SURGE: A coffee experience, with stylish kick

There's a real sense of synergy at the heart of Surge Design's philosophy toward coffee, and at its heart is a genuine passion for South Africa's design community and scene. Surge Design takes some time out for a brew and chat about their new product 'The Ritual' brewer...

Surge is a young product design company founded in Cape Town by Chante Truter, Claudie Maree, Douglas Graham, Johandre Saayman and Maricel Bruwer.  They’ve recently launched South Africa’s very first, proudly local pour over, The Ritual, promoting manual brewing and specialty coffee culture, underpinned by a local community focus.

The Ritual

During the last decade coffee culture has really taken Cape Town by storm, and has grown exponentially thanks to local craftsmanship and entrepreneurship. Our Ritual Coffee Brewer is designed to be stylish and minimal, looking elegant in any contemporary kitchen or lounge.  The product name – The Ritual – embodies the role coffee can play in our lives, especially in an aficionado’s daily routine. The design conforms to a clean, finish, which is combined with an earthy, natural feel and aesthetic in a classy matte black. It aims to encapsulate the spirit of Jebena Buna (a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony) with a modern, yet timeless South African design flair; incorporating the health benefits of filter coffee and the aeration of the Vandola (a Costa Rican brewing device).

There is a surge in the number of people who are drinking coffee, and this is impacting upon product awareness and product quality. Africa and South Africa look set to be superb places for growth in the coffee industry, with plenty of opportunities for great providers of great coffee.

– Darren Levy, CEO of Vida e Caffé (Cape Town lately, 2015)

The cork inserts on either side of The Ritual lend it a natural touch. Acting as both grip and insulation, the fine cork colour and texture reminds us where coffee comes from; and promotes an appreciation of the process, from harvest to brew. The small aeration hole in the neck allows oxygen to be an integral part of the brewing process. Much like the oxygenation of wine, the flavour is enhanced and the coffee tones are more easily picked up by the palate. The ceramic pour-over gives a clean, well-rounded cup, allowing you to fully appreciate the characteristics of your favourite coffee.


Financing the start-up, and first product, was a joint effort. Personal investments combined with support from industry friends and family members who believed the product and its potential.  As designers who believe in making a difference, while making beautiful things, we opt for sustainable materials and methods as a rule. We want to support and encourage local manufacturing, and play a part in coffee culture, as well as the design and business industry of South Africa.

The reality of costs to manufacture in a sustainable, local way was both eye-opening and a learning curve.

– Surge

What role has social media played in your business?

Social media has played an incredible role in spreading the word about The Ritual.  It’s amazing how coffee can connect people from around the world. We try to be as interactive as possible on the various platforms.  Everyone has their preference so we thought it wise to have a presence on all major networks, connecting with brewers, roasters, importers, distributors and coffee shops.  Not to mention the coffee lovers from every corner and country! Social media is also great because it allows us to share visuals.  A well designed product should speak for itself.  Just like good coffee.

Who is Surge Design?

Each member of Surge is a designer and creator at heart.  We all come from different backgrounds, have a different range of previous experiences and skill-sets, which definitely contributes to our process and final result. As it always goes for creative minds, it’s hard to sit still and work on only one thing when you have so many ideas and aspirations. We’re already looking at our next step, considering how to better establish ourselves within the design industry.

Learn to love sketching and researching. Learn to sell an idea to people in less than 3 minutes. And learn to do it well.

– Surge

To any aspiring designer, whatever your focus might be, keep sharpening your skill-set, and stay up-to-date about developments in the design world. If you want to start your own business, be ready to work at it for longer than just a few months. Don’t take criticism personally. Design for need, not just desire.


Instagram: @surgedesign

Facebook: @surgedesign



Posted on Dec 6th, 17 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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