New local coffee brand whets the market's apetite

There’s a certain magic that happens when two long-time friends spot a niche in the local market and pour their energy into creating a strong South African brand. In the case of Tau Coffee, the journey has been one of respect, innovation, creativity and hard-nosed business sense.

Riversands entrepreneurs Tebello Motsoane and Laurence Bekink are the two friends who embarked on this journey together and chose the name Tau, which translates to lion in both Sotho and Tswana and encapsulating the essence of the brand. “We’re proud of our continent, its heritage and our love for all things African. We created something rare with an African base using a blend of international flavours – African Robusta coffee beans provide exceptional flavour in the pods,” said Motsoane.

With seven years of coffee roasting experience embedded in the brand, Tau Coffee has been selling unbranded Tau pods through one of its partner coffee shops and trialled a number of different blends before settling on the first two offerings: the Jozi and Metro Blends. There are future plans to expand not only the range of pods but also to add further complementary products in the same category. “We are in the process of developing a delicious gourmet hot chocolate product,” he added.

The sustainability goal of Tau Coffee is to create awareness around and support the conservation of African wildlife and culture within the coffee community. “Our heritage is linked to our unique fauna, flora, and people. We will ask our fellow espresso drinkers to follow us on social media and be a part of the Tau journey. For us, coffee is much deeper than a morning ritual and our path will always be linked to our love for African culture and wildlife,” explained Motsoane.

For some time now South Africa has been developing its own coffee culture. “Whilst we are still heavily influenced by the American style Starbucks brand, many others still hold very European origins. Over the past five years however, South African coffee consumers have become more educated in what their individual preferences are. We view our product as being for Africans by Africans. The goal of Tau is to awaken our consumers to their coffee culture and to explore and develop our local coffee culture,” he concluded.

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