Coffee inspired by sport. It’s a new concept to the North Coast…and we like it! Tiki Tonga Coffee is a brand-new coffee roaster in the Umhlanga village striving to bring like-minded people together to enjoy the benefits of training with caffeine.
With years of sporting experience behind them, both nationally and internationally, and having experienced first hand the health and training benefits of caffeine, two English sportsmen decided to open a flagship coffee roastery in Umhlanga.
Caffeine, they say, can enhance performance in endurance exercise, high intensity team sports and strength training – and is a great alternative to high-in-sugar energy drinks on and off the sports field, in the gym or during a workout.
Which is why former Sharks rugby player and Saracens rugby club team captain Brad Barritt and Justin Stockwell (who has a lifetime of experience in the coffee industry) partnered up with South Africans Dean Grove, Stephen Barritt and Jonothan Dempster who have been involved in creating local brands like Nouriti and Rocomamas, and together have over 15 years of retail and restaurant experience.
Together the team are roasting distinctive blends, tastes and aromas and elevating the senses with their coffee brand, Tiki Tonga (the name was inspired by the victory song sung by Saracens).
“The synergy and alignment were easy – mixing great coffee knowledge with restaurant knowledge to create the first ever Tiki Tonga Coffee shop in Umhlanga Village,” says Dean Grove who is passionate about coffee and the way it connects people.
The health benefits for athletes using coffee to supplement their workout were a key influence for Brad Barritt in setting up Tiki Tonga Coffee and have become a huge part of Tiki Tonga’s focus.
“Coffee, like sport, has the power to bring people together. This passion inspired an idea by Brad to create the finest and most delicious coffee, both to aid performance and for people to socialise over.”
Wanting to steer away from the old-school traditional coffee shop look and feel and create an edgy, sporty, funky looking store that appeals to all ages, races and genders, the team used the brand’s vibrant colours to create the look and décor. Some of the key features include a world coffee map showing where they source their beans and a wooden surfboard mounted on the wall to keep it local and bring in a Durban feel.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere that is edgy and a great space to sit and enjoy coffee with free WIFI and pavement seating under the trees, offering a European feel with Durban’s beautiful weather shinning down on you.”
The store was built as the flagship store (the first in the world), but the idea is to open many more, self-owned and franchised in time.
“Umhlanga Village was crying out for a sociable space that wasn’t a restaurant to come and mingle and have a coffee – so that’s what we tried to create.”
With a menu focusing on the basics of coffee and a simplistic offering of food, Tiki Tonga’s menu includes all coffee basics – espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, americano, flat white, cortado, latte and chai latte – all brewed by experienced baristas who are passionate about making good coffee.
“We also vary the blends we offer in store. Our Number 12 bean is our house blend, and in our second grinder we change blends weekly, varying between Number two, eight and nine. This way we can always offer our coffee consumers something different should they want a change from the house blend.”
They also have a great cold beverage offering, including their best-seller – a frozen coffee – while a cold brewed Nitro coffee is highly recommended for those needing a good pre-workout drink. The cold brew coffee is filtered and brewed for 24 hours, infused with nitrogen gas and served out of cream gun for maximum caffeine injection with a smooth creamy finish.
In terms of food, toasted sandwiches, bacon and egg panini’s, various muffins, croissants and Pain Au Chocolates are on offer as well as date balls and muesli balls for a healthier option.
Details: Shop 19-20 Protea Mall, 1-3 Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga Rocks | @tikitongacoffeesa on Instagram and Facebook
Text and photographs: Monique De Villiers-Delport