Crouch; Bind; Set: It’s Coffee Time – Eighteen Coffee.

Today the focus is on three of our Springbok Seven’s heroes: Kyle Brown, Philip Snyman and Cecil Africa. The numbers on their rugby jerseys would become the name of their quaint coffee shop: Eighteen Coffee @ Hellsend Bike Compound in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch.

Their Blitzbok journey

Our Springbok Seven team has made us proud on many occasions. Philip Snyman made his sevens debut for the team at the 2008 Dubai Sevens. He captained his country and was featured in 37 Sevens World Series tournaments. He helped the team win the 2008/2009 World Series and then, eight years later, came what is his career highlight, a bronze medal at Rio Olympics.

Cecil Africa made his debut in Dubai in 2009. He was part of two World Series-winning Blitzbok squads ( 2017 and 2018) as well as the South African team that won Commonwealth Games gold ( 2014) and Olympic bronze (2016) medals.

Kyle Brown made his debut for the Blitzboks in the 2008/2009 season in Dubai. Brown was part of all three Springbok Sevens squads that won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in 2008/09, 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. This true ambassador to the sport and his country became the most capped South African in the World Series when he represented the Blitzboks for the 69th time at the HSBC Sydney Sevens.

All three of them leave a legacy in the game of Sevens Rugby. Today I met up with Kyle in the heart of Dorp Straat, Stellenbosch to hear about what happened when a wing, a fullback and a flanker had to bid professional rugby farewell.

In their new life, they are still champions; with a new desire, a new dream and a new vision.

Kyle Gie Brown

The 34-year-old Kyle is proud of his French Uncle’s name, Gie. He grew up in Cape Town and being a SACS old boy brings happy memories to him. He remembers those years fondly; especially all the waterpolo and just being a “beach-bum-kid” in Blouberg. Today he and his wife, Tarren are the proud parents of Ethan and Olivia and they live @ Nooitgedacht. Life is slower now. He enjoys mountain biking and spending time with his family.

“Coffee, it’s the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions” – Mike Ditka

Why Coffee?

For 10 years the three of them played rugby together. On tour, they would always be on the lookout for quaint, different and cool-looking coffee shops; as this is usually the place where people connect. It was usually the place where they had great times together as friends.

A typical thing for rugby players to do, while travelling on an aeroplane is to listen to music.  On such a trip in 2018, Philip decided to leave his earphones out and struck up a conversation with the young man next to him.  This is where Philip met Matt Grobler, a rising star in the coffee roasting world.  After a casual chat Matt gave his business card to Philip.

Little did they know, that when the idea started to begin a coffee label, they would remember this card given to them and they contacted Matt. Today they work very closely with Matt to create a blend that all three of them love.

A blend that all three of them love

They wanted to create a coffee that resembled their friendship, full of laughs, easy to hang out with and which makes your day a little better. They want their clients to just smile, be happy and experience quality. They also wanted a colourful brand with soft, inviting pastel colours, representing a positive and inclusive vibe.


In a rugby match, the crowd expects you to play at a certain level; thus consistency matters to win the crowd. Once you create a beautiful cup of coffee for someone they create an expectation and their job @18coffee is to consistently meet those expectations. As players, they were in the spotlight while playing the game. They have the same goal for 18Coffee; to stay ahead of the game!

A coffee that inspires

The Pilot Blend: The first episode of a series is called the pilot episode. This coffee has a light initial cherry and dark fruit acidity followed by a well-balanced cocoa body and bold dark chocolate aroma with a clean lingering aftertaste.

Die Spoorsnyer: This coffee is for the more dark, adventurous man. The purpose of the more bitter flavours is to target the wild side intentionally.

The Safari express: This African bled is rooted in its origin: Guatemala, Kenya and Ethiopia. It has a grapefruit flavour and a distinct sweetness.

Ola Amigo: (Single Origin Colombia) This coffee blend says:  “Hello Friend”.  It is an inviting blend to be enjoyed with people from around the world. The flavours  of cherries and stone fruits give this coffee its personality, with a comforting milk chocolate aftertaste.

Coffee and Riding are a great blend.

Hellsend Bike Compound, on Dorp Street, is the home of 18 Coffee’s first café.  The bike shop owner, Sebastian Klassen, has a farm on the Banhoek side of Helshoogte Pass.  Both the store and the dirt compound, on the farm, are at either end of the Pass and so the name Hellsend was created so signifying the bookending of both ventures.

Today, upon entering the Hellsend Bike Compound the visitor is welcomed by a display of bicycles in the shop. This venue is becoming the number one gravity riding destination in the country where the relationship between coffee and cycling are blossoming!

“It’s amazing how the world begins to change through the eyes of a cup of coffee” – Donna A Favors

A rugby team always strives to be an inspiration on and off the field. They want to win the crowd, to change how they feel. As players, they try to be relatable characters. In the world of Coffee, Kyle, Cecil and Philip want to continue to do wonderful things for the people around them. They want to give them a coffee that inspires them. You must wake up in the morning and you must feel the need to do something extraordinary that day. You can do just that with a good coffee in your hand. It is their dream to deliver a consistently high-quality brand of coffee.

Crouch; Bind; Set: Final Score: 18 – Coffee