It is such a simple thing & yet it is exquisite.
It is the fluid with wich I break my fast every morning, talking with Zuko and our children about life & love & hope & dreams while the fresh smell fills the room & the deep dark liquid enters our bodies.
With a cup of coffee in hand I have made many decisions.
I have initiated many new relationships.
I have met beautiful new people.
I can’t remember when it was that I started drinking coffee. I must have been fifteen or sixteen? In my house it was an ‘adult’ thing and drinking coffee signified your coming of age, your acceptance into independence.
Gratefully it has always been quality coffee. Locally created from African beans.
They’ve been creating coffee, right here in Port Elizabeth for three generations, since 1924.
They’re Out of Africa blend is our favorite. It is indescribably distinct. Using coffees from North, Central and South Africa they blended a rich aromatic cup with a faintly chocolaty character. This chocolaty flavour is created by the addition of Ethiopian and dark-roast beans.
Every cup is as if I’m taking in Africa in all its richness of humanity & history & abundance, the chocolaty flavour a reminder of our spirit.
The Masterton Family are artists, in my opinion.
When we lived in the Kalahari we were careful to always ensure that our supply of Mastertons was sufficient, often ordering 7.5 or 10kg of coffee at a time lest we run out & would be expected to drink something less.
There is no malice in the Mastertons way of doing business.
After the first world war, Ronald ‘Jock’ Masterton fell in love with a Port Elizabeth-girl. He wanted to move here & pursue his love. He opened his establishment & brought to the city not only his love for Marjorie, but also coffee & tea not before available.
And ever since it has been their business.
To import quality tea.
To artistically create exquisite coffee.
Off course they sell their products.
But that does not seem to be their business.
Their business seems to be tea & coffee.
They know it.
They love it.
They create it.
They do business beautifully.
I thank them for this.
They have blessed me with more than just the perfect coffee blend.
They have blessed me with example.
For if I do business, I want it to be this kind of business.
Matertons coffee is available everywhere these days. You can even order it online & get your perfect blend delivered to you in England or America.
I have the privilege to be able to go to their original shop at 114 Russel Road in Central.
When I get there, I am overwhelmed by the tapestry of flavors & the warmth of their regard.
I am no one.
I am insignificant.
Yet they stop & talk. They enquire to my preference. They ask about my father, my Zuko, my children.
They are interested in me.
In more than just the money I spend.
Somehow, I believe, this interest, this relationship contributes to the love I have for what they create.
Somehow, every morning when I break my fast, they are with me, sharing life.
I write about this, because it has become the exception, it seems, if this week is anything to go by.
A week in which I discovered that many do business just to turn a profit. Just to make money. Just to get their hands on what I have earned through hours away from my family.
I write to hold up a mirror.
To the business people of our little bit of world & the world.
We need to look.
Are you creating something exceptional?
Something which is mixed with your soul?
Are you sharing that something with people?
Are you interested in the people you are sharing it with?
Interested in their enjoyment?
Interested in them beyond the creation which brought you together?
Interested in more than just the profit you can make from them?
If not, your intent is malicious.
It is to rob & steal & make money.
Make a difference in someone’s life.
Make a difference in someone’s business.
Perhaps if we all did this, the one’s who are just out to make a profit will not be sustained & will discover the joy of creation?