The Brew Dog Blog
How I Fell In Love With Coffee
Issue No. 8, by Ethan Cullingworth
Growing up in South Africa, the beach was about fifteen minutes from where I lived. The ocean was a big part of my life.
I did lifesaving for years, and was an avid bodyboarder and surfer. I would go to the beach when going for runs, hanging out with friends, or just bopping down for ice cream; all or one of these activities was a weekly affair most of the time.
And, it was a certain ocean habit of mine that lead to my falling in love with coffee.
Early Morning’s Need…
My brother and I had a very close friend growing up, Matthew, at who’s house we basically lived. We were there at least one night of the week, sometimes for several in a row. All of us were homeschooled, which made this feat possible.
Matthew introduced us to surfing. Aidan and I had done much bodyboarding and knee boarding, but did not have access to a surfboard or the money to buy one. Matt, however, had several boards he was more than happy to lend us.
Aidan and I would go over to Matthew’s house after we had finished school and stay up all night after cruising around on longboards all day, playing Call of Duty Zombies, then proceed to get up after about two hours of sleep to go surf a ‘dawnie’, which is a surf session that takes place a bit before or at dawn.
We would surf for a couple hours with Matthew and his dad, then send off the wetsuits and boards with his dad as he went to work. We would then take our longboards on the My City bus downtown and skate around, coffee shop hopping at some of the world’s finest cafés.
…A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee
And when I say worlds finest, I’m not exaggerating. Other than living in the continent coffee originated and the quality that brings, a local coffee shop I went to, Truth Café, at the time, was voted the worlds best café. I didn’t go too often, the line to get in was very long.
Besides, there were other café’s I personally liked more, like Origin and Rosetta. Just two of the numerous café's worth many visits.
I recall Rosetta claiming the award for South Africa’s number one coffee roastery at least once; the coffee there is simply incredible no matter the offering.
Origin is a warm, beautiful place to be, with the gentle scent of baked goods exiting out the front over the heads of the customers with some of Cape Town’s finest tea and coffee available.
These moments of friendship, freedom, and the warm, gentle buzz of caffeine shaped many of my teenage years.
Dregs and All...
To bring it all around, having access to some of the best coffee out there, tied to a ritual I loved dearly, surrounded by the gloriously vibrant people and culture of South Africa cemented my love for the beverage coffee.
The memories and experiences I have had in my past, I continue to cultivate and manifest in the present moment. My love for coffee encompasses not just the drink itself, or the caffeine that gets me through my day. It involves community, spontaneity, culture, learning, artistry and friendship.
Coffee allows me to connect with people every single day.
It allows me to channel my creative spirit.
The ritual of coffee in my life is one that means much to me. The fact that I have access to some of the worlds finest coffee, still, after moving continents, is not one I take for granted. To those I happen to serve coffee: trusting me to be part of your coffee ritual is not something I take for granted either, it means too much to me.