Deep in the hills of Durban, the family owned Assagay Coffee farm has been producing coffee since 1992. Rick James, the owner, started his farm with a small plot of trees and built a roaster out of an old tumble dryer, roasting the beans in his garage. “The main challenge in the early days was to find information on the growing of coffee, as at that stage there was zero internet access and very little coffee being grown in this region.”
A few years later he bought a larger farm where he was able to plant 30,000 trees on 100 acres and produces 8 tons of roasted of coffee beans a year. “Having always wanted to farm, I purchased a little coffee farm in the Assagay valley of KZN. The coffee was in its first year of production, and once I started finding out more and learning to grow coffee properly I was hooked and it became my passion.”
KZN is also home to two other coffee farms but what makes Assagay coffee stand out is that “our entire product is handmade; from the beans picked during picking season to the sewing and silkscreening of our unique calico cloth bags” says Rick. “We employ only women from the local community and we have added two extra staff this year to our permanent work force. Our coffee has been graded by an American coffee trading company at 84.5, putting us in the Speciality grade. Our coffee is grown in an area which has favourable conditions and soils for growing coffee, such that there is a similarity to coffee grown elsewhere in high altitude.”
The tropical Province has the perfect climate for producing coffee beans and for all coffee lovers there is no need to visit exotic places like Colombia, Rwanda and Brazil. KZN is home to a fully functioning coffee farms you’re sure to enjoy. Rick also offers a personal tour of the farm where you can see the process of turning berries into ready to grind beans, including de-skinning, fermenting, drying, de-husking , grading and roasting. The tour costs R60/person and includes coffee tasting. His coffee Assagay available via mail order if it’s not available at any local outlets. Visit www.assagaycoffeefarm.co.za for more.
You can WIN 1 of 2 Assagay hampers including:
2 x 250g bags of coffee (1 beans & 1 ground)
1 packet homemade coffee fudge per hamper.
All you have to do is share your favourite coffee moment with us on social media!
Tag @TheVibeZA and @Assagaycoffee on Twitter when posting your picture.
Tag @TheVibeZA and @Assagaycoffeezulubrew on Facebook to enter.
Remember to follow and RT/Share for more entries to WIN!
Competition starts on the 24th of July at 07:00 and closes on Tuesday 25 July at 19:00