Dancing to the beat of his own drum

20 September 2014
Written by Sacha Kenny | Images by Sacha Kenny
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Sacha Kenny chats to the creator of a new style of coffee, Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee, a full-bodied brew intended to stir the taste-buds and induce a little joy



If coffee were a religion then Corban Halcrow would be an evangelical preacher, such is his passion for a good brew. A poetic stream of words runs forth as he describes Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee, the bottled liquid coffee made through a process (pending patent) created by him to bring out the natural essences and flavours of coffee.

The Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee brand is inspired by the story of the Ethiopian goat herder Kaldi, who discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating cherries from a certain tree, became so spirited they seemed to be dancing and did not want to sleep at night. As the story goes Kaldi dutifully collected the cherries and took them to the local monks, the monks made an elixir from the fruit, which upon drinking kept them alert during the long hours of evening prayer. The monks eventually shared their discovery and knowledge of the energising elixir began to spread slowly and coffee was born.

For Corban, Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee takes coffee back to its origin, back to Kaldi and his dancing goats. With no additives or preservatives, Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee is 100% coffee extract blended with filtered rain water to produce a smooth liquid that can be enjoyed as a hot or cold drink or as an essence added to food.

Expanding the story of coffee, taking it beyond the espresso machine, testing and playing with the process of hot and cold brewing to see what else coffee has to offer is what excites Corban. He describes an almost light-bulb moment while travelling in South-East Asia, where upon seeing sweet coffee being made from beans roasted in woks on the side of the road, he had the realisation that ‘making coffee doesn’t need to be complicated’.

“Coffee has only been around for about 800 years so when you compare that to wine, which has been around for thousands of years, coffee is still very young. That’s one of the first things I thought when I first went into this – I thought there’s room for innovation."

Upon his return to New Zealand, Corban convinced his parents, who already operated a coffee cart (Barista Boys) on the Kapiti Coast, that roasting their own beans was the way to go. In July 2010 the family bought a roastery and by November that year had their first roast for sale. Four years later The Kapiti Coffee Company operates two coffee carts and supplies over 25 outlets in addition to launching Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee.

"People said to me 'the monopoly is done', they asked what more could I bring to the table?. I said there’s room for innovation, they looked at me and smiled and said ‘espresso machines have been built, how much more can you do to coffee?' I agree, how much more can you do to coffee? But I don’t necessarily want to do more to coffee - I want to do less and get more from the bean.

“Having a palate that’s not particularly trained I wanted to taste the essence of the coffee more. These fruits, the raspberries and lychees and all those other fruits they were telling me I was meant to be tasting, well I didn’t feel they were coming to the cup enough, I thought you've got to really hunt for them. With Dancing Goat you can taste them, you probably couldn't pin-point exactly what they are but you know there’s flavours in there other than coffee and for the very first time you may have a cup of coffee that actually tastes like the cherry."

Dancing Goat Liquid Goat is created for the pure enjoyment of coffee allowing drinkers, as the goats did, to dance and rejoice in its flavour.

  • Dancing Goat Liquid Coffee and other Kapiti Coffee Company products are currently available at:
    Barista Boys - Waikanae and Kapiti
    Davis Trading - Palmerston North
    Bees Knees - Palmerston North
    New World - Waikanae, Kapiti, Porirua, Mana
    Olde Beach Bakery - Waikanae
    Cafe Ra - Otaki
    Four Square - Raumati South, Kena Kena
    Big Salami - Plimmerton



0 #2 Elisabeth 2014-09-30 21:13
Fantastic article--I didn't know the story behind it, but it's pretty cool and definitely suits the product! Kapiti Coffee and Dancing Goat are our favorites by a long shot, and Corban's explanation here helps me understand why. I've always loved coffee, but as my tastes have grown more "refined" thanks to living in Wellington, I've spent more time hunting for coffee with real flavor--not just black hot liquid with milk! Thanks for giving such a great backstory on this delicious stuff :)
0 #1 Warwick Halcrow 2014-09-28 09:47
Great article-really well written and we love the photos too. We hope Dancing Goat will one day be a global brand-it deserves to be!
Really enjoy your very clever magazine.
best Regards,

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