Coffee enthusiasts in Pretoria, class has started and you better not be late. Three great friends and coffeeholics, Derek “The Dean” Gardiner, Tim “The Prof” Vieyra and Flip “Number4” van der Merwe are the brains behind Academy of Coffee. Derek and Tim, both professionals from Cape Town, and Flip, Pretorian at heart and rugby player currently living in France, combined their various business backgrounds and views to bring you their passion project. The Academy of Coffee is enthusiastic not only about coffee, but also about spreading knowledge and uplifting people through coffee.
Tell us about your roasts and what makes them special?
At the Academy we currently serve The Academy of Coffee Blend, a smooth, delicious and creamy coffee and The Number 4 blend, a more robust coffee, guaranteed to give you a kick yet impress the biggest of coffee snobs. The exact blend is a secret for now but you are welcome to find out during a Coffee101 session. What makes our roasts special is that they are all from our own continent and are Fair Trade certified and sourced. We are also proud to be in association with the Rainforest Alliance, which means our coffee is grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices.
What would you recommend to an Academy first-timer?
Definitely our house favourite, the Cortado, or on a warmer day the iced coffee is a winner.
Why did Academy of Coffee choose Pretoria to expand in?
The opportunity to have our name associated with the Cowhouse Market was too good to pass. It is definitely the new cool place in Pretoria. We also love the growing coffee enthusiasm in Pretoria and surrounds. We are also lucky to have the best team in Pretoria – anyone who wants to see passion at work should go visit Reinhardt and Sello at the Cowhouse over the weekend.
How does Academy of Coffee live up to it’s name in terms of sharing skills and knowledge?
All of us at The Academy value education; we see education as the root of upliftment. We currently run the book exchange and Coffee101 in our stores as small ways of spreading wisdom and love for coffee.
Any exciting future plans or events we can keep our eyes peeled for?
Expansion is our main aim at the moment. We’re planning to open up another campus or two in the near future as the demand grows.
Words: Rita-Mari Ludike