Crush Chats to Robbi Gorelick about Molten Toffee’s Perfect Daily Roast
Molten Toffee, a Kloof Street local that supplies many a worker-bee with their morning coffee and eggs on toast, is most well-known for their delicious coffee blend that makes for the perfect cup, day after day. When it comes to caffeine, people don’t mess around — especially when it’s early in the morning on a weekday — but Molten Toffee seems to know how to make a coffee that keeps people coming back.
Crush chats to owner, Robbi Gorelick, about how and why he got into the coffee business and what his philosophy is when it comes to blending his signature Molten Toffee roast.
Crush: When and how did you get into the coffee business?
I used to really enjoy working from coffee shops and I used to find myself watching what was going on and really enjoying the atmosphere of the shop more than what I was doing at the time. So I started going to more and more coffee shops until I started working at The Blend on Roeland Street. From there I was approached by Dan from Yours Truly and I helped start his first store on Kloof Street. After a year there, I was offered a location on Kloof Street and that was the first Molten Toffee.
Crush: What intrigued you most about coffee shops?
I really love the idea of a simple, good and well done product that isn’t trying to reinvent any wheels. When it comes to coffee shops — and this it what makes them very difficult businesses, but very special if you get it right — is that you’re not only serving a product but creating a third space in someone’s day, so not home or their workplace but a third space that forms part of someone’s daily routine. I think Molten Toffee has ticked that box for a lot of people over the last few years.
Crush: Who have you drawn inspiration from when starting out?
That’s a tough question! Most of my mentors aren’t really from the food and beverage industry. One would be from my football days, someone I worked for briefly as a coach. I learnt a lot from him about attention to detail, but I don’t really have any real mentors in the food and beverage space. Everything I know, I’ve learnt from listening, observing and teaching myself.
Crush: What is your philosophy when developing a new blend with your roaster?
Obviously this is very subjective and depends on someone’s personal taste, but I feel that a blend is very important. I feel that single origin coffee is too robust to be an everyday, 2 or 3 cup a day coffee. I’m not saying single-origin coffee isn’t good, it’s amazing, but for an everyday coffee, I feel like a well-balanced, medium roasted blend is the perfect everyday cup.
There are obviously a lot of factors that influence how someone enjoys their coffee, but I feel like the environment in which you serve coffee is very important. Your staff, the store, the music, the engagement — all of these factors, even though they technically have nothing to do with the actual coffee, play a huge role in how much coffee is appreciated.
Crush: Can you tell us a bit more about the blend you’re currently serving?
The Molten Toffee blend changes quite frequently as I have a very good relationship with my roaster and I trust him to use the best of what he has in stock. Currently, it’s a blend of natural Brazil, natural Costa Rica and a washed Tanzania.
Natural coffee means the whole coffee cherry is dried first, before the fruit is stripped off the bean. In contrast, washed coffee refers to beans that have been stripped of all organic matter and then dried.
Crush: What’s your daily coffee order?
For many years, like a lot of people in Cape Town, it was a flat white. I used to drink a lot of flat whites. Now, I only drink a black Americano and if I want to change it up, I’ll have an oat milk cortado.*During Level 4, Molten Toffee is open for takeaways and is also doing deliveries via WhatsApp or Mr Yum as well.
Check out our round-up of Cape Town’s best local and independent coffee shops.
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