Sabie Valley Coffee
Taken from my blog thecoffeeshopdiaries
A four hour drive north of Johannesburg nestled deep in a town called Sabie, you will come across some of the most beautiful landmarks you have ever seen. An abundance of waterfalls, canyons and potholes that date back to the colonial gold-mining age that the area is so well known for. Those who know where to look also know of another secret that this town holds; Sabie Valley Coffee. Owners Tim and Kim Buckland run Sabie Valley Coffee from their farm 'Riverbend farm', 15 hectares of land that produces the 100% pure Arabica coffee, something that they have stuck with through hardships in the industry and grassroots beginnings. In the 1990's coffee prices declined dramatically leaving many farmers with no choice but to abandon their cherised crop and swap coffee to something more financially viable. The Bucklands were different and saw this as an opportunity to expand their business. They opened their doors to tourism and welcomed the general public to come and try their coffee and the earth from which it's grown; the thing which brought me there myself.
Our travelling party entered Sabie Valley Coffee, through the main building where you are able to spend hours (which we did) relaxing and browsing in their cafe and gift shop, but you need only look straight ahead to see through to the beautiful surroundings outside. A table is set for all of us to sample the farm's coffee and receive an informative talk from Tim Buckland himself. For anyone that wishes to learn about the coffee industry and it's deep history, this visit would be highly recommended. We learn about the origins of coffee and more predominantly Arabica coffee: Although the Arabica coffee plant originated from the Ethiopian highlands it was actually the Arabs in 900AD that begun roasting and drinking coffee. It would soon become a currency used across Arabia and Africa, something that could be understood in terms of worth regardless of any language barrier. We were also taught the journey of coffee from fruit to cup, the picking process, how the beans are sundried before they are finally roasted. However the highlight of the visit would be when we all were able to taste the coffee itself, along with a side of Sabie Valley Coffee's famous chocolate cake. The coffee itself is unmissable, and luckily for anyone living in South Africa the farm and provide anyone after their coffee by post nationwide (sorry fellow Brits). They also provide their coffee to local restuarants, coffee shops, and private game reserves. If you live in South Africa and have yet to visit this hidden gem on your doorstep you should name Sabie Valley Coffee as a prime destination when you are in the Mpumalanga area. The rest of the world: be sure to visit this breathtaking corner of the world, and when you do come and visit Riverbend farm - you won't be sorry you did. For more information please visit their website.