Category Archives: Coffee

The Homeground Advantage

Homeground Coffee Roasters: delicious, authentic and exclusive. And pretty much just not suited to Grahamstown. You would think that with their prime location right near campus, a cute little hole-in-the-wall that’s perfectly suited to the small-town that is G’Town, they would cater for one of their nearest consumers. Alas, the drive for excellence comes with a price, and if it’s not pay-day, most students are unable to afford it on a regular basis.

Homeground Coffee Roasters

Homeground Coffee Roasters

The have done very well on their branding and image, using quirky decor all around their coffee kiosk

The have done very well on their branding and image, using quirky decor all around their coffee kiosk

Homeground coffee is good. It has a unique flavour, and it is certainly prepared with lots of love, skill and attention to detail, which is highly commendable. You can really taste the subtleties in their flavours that they pride themselves on. It’s not my favourite flavour, but it is pretty great coffee in its essence.

Café mocha/chococcino ? You choose

Café mocha/chococcino ? You choose

Their menu is thorough and caters for the common coffee drinker, that is, those who do not appreciate the art that is coffee. There is almost an attitude of “Fine, I guess I will have to put milk and sugar in your coffee, Peasant… Oh, you want cappuccino art with that? Of course you do, Hipster.”

Latté art and a mocha-nut truffle slice. Only 15% flour in that brownie chunk of gold

Latté art and a mocha-nut truffle slice. Only 15% flour in that brownie chunk of gold

They also have a delicious range of baked goods. You can grab a packet of interesting flavoured biscotti biscuits which do well for a car snack (if they make it that far…). They do huge scones and muffins, spinach and feta flavoured and blueberry respectively. They like to change it up a bit as well, which is quite nice. That is the joy of being a small independent business in a close-knit town, I suppose.

Cappuccino and a great big blueberry muffin for breakfast to go please!

Cappuccino and a great big blueberry muffin for breakfast to go please!

Obviously this exclusivity comes with a price. I understand that they are teeny and probably have substantial overheads for their location and the fact that they don’t sell much to the local community – they serve as the coffee supplier for their other branches in Kenton and Johannesburg – so high prices are to be expected. But R22 for a tiny slice of truffle brownie something? It’s a bit excessive. Though it is made with top quality ingredients and it is absolutely delicious. That’s probably why I am complaining: I just can’t afford to eat as much as it’s deliciousness warrants!

Carrot cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting. Dinky and delicious!

Carrot cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting. Dinky and delicious!

Their open hours are also a bit of an issue in my life, but I feel the same way about most of Grahamstown’s other businesses: how can you only be open half-day on Saturday and not at all on Sunday? Those are treat days!

White chocolate almond and cranberry blondie bar. This was delicious, though I do think the cranberries were a bit overpowering of the other flavours. (Cranberries are great though, right?)

White chocolate almond and cranberry blondie bar. This was delicious, though I do think the cranberries were a bit overpowering of the other flavours. (Cranberries are great though, right?)

It’s a classy little spot, great to have a little chat with a cup of good quality coffee and a slice of Blondie, unless you’re living within your budget. Definitely worth the occasional treat though, so certainly do yourself the favour whenever you have the opportunity.

Lovely setting with a lovely coffee

Lovely setting with a lovely coffee

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Eastern Cape life – Grahamstown Flower Festival

Who doesn't love a goodie bag of free stuff?

Who doesn’t love a goodie bag of free stuff?

My gran lives on a farm. My mom seems to love the farm. My brother wants to live on my gran’s farm in England because it is so clean. And I’m over here like, “Ooh look! A plant!” Meanwhile it’s actually a weed, not even part of the flower show.

All the pretty flowers

All the pretty flowers

Ok, I am exaggerating, but I consider myself to be very much a city girl, and this farm-life is not one that I am used to. I went to the flower festival motivated by the fact that I knew that a certain coffee company was coming to town, and their coffee is pretty amazing. I figured that if they were going to be there, there was bound to be other delicious goodies and interesting stalls selling loads of useless things that I will fall for and spend far too much money on. I was not disappointed, but I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the things that I found.

Some girls were selling some hippie pants

Some girls were selling some hippie pants

There were flowers, of course, and a number of other plants that I won’t even try begin to name. In short: plants. Some local Eastern Cape greenery in celebration of summer (the first day of the festival was a real stunner) as well as some flowers that I do actually recognise.

This is an example of the types of sales-folk surrounding the local Botanical Gardens

This is an example of the types of sales-folk surrounding the local Botanical Gardens

Gorgeous sunflowers being sold out of the sun...

Gorgeous sunflowers being sold out of the sun…

There were getups that I know would look great in my house… My house that I don’t have… So I settled for a cute succulent in a teacup and saucer. It now belongs on my windowsill, and is the closest thing to a pet that I have ever had to look after independently. Writing that just reminded me that I have yet to water it. Clearly it’s not looking too good. It is cute, nonetheless.

My new plant!

My new plant!

There were R5 pancakes (sold by a dear bunch of women), bacon and egg butties [‘rolls’ for those of you who need the translation] (that I purchased from the Dean of Students, and they were amazing!), and a Chip’n’Dip too (which I thought was majorly out of place, but hey). And then there was the coffee of course, truly splendid coffee.

Unfortunately I did not buy another bag of their coffee because I haven't opened my first one - their sample sachets were great, though, and they also supplied Lindie's brownies, which can be seen on my Instagram feed

Unfortunately I did not buy another bag of their coffee because I haven’t opened my first one – their sample sachets were great, though, and they also supplied Lindie’s brownies, which can be seen on my Instagram feed

I also ended up buying myself a few necklaces, and a gift for a bestie back in Jo’burg.

New jewellery! Because I basically have none

New jewellery! Because I basically have none

I did not attend any of the talks because I do not own a farm and I don’t garden just yet. I probably won’t for a while, and whatever I need to know when I do decide to make my plants all pretty (and keep them alive) will probably be available on the Internet. I do think the presentations most likely went down a treat in this little town of Grahamstown, because there is quite a substantial farming culture in the Eastern Cape, from what I have gathered.

Lovely water feature and plants for my house of the distant future

Lovely water feature and plants for my house of the distant future

These are just adorable to look at

These are just adorable to look at

Overall it was a lovely day. Day 2 was a bit wet and rainy, but a decent event overall. Farmers’ markets are quaint, but I look forward to returning home to my Metropolitan Johannesburg in the next seven weeks.