The Haas Collective: More Than A Coffee Experience
“Deep in the heart of the CBD, you’ll find a magical place filled with unique treasures. Haas (the Afrikaans word for “rabbit”) was born from the wild ideas, passions and endless conversations of creative minds, Glynn Venter, Francois Irvine and Tess Berlein. Their dream was to create a hub and an inspiring space where things of beauty could be featured in all shapes and sizes. But more than that, they wanted to give talented individuals a platform to showcase their work.
However, what started out as a home of edgy collectables and one-of-a-kind, quirky art pieces (Haas Design) quickly leaped to Haas Coffee, as the demand for enjoying a cup of coffee, while savouring the beauty and energy of this unusual hub, grew. It didn’t stop there though… It also naturally developed into Haas Advertising – the voice and third pillar of the collective. In 2012, another creative legend, Francois De Villiers joined and together, they have created a hidden gem with twists around every corner – a mesmerizing space that beckons one and all.”
When you first visit the website of The Haas Collective, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled onto the wrong site – I mean, you came here for coffee, but here’s speak of art, collectables and an old Victorian-style house. But in actual fact, you’ve just experienced one of the most unique coffee shops and collectables concept I have personally yet to behold.
Haas: The Collaborative Collective
We approached Haas to give us a better understanding of who they are, what sets them apart and really to just get an insiders view of what exactly they stand for and what we can expect when visiting them.
When was The Haas Collective established?
Major milestones you have achieved?
Moving to our awesome new spot, an old Edwardian building we purchased and lovingly renovated to its former glory. Add to this the shear joy of decorating it in our very own original style and you can see why spending time at work is such a pleasure.
What sets you apart from other, similar shops?
What sets us apart is probably the fact that there really is nothing quite like Haas, anywhere, if our client’s praises and comments are anything to go by… furthermore, we are not just a roaster/coffee shop, the collective also consists of a fully integrated ad agency and a gallery representing some of SA’s up and coming artists. Coffee plays a role in all 3 pillars of the collective and each company feeds and assists each other to make the whole collective work.
What is your most popular coffee bean?
Our single origin Ethiopian is a firm favourite, and then our Haas blend is probably one of the best coffees I know
Why do you think this is your most popular bean?
Ethiopian beans are extremely flavourful due to the climate, which produces a bean with an intense aroma and flavours. Our Haas blend is popular because we have created a perfectly balanced coffee with delicious chocolate notes.
Other than yourself, what are your three favourite international or local coffee brands – and why?
My favourite would have to be Rosetta roasters for their impeccable attention to detail and their unsurpassed understanding of coffee. All this without the self-applauding arrogance prevalent in some of our peers. Secondly the guys at deluxe for their gutsy approach to no nonsense good coffee and seemingly effortless marketing which has seen them grow from a little hole in the wall to arguably the coolest coffee brand in town. Birch in New York is a firm favourite and of course
that little coffee shop situated in an old stone cottage on a beach in Corsica, sadly I cannot remember the name.
What is your in-house coffee machine and what made you choose it?
Nuovo Simonelli, a reliable and powerful machine which has won many awards and after 7 years constantly delivers an amazing cup of coffee without any fuss or problems.
If there is one thing you’d like the public to know about coffee, what would it be?
That you should be able to enjoy your cup exactly the way you like it. Thank G-d fewer people are intimidated by the silly notion that coffee cannot be drunk with sugar, and all the other ridiculous snobbery that was forced down our throats for so long.
What is your “pet peeve” when preparing coffee for fussy customers?
Someone who thinks he knows everything but clearly just regurgitates half-truths picked up along the way.
What is the one coffee you recommend for true coffee purists?
All coffee drinkers really should have a cup of Kopi Luwak at least once, for the sheer deliciousness but also the novelty of drinking coffee made from beans, which have passed through the digestive system of a civet. Just be sure that your cup is certified as originating from free roaming civets.
Similarly, what coffee would you recommend for a coffee “novice”, to convince them this really is the nectar of life?
Something like a Costa Rican or Colombian single origin is usually quite accessible as an introduction to coffee. Probably a good idea to have it as a cappuccino, rather than an espresso which could be a bit overpowering as an introduction to coffee.
Best tips and tricks for home users to prepare the best possible coffee without a home Barista?
It depends on what method of extraction you will be using to make your coffee. If you have no machine then the Aeropress is a great way of manually doing it. A close second and long standing favourite would be the French press. The most important factor is to buy fresh medium roast beans from a good roaster. Don’t buy coffee off the supermarket shelf, no matter what brand, these coffees are over roasted and inevitably stale.
Best coffee machine to use at home, in your opinion?
Aeropress any day. Unless you know your business you are not likely to get the same quality coffee from your home machine as you would a qualified Barista.
Best place to have an amazing cup of coffee on the weekend?
The Haas Collective in Review
It’s clear to see that Haas has a true taste for the exceptional – which you can see in every aspect of their empire – from their people, their passion, their background and their vision.
If you want more from a weekend coffee outing than you run-of-the-mill Latte and cheesecake, make this the first stop on your list.
We know that Cape Town is coming into it’s own in terms of being one of the world’s coffee hotspots – and knowing what we know – we suggest you take advantage of this beautiful setting and exceptional roast as soon as you can – before they too become a hotspot with a waiting list as long as you very own coffee wish-list.
The Haas Collective
Call: 021 4611 812
We would love to hear your thoughts and have you share your experiences – let us know how you enjoyed your visit to the Has Collective!
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