Coffee Fanatics: Kevin Clark

What’s more awesome than sipping a quality espresso and knowing you’re doing good in the process? Kevin Clark and his Brazilian wife, Rebeca, opened Vintage Coffee, their non-profit artisanal coffee shop in Gauteng, with the ‘simple yet radical mission: to add value to our city one cup of coffee at a time’. Every month, customers get to vote for NPOs that stand to benefit. We asked Kevin to tell us more... Explain the Vintage Coffee ethos… Our concept is fairly simple; through an appreciation of fusion and a blend of passion, we have found a way to give back to the community. Tell us more about the philanthropic aspect to the business? The profit of the coffee shop goes to one of three NPO’s every month. Each person that buys an item at the shop, gets a vintage two cent coin and gets to vote for the NPO of their choice; that is the NPO that they would like to see the proceeds go to. At the end of the month the votes are tallied and the NPO with the most votes gets the profit. Vintage Coffee hopes that the money donated will add value to the organisation, which will, in turn, add value to life. Quite simply, you enjoy a cup of fine coffee at Vintage Coffee knowing that you contributed to a cause. At no extra expense but with great reward. How did your passion for coffee start? We both have unique stories. Rebeca’s parents have a coffee shop in Brazil and so she grew up with coffee, especially since coffee is part of the Brazilian Culture. At 17, Rebeca even had her own coffee shop. I did not always enjoy coffee, however, through my father’s influence, I began to drink good coffee. After being captivated by all that is coffee, I started making it and have been doing so for the past 10 years, falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. What is it about coffee that makes you tick? I think it’s the people and the interaction with them that makes coffee exciting. Also coffee uses all five of your senses so it keeps you on your toes. It’s forever changing, there are new ways of making it and new ways of extracting it, so it keeps you learning - and to be learning everyday is a good thing. What is your signature coffee? We have an off-the-wall Cortado. We extract the espresso differently (this is what gives it its amazing taste) and the rest if the same, steamed milk is added to the espresso. It’s served is a small glass. Where do you source your beans? Our beans are from Brazil and Tanzania – it’s a kind of reflection of our marriage, as Rebeca is from South America and I am from Africa! Describe the look you’ve sought to achieve in the interiors and with your branding… Our style is minimalistic and aims to take nothing away from our sole purpose - to give back to the community while enjoying agreat cup of coffee. We have gone for black, white and wood in the shop so that your focus is on the coffee and not the surroundings, that’s our hope anyway. What else can customers expect? Customers can expect an experience that is both unique and enjoyable. Vintage Coffee is not only passionate about coffee and the community but also about education. We want people to understand what it is about coffee that makes it so captivating and intriguing. At Vintage Coffee, customers can expect a coffee experience like never before. We love to educate our customers while we prepare their coffee, so that they can see step by step what goes into the preparation process and so that they can be enlightened by the wonder of coffee. We are passionate about creating and building a coffee culture in our community, and are excited to see where it is going to go. Vintage Coffee, 69 Freight Rd, Centurion Website Twitter @vintagecoffeesa Instagram @vintagecoffeersa