Almost Anyone can Master the Science of Coffee
The name really says it all. Science of Coffee. A coffee shop offering a unique experience with emphasis on precision and chemistry to produce the best coffee possible.
This is obvious as soon as one walks in with a large menu styled like a periodic table of elements, posters explaining different coffee chemical reactions and the large island counter which they call their, “coffee playground.” Nothing seems like a gimmick, rather a part of the coffee journey they have carefully curated. The design language is clean and professional, handling a large amount of information with ease, especially considering that there is a bean presentation in the middle of the shop.
No, you did not misread that. The aforementioned “playground” is a counter with three small roasters under holsters of coffee beans, each from a different country. A tablet sits below each coffee holster explaining everything from the farm’s altitude, farmer’s name, pictures of the processing and the bean’s flavour profiles. It truly is something unusual and incredibly enjoyable, especially as the knowledgeable staff walk customers through the roasting process, sending each happy coffee drinker home with a bag of beans that were roasted a couple minutes before.
Science of Coffee serves some of the tastiest coffee on the North Coast, paying incredible attention to detail. The fact that they source their coffee directly from farmers before roasting it themselves means that they can achieve some rather rare notes with brilliant flavour clarity. It’s not strange to taste something as unique as spiced chocolate in a Science of Coffee beverage. The cups are small, meaning that the espresso is not muted by a whole lot of milk. The espresso itself is not for the faint of heart, made with 16 grams of coffee, producing only 30ml of espresso meaning it packs quite a punch, albeit an enjoyable one.
Their aim is to really let their hard work in the sourcing and roasting shine. They want the coffee to be strong, flavourful and satisfying. It’s great, but some people do just want a standard cup of coffee. Thankfully Science of Coffee tries to make the experience enjoyable for these more casual drinkers with informative staff who are willing to explain the most basic of principles to complexities such as brew ratios. Even those who don’t know much about coffee will have a brilliant time learning from the experienced staff.
Brian, one of the baristas at Science of Coffee is happy to chat about coffee all day, knowing the different blends and brews in the shop like the back of his hand. Sfiso made me a beautiful flat white, texturing the milk to perfection, unlike some other shops in the area who texture it as if it’s for a cappuccino.
The temperature, taste and texture of the coffee were all brilliant, with a cinnamon doughnut on the side to compliment it. There are three snacks to choose from, giant cookies costing R15, cheese and herb straws setting you back R10 and cinnamon doughnuts being cheap as chalk at only R5. These snacks really are secondary to the coffee, but are freshly baked each morning and make the perfect partner to great cup of coffee.
If you’re looking to learn a bit more about coffee, pop into the Science of Coffee located in the trendy and beatnik Lifestyle Centre’s Market in Umhlali.
Writer: Connor Lumsden