Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Truth Coffee launches biofuel powered coffee roasting

We received a mysterious invitation from Coffee entrepreneur David Donde, asking us to arrive at Truth at 3pm on Tuesday for something exciting, and some free coffee. It was headed “Truth Coffee Roasts on left overs”. We arrived to see his newly refurbished behemoth of a coffee roaster, circa 1947, which had been adapted to work on Bio-fuel instead of diesel. We applaud this green initiative. He is currently installing solar on the roof of his building. David says that Truth is the only roaster in Africa and probably the only one in the world roasting completely on waste fuel.
What Bio Green Fuel is and how it is made:
Bio fuel is a biodegradable, renewable, alternative fuel created from nearly any naturally occurring vegetable oils and animal fats, through a chemical reaction process occurring between the natural oils and alcohol, followed by purification. This creates molecules which can easily be burned in a diesel engine. Biodiesel can be made from vegetable oil or fat. The Bio fuel from Bio Green that Truth is using is waste oil collected from restaurants, hotels and other institutions (this is a quote from their press release).
You’ll find Truth at 36 Buitenkant Street, just uphill from the Central Police Station
It is very industrial in design, great space for computing and filled with lots of ancient household relics and quirky antiques
The bar backs on to the coffee roaster
Some comfortable and private banquettes
Some snacks laid on for the media
Did your mum have one of these? This old washing machine came with the building, said David, so he kept it
A section of old typewriters and other artefacts
Such bad memories! Lynne learned to type on a machine like this. Wrist breaking and finger cracking. John didn’t believe that Ellerslie still had these in operation in the 60’s. They did!
David explains how the roaster works and how the raw coffee beans from one sack are fed by a vacuum pipe overhead into the oven
It only takes a few minutes to transfer all the ‘green’ beans ....
... into the hopper above the roaster. Note that it has been adapted to use computer temperature monitoring
It is a vast machine
The furnace beneath, burning the bio fuel, which is made from old oil and fat collected from industry, restaurants and other sources
Roasting temperature control
And a little new technology helps
The sensible green message from Truth
Approximately 18 minutes after the green beans hit the roaster, they are ready and come pouring out of the door with a rush of wonderful aroma. These beans came from Mysore in India. The hopper cools them.
Stirring the beans to stop them continuing to pop and roast. Cooling them down quickly is essential
And then they come pouring out into the hopper where they pass through a filter and a magnet to get rid of any possible contaminants like stones or metal that may have got into them at source
Measured quantities can then be taken to fill packages of coffee
David Donde explaining how the process works and answering questions
Roy de Gouveia of Bio Green who process and supplies the bio fuel explains it to us
A cheerful wave goodbye from Jose Vilandy, Truth Barista
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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