• Drinking: Origin’s coffee.
  • Listening to: The Black Keys. Good music for motivation to actually do work when working from home.
  • Wearing: All black & grey, which I’ve noticed I’ve been doing ever since my arrival in Jozi in May. Yes, for me neutrals are nothing new, but I usually stay in the region of taupe & tan. I guess I’m either depressed, or all my warmest things are dark. (I’m going to go with the latter.)

Hello, cheri.

Well, I knew it was coming. I had to hit me sometime. I’ve been living in the constant cold of a Johannesburg winter for too long to not get the crud. And I suppose pulling 14-hour days for two weekend-less weeks was the final straw. I’m officially sick.

I’m feeling a little exhausted & my throat has had its better days, but with a red & rashy nose as the worst of my complaints, I think I’m going to pull through. The rub is that several days worth of sore throat greatly decreased my coffee cravings (acidity? No thanks. I’ll take tea.), which led to a searing headache by mid-afternoon Monday. (And yes, this is only about two days into the coffee fast. How scary is that?) So, scratchy throat or not, I dug in to my sweet-smelling Tanzanian* beans from Origin Coffee Roasting & brewed it up strong.

Did I tell you about Origin? It’s a magical place that serves only the best in beans & smells like heaven. (Seriously, I think heaven will smell like a roastery. There’s nothing better.) Tucked in the trendiest corner of Cape Town, the place is world-famous for a reason: They seriously support their farmers & the coffee they sell is the freshest there is. We stopped by on our way to George & perused their selection with the help of an extremely knowledgeable & effective salesman, who talked us into paying more for coffee than ever before in my life with a bag of their “Cup of Excellence” award-winning beans. And I have no regrets. But when we cruised back through 10 days later to replenish our stock, the options were none of the same. And that’s how you know you’re getting something good: They stock only what’s fresh, quality, & in-season. And 10 days makes all the difference.

My bag-o-beans is labeled with the name of the farmer & farm where the coffee was cultivated, along with a little note that they have “ethical, long-term relationships with our farmers. We know their stories, their particular challenges & the special characteristics of their coffees… A share of Origin’s net profit will be donated to the communities where our coffee is grown,” making me & millions of others feel just grand about spending above-grocery prices on the goods. And did I mention they serve breakfast?  The bacon & eggs benedict is not just messing around.

In fact, just thinking about it makes my stomach growl. Must whip up some bacon & eggs—now!

So let me leave you with this before I go: If you ever find yourself in RSA, cheri, be sure to put Origins on the itinerary. You won’t be sorry you did.

*“Clouds of August” blend from Blackburn Estate. Described as having “sweet aromas of cherry tobacco & lemongrass, with taste notes of white chocolate & passion fruit. Look for a ripe banana aftertaste.”