it. Marco adds that they don’t want people to feel that coffee is an unapproachable product. “We want people to drink more better-quality coffee at home.”

Buy coffee for home

Coffefe roasts and grinds their coffees at the shop and you get to buy brilliantly fresh coffee right here. It comes in recyclable tins and you can reuse the tins if you’d like to come and refill.

What to expect

You will soon be able to buy some additional coffee items like French presses, mocha pots and more at Coffefe Roastery. Also keep an eye on their social media channels for upcoming, unapologetic coffee tastings.

Coffefe is located in the Gourmet Grocer at Voodoo Lily in Birdhaven, Johannesburg, a grocer that was literally conceptualised and launched within 24 hours. Here you can find all kinds of locally produced, healthy and often eco-friendly products.

Contact the Gourmet Grocer here: 011 442 6965




  1. Arbour Café | Suitcase and Chardonnay - […] READ ALL ABOUT COFFEFE HERE […]

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