Change is in the air!

November 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many of you may have noticed that change is in the air at Urban Grounds Coffee Emporium! We have decided, after much thought, to close our coffee doors! Exhibit gallery will still be open, and will provide coffee, but Urban Grounds will not be there after 22 November 2008. Of course, we are still coffee crazy and on that premise we want to keep our blog and facebook page rolling for you!

We would like to offer all of our customers a chance to say goodbye and have one last cup of coffee with us! On November 22nd we will be hosting the first ever Durban Latte Art Barista Jam! It starts at 6pm and runs until around 9. Baristas from Corner Cafe, Woolworths, Urban Grounds, KZNSA, reFresh and more will be competing for over R1,000 in prizes! Plenty of MCing and a DJ will keep it hopping. There will be lots of prizes for people, and 2 for 1 coffees from 6 to 7pm. Please join us for one last hurrah!

RSVP here.


Tea, Tea… Glorious Tea

November 5, 2008 at 6:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We have not really gone into detail about the loose leaf teas on offer at Urban Grounds before. Here are some photos of our lovely teas and some tea notes.


Kenya Black Tea
Kericho, west of the Rift Valley produces most of Kenya’s orthodox teas. Since Kenya’s independence, the large European tea estates have been converted into many small family owned tea farms. Tea is harvested and processed in one of several processing plants. Marinyn is blended from teas from several estates and has the style of a Darjeeling. The neatly twisted, golden tippy leaves steep to a bright, robust, medium bodied tea with a slight fruity or flowery taste.

Gunpowder Green Tea with Mint
Gunpowder tea is dried slowly in rotating drums to a very tightly-rolled ball. It has a slightly dry and fresh flavour. In this classic North African-style blend, it is blended with dried spearmint.

ugstrawlemgteaRooibos – Fairtrade Organic
Ultra-high grade pure rooibos tea.

Orange and Spices
Rooibos tea flavoured with cinnamon, whole cardamom, cloves, vanilla and orange. Beautiful tea visually.

Herbal HM
Herbal infusion with hibiscus, blackberry leaves, apple, orange peel, cardomom, cloves and flowers.
Exceptionally visually exciting.

Hibiscus tea is reputed to have been popular in ancient Egypt and is very common in North Africa where it is called karkade. It is also used in the Sahel region and in Senegal, the Gambia and Northern Nigeria. It is
called jamaica in Mexico and Central America and has been combined with beer in Trinidad and Tobago. It can be drunk hot or cold, with or without sugar. It has a tart, fruity tang and a beautiful red colour.

ugchamomile1Pure whole flower chamomile
Chamomile has been used by humans since the neolithic age. It is mild and caffeine free and its infusion is considered to be very healthy and relaxing.

Christmas rooibos
A nutmeg and cinnamon rooibos infusion.

Marimba fruit infusion
Hibiscus, orange, fruit. Smells and tastes amazing.
Forest Berries
Black tea flavoured with elderberries, blackberries, raspberries and raspberry leaves. Great as an iced tea.

Double good fortune Chinese show tea
Three chrysanthemum flowers are wrapped in spring-picked green tea leaves. The three flowers stand vertically in line when the tea is steeped, and express the hope that everything will go smoothly in life. This tea is produced in very small quantities as it takes 45 minutes to make each rosette.

Our selection of tea changes depending on availability and seasons.

Free Election Day Coffee may be Illegal

November 4, 2008 at 6:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

imagesToday the whole world watches as the US decides its next president. Nationwide efforts by Starbucks and Krispy Kreme to reward with free coffee and doughnuts voters doing their civic duty may contrast with Californian legislation banning gifts to the electorate.

Starbucks announced in a commercial during the popular tv show “Saturday Night Live” the nationwide reward of a free cup of coffee to people who said they voted on Tuesday. Likewise, Krispy Kreme will give customers a doughnut in the shape of a star, with red, white and blue sprinkles, to anyone showing the traditional “I Voted” sticker at participating locations.

However, twenty years ago, a different doughnut company ran afoul of California Elections Code section 18521(b), which bans giving anything to people who voted, or if they stayed away from the polls. The law is meant to stop people from being bribed with money, food or alcohol. Punishment is listed as a prison sentence of 16 months to three years.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks said the company was not violating the law because they were using the honour system and not asking for any proof that anyone voted.

Meanwhile the coffee cup poll by the convenience store chain 7-Eleven has given Senator Obama a huge 20 percentage point lead over his rival Senator John McCain. The poll started eight years ago. It had correctly predicted results for both the presidential elections held since then.

Going Green with Fair trade

October 30, 2008 at 7:23 am | Posted in Coffee Info, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Monday October 20 2008

Coffee company Bewley’s has agreed to a $1.5 million deal with Soppexcca , a farmers co-op in Nicaragua for the supply of fair trade-certified coffee.

The Soppexcca group of 15 co-ops comprises 650 coffee producers and their families.

The development is part of a long term sustainability drive by Bewley’s, which will become Ireland’s first fully certified carbon neutral coffee company by the end of this year.

The initiative will remove over 3,500 tonnes of CO2 from the athmosphere each year according to the company.

Our Baristas… Baristi… Bariste

October 27, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hey everyone, check out the barista page on this site for updated bios on our baristas… err… baristi. Oh, and one bariste. While you are at it, cheer on our barista Dirk who will be competing at 11:50 on Saturday at the Regional Barista Champs at the Good Food and Wine show in Joburg. Dirk is new to the barista trade, but catching on very quickly. So, if you happen to be in Jozi, don’t miss him!

Great Blog Post

October 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Coffee Info, The Coffee, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ennis Pepper just wrote an awesome post about Urban Grounds on his blog.  Ennis, we at Urban Grounds welcome you to a free coffee of your choice!  Check out his post at

The Caffeine Curve

October 24, 2008 at 7:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The Caffeine Curve (Courtesy freakapotimus/Flickr)

Joburg Barista Championships coming up!

October 19, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are you budding barista dying to stretch your wings? In case you missed the Durban barista champs in July… head on over to Joburg and check it out!

It’s that time of year again when the Good Food and Wine Show comes to Johannesburg.  This year we will be at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate from Thursday 30 October to Sunday 2 November 2008. The Good Food and Wine Show will be hosting the Regional Barista Championships where the 6 finalists will proceed to the nationals in Johannesburg during the month of February 2009.  The winner will proceed to the World Barista Championship in Atlanta, USA in April, all expenses paid.  This opportunity is not to be missed.The coffee theatre sponsored by Lavazza, Kahlua and Beyond The Bean, endorsed by SCASA will be hot when richly brewed coffee’s will be made throughout the day as contestants in the Barista Championship display their talents in latte art and perfect cappuccinos.  The cost is R300 per barista.To ensure you receive a time slot of 30 minutes which includes 15 minutes prep time and 15 minutes competition time, please contact me (Tanya) on 021 797 4500 ext 116.  We only have a limited amount of places so do not delay.

Urban Grounds has one barista, Peleka, competing in nationals in January. Cheer on Peleka in the shop whenever you have a chance!

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