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Coffee Legend

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Our founder, Ronald John ‘Jock’ Masterton, came to South Africa from Scotland in 1920 at the age of 23 after serving as an officer in the Black Watch regiment during the First World War. He first worked as assistant manager on the farm ‘Three Rivers’ in Vereeniging where he met his future wife Marjorie. The couple then made the move to Marjorie’s hometown of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

After then studying Tea Tasting in Ceylon (Sri Lanka today), Jock returned to Port Elizabeth where he opened ‘The Tea and Coffee House’ at 33a Queen Street (now Govan Mbeki Avenue) in 1924, and later moved to 114 Russell Road. We have since moved to 92 Main Road, Walmer from where we roast our coffee today.

Our very first bag of coffee was a Brazilian Santos, which at the time cost just 1 Pound 18 shillings and sixpence!


Coffee Roasting

Three generations on, our roasting process is the same today as it was when Jock first opened the roastery in 1924, using sight, sound and smell to roast our coffee to perfection.

Firing up our roasters every morning, we strive to bring out the unique characteristics of each and every coffee bean through our time-honoured roasting method.




Jock Masterton was born.
Our Founder Ronald John 'Jock' Masterton was born on 13 November 1897 in Scotland.


Jock Arrives in South Africa.
Jock arrives in South Africa at the age of 23 after having served as an Officer in the Black Watch Regiment during World War 1.


Jock Masterton's very first shop.
Returning to Port Elizabeth from Ceylon, Jock opened 'The Tea and Coffee House' at 33a Queen Street (now Govan Mbeki Avenue) and later moved to 114 Russell Road.


Bea Christie (Masterton) joins the family business.


The move up to Russell Road.
Moved up the hill to 114 Russell Road.


James joins the Legacy.
After leaving his position as a production manager at a large coffee producer in Cape Town, James joined his father in the family business in 1969, and has been roasting coffee ever since. With over 50 years' experience in the coffee industry, he's a veritable wealth of coffee information.


Jean Murray (Masterton) joins the family business.


The car that went through the window.
Evert Smith, a photographer from the Evening Post captured the image for the paper when a car went through the window of the shop on 9 March 1977.


Our first delivery vehicle.
Our original delivery vehicle that would have been seen on the road in and around Port Elizabeth throughout the 70's and 80's has been taken out of storage and fully restored.


When Blend 81 was created.
This popular blend was named after the year in which it was created.


Arrival of our second Probat Roaster.
This Probat 12kg batch roaster arrived from Germany to help us keep up with the demand for our coffee.


Ryler Masteron joins the family business.


Equipment Store
Opened Coffee Equipment Store - Offering coffee brewing equipment and accessories of all kinds at 69 Parliament Street, Central, just across the road from our roastery.


Launched our new packaging.


Relocation of Roastery.
After 66 years in Central, we made the move to our current home at 92 Main Road, Walmer.


Top 50.
Recognised as one of the Top 50 Companies in Nelson Mandela Bay.


History of Coffee

Originally the coffee plant grew in Ethiopia, but once transplanted in Arabia it was monopolised by the Arabs. The Turks were the first people to adopt coffee as a drink, often adding spices to the brew. Its spread started illegally as the transportation of the coffee plant out of Muslim nations was forbidden by the government.
In the 15th century, Muslims introduced coffee to Persia, Egypt, northern Africa and Turkey. Its popularity then reached Europe in the 17th century. During the 1700's, a French infantry captain nurtured a single plant on the Atlantic journey to the Americas. This one plant, transplanted on the Caribbean Island of Martinique, became the predecessor of over 19 million trees on the island. The coffee plant then found its way to the rest of South and Central America. It was declared the national drink of the then-colonised United States by the Continental Congress, in protest of the excessive tea tax by the British crown.
The year 1822 saw the invention of the first crude espresso machine in France. The Italians perfected the machine and were the first to manufacture it, making it an integral part of Italian culture.


World of Coffee

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Wet Processing

Wet processing, whereby the beans are washed, is mainly employed in Central America and parts of Africa (notably Kenya). The berries are first fed through a water channel to soak them and to remove any impurities. The unripe berries sink to the bottom, leaving the ripe fruit to float to the top. These ripe berries can then be processed further. The fruit flesh of the berries is removed with the help of a ‘pulper’, a machine that scours away the fruit flesh (pulp) from the berries. This pulp is then combined with minerals and recycled as fertiliser.

Finally, the coffee beans are fermented in large water containers. This fermentation process is not only to dissolve any remaining fruit flesh but also to remove the sticky film surrounding the coffee beans. The coffee gains its rich aroma and flavour during this process.

Dry Processing

In Brazil and across a large part of Africa, dry processing is used for lower quality Arabica and Robusta berries. It’s a simpler, cheaper technique than wet processing. However, cheaper production costs result in a loss in quality. The drying of the berries is also dependent on the unpredictable climate.

The berries are spread out in the sun on cement or brick slabs in layers five to six centimeters deep. To ensure that the beans dry evenly, the berries are turned regularly for a period of two to three weeks. On smaller plantations drying mats made of wire netting are often used.


First the coffee beans are sieved to remove any damaged beans. Next, they are mechanically graded according to size and shape. This is followed by a further selection process, carried out by trained workers. The coffee is sorted by eye as it passes in front of them on a conveyor belt into the different quality grades.


On completion of the fermentation process, the coffee beans have to be washed. At this stage, the beans are still surrounded by their parchment husk, and for this reason the coffee is also referred to as ‘parchment coffee’.


The washed parchment coffee is then spread out on concrete slabs or drying racks and left out in the sun. To ensure that the beans dry evenly they are turned over several times a day. Alternatively, drying machines are used – huge metal drums which circulate hot air.


Once the beans are completely dry, hulling begins. The dried fruit flesh (the pulp), the parchment skin and a part of the husk are removed in a peeling machine.

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