‘Grab some coffee with a view! Situated at the bottom of the Magoebaskloof pass, Krabbefontein on the Schultz farm is food for the soul!’ says Sandi-Leigh Moore owner of The Mountain Company, and she should know because she is a lover of hiking, biking and a great cup of coffee!
Outdoor enthusiasts are thrilled with the new trails at the Schultz farm, conveniently situated just off the R71 at the bottom of the Magoebaskloof Pass. Unlike other hiking routes in the area, these 3km, 5km & 8km hiking / running trails are easy to get to from Tzaneen or Haenertsburg and they will be opening up another three options soon, one of which is their first Mountain Bike trail and the other a route from Allesbeste Padstal via the Politsi river to the Schultz Farm. Zander Ernst, Director at Allesbeste explains that the aim was to give people the opportunity to enjoy fun, safe family time in this beautiful environment. He says, ‘our trails offer a mixed experience of agriculture, coffee and nature, aimed firstly at the experienced athlete but also for people who just want to be out in nature with family and friends.’ While the more active members of the group are out there running the routes, others can have a bite to eat and sample the farm’s Krabbefontein coffee at the French Industrial-style coffee shop on site.
When the Allesbeste team first cleared the area around the old Schultz saw mill area on their farm in 2018, they realised how much infrastructure still existed there and wanted to pay tribute to the pioneers of days gone by who laid the foundations of what we have today. As their coffee business started growing from 2019, it became clear that they would soon need a place for their Krabbefontein coffee to call home - they would need a space for a nursery, a tasting and experimental area as well as other functional areas to produce and process coffee. But the idea was also to ‘bring café elegance to Tzaneen and allow patrons to enjoy something more than another ‘tea garden’ experience. We want to inspire others through our creative space’ says Zander. ‘As we built on the creative vision, we started dreaming of a ‘wine farm for coffee’ with a tasting room, a restaurant, roastery, packaging area and our flagship café. It’s still early days but we just love bold dreams.’
Krabbefontein was the name of the original farm on which both Allesbeste and Merensky High School are currently situated. This was the governmental research station where different agricultural crops were trialed and tested creating the foundation of the town we now call Tzaneen. At Krabbefontein they share Allesbeste’s core value of ‘our quality is our passion’. Zander says that they ‘aim to produce superior quality coffee, consistency in cup, and pleasurably-balanced coffees, using different brewing techniques that anyone can enjoy. Let’s face it there aren't many coffee shops in the country selling South African coffee’.
The two Allesbeste farms planted with coffee are fast approaching the 15 000-tree mark and have plans to plant many more. Coffee was grown in Tzaneen during most of the 20th century although production on a commercial scale stopped in the 1970’s. Zander explains that ‘Krabbefontein Coffee is unique in the sense that we offer a unique insight into high altitude coffee from South Africa. We prioritise quality at every step of the process to ensure we achieve only the best cup. We are really passionate about our coffee and will soon be launching micro-lots and niche ranges that aim to entice the speciality consumer. Our Coffee is currently available at Krabbefontein on the Schultz farm and at Allesbeste Padstal but we hope to launch soon in retail shops around Tzaneen and Polokwane and grow our reach even further.
To keep the focus on the coffee, they decided to only focus on a few signature items on their menu. Zander says that ‘the Roosterkoek is really a hero of South African heritage taking us back to our childhood days around the home braai. Chef Remi took on the challenge of creating the sophisticated roosterkoek suits the elegance of our space… well until you have the guts to pick it up like a burger!’ Try their Roosterkoek filled with slow roasted pulled pork, coleslaw and rocket or a light option of avocado, bacon and herbs. Everything in the Café is freshly baked and Chef Remi likes to bring unique experiences to common known baked goods, even some “folksvreemde goed” which expand people's culinary horizons. They also feature their own coffee and cascara. Cascara is the cherry pulp that the coffee bean is removed from during processing. This is sundried for a concentrated flavour we mix in with their iced teas and craft sodas for a refreshing taste.
But Schultz Farm caters for unique experiences for the whole family. As Zander says, we really just want people to come and enjoy our space with us, feel at home yet really on holiday even if home is just five minutes away. For the kids, they have constructed a massive sand pit with swings, a climbing wall and a wooden jungle gym built into it. They have also recently built a pump track for kids - a closed loop where kids can cycle through ramps and jumps or just have their momentum keep them going with minimal effort. Even the dogs are shown some love - the trails and venues are dog friendly and the entry fee is a dog blanket or food for the local SPCA.
Getting back to the trails, the renowned active shoe brand, Salomon is sponsoring their coffee-grower, Matt Carter and his trails to bring people closer to nature and get more people interested in the outdoors. Matt hosts the monthly Salomon hike club which is a fantastic way to go out in a group, meet new people, enjoy the spectacular scenery and have a great coffee afterwards. ‘We believe there is no better place to be than at the café after a relaxing walk, hike or run on the trails’ says Zander, ‘but the trails and farm experience combined enhance the coffee culture by understanding our holistic views’.
The Schultz team have a very fun and engaging way of interacting with the public on social media saying things like ‘Dogs and husbands welcome.. in that order’ are lighthearted and funny. They like to have a little fun with their tongue-in-cheek comments so that people can understand that they can just come over and be themselves. They have various events lined up for the festive season starting in November with their first coffee tastings, allowing people to book tastings at a living, working coffee farm and develop their own preferences for coffees. Their trail teams have been working non stop since March this year so that people can enjoy a different trail every time they visit including twilight trails, fun runs and Trail Tuesdays. They are also constantly expanding the farm - coffee is being planted every week and soon they will expand their avocado orchards to other fresh produce including herb and vegetable gardens. So watch this space as they build towards the future.
Schultz Farm with its various hiking /running trails and Krabbefontein Café are to be found on the R71 between Magoebaskloof and Tzaneen. Open Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am to 5pm. Call 076 968 0483 and look out for Salomon Hike Club, Trail Tuesdays, Twilight Trails and other events.