Second in our Client Showcase Series is Pretoria-based Rhino Roastery. They specialise in selling freshly roasted coffee beans, and selling or renting coffee machines to companies, restaurants, coffee shops, delicatessens, hotels, bed & breakfasts, guest houses, catering companies, as well as private individuals.

As anyone associated with the coffee industry knows, producing the ultimate brew is a closely collaborative effort. From shrub, to cherry, to bean, to cup, this effort requires no small measure of dedication. So over the coming weeks, we thought we’d like to showcase those clients who’ve become our friends because they share our commitment to excellence.
We caught up with Theo Rapanos from Rhino Roastery and asked him to tell us a bit more about his company as well as his commitment to producing the ultimate brew:

How long have you worked in the coffee industry?
Grahame Gertsch and I have been partners in this industry for 18 years.

How did Rhino Roastery begin?
We got tired of serving poor coffee and wanted to be more in control of our product. We started hunting for a decent coffee roaster and met Genio’s Neil Maree. Off we went; the rest is history.

You run Rhino Roastery inside a bustling family-restaurant called Coco Bistro?
We have a symbiotic relationship. Serving better coffee to our customers makes them as happy as it makes us. It also brings them back for more, which is good. We also get to demonstrate and market our product to all kinds of different people.

What is the most rewarding aspect of the coffee industry for you?
Meeting coffee lovers and sharing the passion for a great brew. Great coffee really is great.

What do you like about roasting with a Genio roaster?
The manual process. The fact that you are so in touch with what you do encourages a close relationship – all the way from green bean to cup.

Tell us about a special/magical roast you had with your Genio roaster? What was the origin of the beans, what settings did you use, what did the end product taste like – that sort of thing?
The first time we tasted the spice of an Indonesian bean… it was a medium roast and we crushed the bean in our hands there and then. The bean was still warm and the spice just came out! It was hard to wait for the degassing before we could actually brew it, but when we did – oooooh: it didn’t disappoint.

What added features would you like to see in a (Genio) coffee roaster?
Hey – why change what works?

What is the longest period that you have gone without coffee? What happened?
That’s a funny question. Thanks to our Genio Intelligent Roaster, it’s never happened.

What is the most unique/exotic coffee/coffee experience that you’ve ever had?
We have these type of experiences often. We roast and taste, what more could we want? Perhaps a small roastery in Dar es Salaam, hot day, small and dark, and the aroma… You know what I’m saying?

What makes coffee special for you?
It’s never-ending reward: the flavours, always something new and never getting tired of it, or sharing the experience with others.

What’s your favourite type of coffee/How do you enjoy your coffee?
Americano, milk, no sugar. Both of us.

What’s been the feedback from your customers about your signature product? Is there one special thing your customers just can’t get enough of?
We’re creating more and more coffee-addicts every day. It’s good for the cause and it’s good for business!

What’s the next step for Rhino?
To keep doing what we’re doing and to make sure we don’t slipever.

Do you think South Africa still has a far way to go in a global coffee culture?
Yes. There’s an untapped market of Ricoffy drinkers coming our way…

What advice do you have for aspiring coffee: roasters, baristas, connoisseurs, designers, and entrepreneurs out there?
It’s not easy, but it’s fun!

See some photos of Rhino Roastery:


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