Launched four months ago, local company, Romantic Coffee has come up with a genius concept that will change the landscape of how clients of the hospitality industry see and enjoy their favourite coffee brews. The company, is in the business of roasting and packaging some of the finest and top quality arabica coffee beans from the best coffee bean makers in the world, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Brazil, Columbia and Honduras.
The brains behind the company are none other than Neo Mosimane and Jean-Marie Kabalisa. Kabalisa originates from Rwanda/Burundi, and has been in Botswana for thirty years. Coming from a place that makes coffee, he always wished that Botswana too could have a locally produced coffee. This is how Romantics Coffee was born. But it took a while before he found the right partner who shared his vision.
He told this publication on Monday afternoon that Capello, where this interview took place, is one of their first clients. Other clients include Linga Longa, Dros and Black restaurant. Kabalisa explains that he watches Formula 1 with Mosimane’s father and in one of the days they were talking about business, and how he was looking for a business partner. The rest as they say is history.
Once Mosimane was briefed about the business, she did some research, and instantly fell in love with the concept. The duo shares the same passion and love for coffee, and take the craft very seriously. Kabalisa explains that prior to meeting his business partner, he went around the local supermarket, and noticed that shelves were stocked with South African products. The raw material, however, were from the rest of Africa and outside the region.
“I was driven by the love to do something that comes from Botswana,” he explains.
He also reveals that they are now roasting and packaging their products in Botswana under the Brand Botswana endorsement. Romantics Coffee, as the name suggests is enticing and rich in flavour. The company recently participated at the annual Global Expo, where their stall was a hit with attendants. The aroma of coffee brewing attracted many to their stall. The company went on to win the Botswana Pride Award.
Mosimane explains that their first batch of coffee was the Popayan from Columbia. Besides the Popayan, the company is also trading with the following bean brands that include Santos (Brazil), Harrar and Sidamo (both from Ethiopia), Alom (Guatemala), SHG (Honduras), Type Blue mountain and Bold Bean Grinders Quality (Kenya), as well as AA Grade (Tanzania) and Bugisu (Uganda).
The duo takes their craft very seriously and are trained coffee connoisseurs; they use their experience and knowledge handed down from roasting veterans, coffee merchants and coffee farmers to roast their coffee beans in a manner that highlights their best qualities. They have also been trained on identifying beans that have body, acidity, and more.
“Our goal is to grow and export our products,” says Mosimane, noting that they have done well for a company that has been in operation for four months. They are busy courting other new clients and the future looks bright for them. “We have put in a lot of work in three months. Our focus is to deliver a high-quality product,” she says adding that they are up against established and big companies but are confident enough to compete.
She also explains that they offer training to the staff of their clients on how to express the perfect end product. “We are training them to improve their skills and want the end user to get exceptional product,” she says.