Shmuel Montrose is the founder of JoziBlue, the speciality coffee shop in Johannesburg’s Glenhazel that has the city literally abuzz. ‘Coffee is a great medium to connect to people from different backgrounds, cultures and communities. I absolutely love chatting and connecting to all my customers,’ he says. We found out more over a superb coffee prepared pour-over style…
Explain the Jozi Blue ethos.
I firmly believe that a person should leave happier than when they came in. I am extremely passionate about coffee and I want my customers to feel the energy. Great, top-quality beans, skilled baristas, top-quality machines and grind-on-demand are all crucial elements to a proper coffee experience.
Where does your own passion for coffee come from?
My passion for coffee is actually a recent thing. I have been in the food industry for a long time. Coffee wasn’t really on my radar. In fact, I was not even a coffee drinker for a while. It was my father-in-law who had the brilliant idea to open a coffee shop.
When we were deciding to open a coffee shop, we travelled around to find out what the whole coffee shop culture is all about. We landed up in Double Shot, Alain de Asis Rosa’s coffee shop and roastery. We were blown away with the quality of the beans that were roasted and then brewed up for us to drink. We decided that when we opened our shop it would also be a place of top quality coffee made to perfection. We loved the atmosphere and energy in the shop. We wanted to model our shop on similar concepts. And that is how my passion for a perfect cup started…
What is it about coffee that makes you tick?
I love the fact that all beans are unique, like all human beings are unique and special. The whole process that makes coffee so unbelievable and amazing. When you have a drink of the final stage coffee bean, it is humbling to realise that so many factors and elements play a role in making the cup of coffee you are drinking to be so amazing. Everything plays an important role. No step is less equal. From growing the bean in the right soil, altitude, and so on. To picking the berries of the plants. To roasting the beans. To packaging. Then actually brewing your cup of coffee. Wow!
I have numerous cups of coffee during any given day. All this caffeine gives me a constant high and one of the side effects of all this caffeine is that it helps me to remember over 200 people’s names and what their preferences are in their coffees.
What is your signature coffee?
It varies as it depends on what we get from the roastery; we use single origin from Double Shot, Bean There and the Isabella Blend from Mishu.
Tell us about the beans you have on offer?
There are three ‘levels’ of beans: all are of a high quality, but some are more expensive than others. We’ve separated them onto three shelves where it’s easy to see. The bottom shelf is the level we use in our main grinders. They are the base level beans that we sell. The next level beans are an extra R10 a cup and are micro-lots. The top shelf is the highest level where a cup of coffee would be R70.
What else can customers expect?
We have free Wifi and points where you can plug in your laptops. We also have a small food menu. I am more than happy to talk customers through all the different non-espresso based coffees we offer, such as siphon, aero press, pour over and plunger.
JoziBlue, 9 Northfield Ave, Glenhazel, Joburg,