Stereo Café is a coffee roaster based in Bloemfontein and supplying clients with freshly roasted coffee and coffee equipment throughout South Africa.
Owned and run by James Kilbourn, Stereo Café started life as a small coffee stall at a local farmers market in 2011. Originally called Connoisseur Coffee, James sold filter coffee and roasted beans to customers every Saturday morning. Those customers who did not have a grinder got their coffee ground-to-order - a service we continue to provide today.
Not being happy with just selling a few bags of coffee (which was not his own roast), he decided that he wanted to put his own stamp on his bags and attended a coffee roasting and blending course at the London School of Coffee in 2011. He received his first training from Morten Münchow who now runs his very successful Coffee Mind Academy in Denmark.
James bought his first roaster from Genio Intelligent Coffee Roasters (a 6kg Genio Mezzo) in 2013 after saving up some money and soon decided that he needed more than just a stall at the local farmers market. So, on 20 January 2014, he opened the doors of Stereo Café to whoever wanted a good cup of coffee and to buy some locally roasted beans. So Stereo Café was born and Connoisseur Coffee was put to rest.
In 2018, Stereo Café moved to a larger premises in President Steyn Avenue, Westdene and also upgraded to a larger 15kg Genio Precision roaster to keep up with the demand for freshly roasted coffee.
In May 2020 Stereo Café won a Gold Award in the Aurora International Taste Challenge 2020 for the Trio Blend which is served at Stereo Café daily.
In October 2020, James needed to focus his attention to only roasting. To do so he started a collaboration with Jack & Jill Food Co. who now run the café side of the business so that he can focus on roasting the best quality coffee and getting that coffee to his clients.
The story continues...