Colin Harmon, author of the bestseller, ‘What I know About Running Coffee Shops’, has been announced as one of the ‘International Coffee Celebrities’ speaking at the 2019 FNB Creative Coffee Week, taking place in Durban from 27 to 29 June.
Colin Harmon is a four-time Irish Barista Champion and owner of Dublin’s 3fe Coffee, one of the world’s most innovative and progressive specialty coffee shops. Colin will join three other international guest speakers who will share their knowledge on all things coffee. The other speakers include Trish Rothgeb (Wrecking Ball Coffee – San Francisco), Tesfaye Bekele Degaga (Gujji – Ethiopia) and Stefaan Esprit (BWT – Belgium).
Colin – whose bestselling book quickly sold out in South Africa – and is excited to visit the country – and Durban in particular. We chatted to him ahead of his visit.
Colin, what are your expectations of South Africa and, more specifically, of Durban?
I cancelled a trip to South Africa the year I started 3fe so I’ve been itching for an opportunity to get down since. There’s a large South African contingent in Dublin and they’ve all told me great things about Durban. I can’t wait to get to Durban and meet the folks driving the specialty coffee scene there.
Your book “What I know about Running Coffee Shops” quickly sold out here. Have you had similar reactions to the book elsewhere in the world? What do you think makes it so relatable?
It’s taken me by surprise really – it wasn’t supposed to take off the way it did. We’ve sold over 22,000 hard copies as well as 5000+ ebooks and there’s also been a Russian version published. Right now, we’re working on Indonesian, Japanese and hopefully Spanish translations in the near future. The greatest compliment I’ve gotten from people is that they can relate to the content, no matter where they are in the world. That’s what’s great about coffee – it’s such a wonderful way to bring people together.
The South African coffee community is extremely excited to meet you in person! Can you share a few insights about what you’ll be sharing at FNB Creative Coffee Week in Durban?
I’m hoping to learn as much as teach when I come to Durban. The great thing about these sort of events is the discussions that come from them. Every time I visit a new country I come home with lots of ideas!
Do you have any idea of the South African coffee market or will this be a completely novel experience for you?
I really don’t know what to expect. I’ve purposely not done much research either so I can enjoy the full surprise. I do know that the South African coffee community has always been great fun at the international events I’ve attended, so I’m expecting to have a great time and make lots of new friends!
What are you most looking forward to at FNB Creative Coffee Week?
Listening to Trish Rothgeb speak. I’d pay to hear her recite the phone book.
Colin Harmon (3fe Coffee – Dublin), Trish Rothgeb (Wrecking Ball Coffee – San Francisco), Stefaan Esprit (BWT – Belgium) and Tesfaye Bekele Degaga (Gujji – Ethiopia) are among the international guest speakers at FNB Creative Coffee Week, taking place in Durban from 27 to 29 June. For more information about this exciting event, visit www.creativecoffeeweek.com.