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“Breathe, and grab yourself a cup of coffee”

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‘How do you drink your coffee?’, that’s the first question that you will be asked when you pay a visit to Run Rabbit Run, where owner and coffee enthusiast, Philip will make you one of the best cups you’ve ever tasted!

Established in 2015 and run from the foyer of the iconic Bijou ‘Bioscope’ in Observatory, Philip’s small establishment, Run Rabbit Run Coffee Roastery is an eclectic mix of . They have set themselves the ambitious goal of being a haven for the laid back, the procrastinator, the dreamer, the burner, the surfboard shaper, the artiste, the grumpy blacksmith and the cat flexer.

We had a chat with Philip (over a cup of coffee of course) and learnt a bit more about this culture. Here at The Farmers Table, we’re far from being “experts” in anything (other than maybe cracking a joke at inconvenient times), that’s why when we started the convo with Phillip, we were clear on one thing: Please just start with the basics!

His reply? ‘How do you eat your steak’.

Not a question we expected – dude, we’re talking about coffee not steak, but cool, let’s continue – we’re here to learn.

‘The fact is, when you are roasting coffee, you are effectively cooking. Similar to your steak, you can also enjoy your beans – medium-rare to well done..’.

Somehow, it’s starting to make sense.

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As one roasts the coffee, it enters a browning stage referred to as the  Maillard reaction starts.

Blank Face? Okay, bear with us:

The Maillard reaction refers to the browning reactions occurring between amino acids and reducing sugars. These two react together and form new molecules with a brown colour – melanoidins.

As soon as melanoidins make their appearance,  the roast naturally slows down.  Some roast-masters also want to slow it down as this ensure flavour development.

At the end of browning stage the coffee starts to pop. This is called the first crack and this is where the development stage starts. Basically, Coffee goes through two cracks when roasting. Light to medium roasts will finish somewhere between the two cracks and dark roasts will typically be roasted past second crack.

Sheesh, chemistry.

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They say the holy grail of coffee is when the brew is sweet on its own. (Good examples of these are typically, Ethiopian beans with strong floral notes or Kenyan beans which are somewhat berry-like.)

High quality coffees always offer a type of sweetness, and as a roaster you DO
NOT want to destroy that!

Even though roasters are continuously seeking the natural sweetness in coffee,  the bitterness is also an essential part of the brew. When we are consuming anything, we’re always looking for a balance of flavours – bitter and sweet.

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Different brewing methods uses different grinding sizes. The coarser your coffee, the slower you extract the good stuff as the surface area is smaller. The finer your coffee, the more you extract (the surface is larger).

But What Does This Mean?!

The higher the extraction rate, the less contact time is needed. Example: An espresso machine, always using a very finely ground coffee, takes roughly 25-30 seconds to extract flavour. For a plunger on the other hand, you will use a more coarsely ground coffee, which will take more or less four minutes to extract the flavour.

So next time you buy coffee, tell them what you want it for!

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*** When you make plunger coffee and there is some brew left over (blasphemy!), pour it out! The brew will keeps on extracting and the brew becomes bitter.

*** Drink your coffee black? Look for a more fruity blend, the natural sweetness will satisfy your taste buds.

*** Drinking a Flat White? Try a dark to medium roast.

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The name, Run Rabbit Run, comes from the Pink Floyd song, ‘Breathe’ from the album ‘Dark side of the moon’.

Run Rabbit Run coffee can be bought through The Farmers table online, but be sure to pop in at the Bijou some time, Philip is always up for a chat!

Run Rabbit Run Operating Times:
Weekdays 8:30 – 12:30 @ The Bijou.
The Bijou, 178 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town.

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Order your Run Rabbit Run Coffee from our online store!

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