By now it’s common knowledge that Cape Town takes its coffee fairly seriously. The Mother City does not kid around when it comes to the best coffee, and neither do the proprietors of the city’s coffee hot spots who have the rather important job of keeping her populace thoroughly caffeinated and ready to carpe that diem.
Cape Town is all about that coffee life. From single-origin roasters to world-famous baristas clad in steampunk gear, there’s a coffee experience waiting around every corner in the CBD and surrounds. Here is a roundup of Cape Town’s most epic coffee spots and experiences to inspire your next outing in search of that all-important cup o’ joe.
Frequently cited as one of the best coffee shops in the entire world, Truth Coffee Roasting on Buitenkant Street is a treat for all the senses. In 2015 UK news agency The Telegraph gave Truth global top honours in the coffee shop category and we can’t say we were surprised. The steampunk-themed coffee shop has always been at the top of our personal list of must-visit destinations in the Mother City. Try one of the five distinct blends that are roasted and blended on site from beans that are sourced from the world’s foremost Fairtrade producers. If you’re keen to stick around for more than just a coffee and a jaw-dropping look around, you can also choose to indulge in a more in-depth experience. Book a coffee appreciation course, or really up the ante with a barista introductory course or professional barista course.
Coffee Safari Experience
Travel Designer Ozzy Yerlikaya creates personalised, tailor-made experiences that showcase Cape Town’s most intriguing places and people. Ozzy is a native Turk who has called Cape Town home since 2009 and now shares his passion for coffee with locals and visitors alike at the hand of some seriously cool sunrise coffee safaris. Meet up at a secret location where Ozzy will set up his mobile coffee bar and treat you to a java appreciation course while you overlook one of the most Instagram-able spots in Cape Town. There’s no better way to start the day! Find out more here…
Jason Bakery is one spot that you want to hit nice and early if you like to get your bum on a seat and you don’t want to face the disappointment of missing out on Jason Lilley’s famous pain au chocolate or pasteis de nata, which sells like proverbial (and literal) hotcakes. Served with only the best freshly brewed coffee, this seriously good-looking very talented baker’s confections are to die for. Pull in after your morning run or cycle and watch as Cape Town wakes up around you. If you do enjoy a bit of a bustle and a buzz, lunch time is a wonderful time to go as well, just be ready to wait a little while if you want a good seat.
Black Box Coffeeworks
Bringing us the best of both worlds, Benn Koene and Yorke Searra are offering Capetonians and visitors alike the option of grabbing premium-quality coffee on the go. Black Box Coffeeworks is a mobile café situated on Constantia Neck Circle. Whether travelling by car or bicycle grab a cup of artisanal coffee from this bunch of upbeat, friendly baristas on the way to Hout Bay over the holidays. Or better yet, take a drive along Chappies and hit them as you circle back to town. Aside from some seriously good coffee, you can also pick up some fresh breakfast pots and other grab-and-go snacks and meals prepared with organic produce and products. And as if that is not good enough these guys keep it green and sustainable all round with solar powering and only the most ethically-produced produce. Follow their trading hours, doings and whereabouts here.
Located at 66 Albert Road in Woodstock, Rosetta Roastery is a place as character-filled as the coffee lovers who frequent it. Here, you can expect to find a variety of specialty-grade, single origin coffees from South- and Central America, Africa and Asia. Each varietal is micro-roasted to present its unique personality. If you can’t find the time to pop around for a cuppa you can get in touch to have the beans or ground coffee delivered to your door in Cape Town for free, or couriered nationwide at a fee.
House of the Machines
The House of Machines (THoM) is the passion project of craft beverage innovator Brad Armitage, fashion designer Paul van der Spuy, and custom bike builder/entrepreneur Drew Madacsi, who came together to create a purpose-built space to share and show off their shared passions. The result is a space that defines the forefront of cool and is about as manly as a dire wolf with tattoos and monster truck. It’s an awesome spot for a laid-back daytime date or a quick coffee and catch-up with your hipster mates. Also, great for a hungover brunch over the weekends. Indulge in their freshly brewed Evil Twin coffee made from 100% organic, shade-grown Arabica beans from the fertile soils of a single estate in the Honduras.
What started as a wild idea on a night out for founders Carl Wessel and Judd Francis Nicolay, has since turned into one of Cape Town’s best-loved success stories. These days you can get your Deluxe Coffeeworks fix at no less than six national outlets throughout the Mother City and Stellenbosch, and one in Namibia. Carl and Judd eschewed all the standard bells and whistles and started Deluxe Coffeeworks with a single, second-hand roaster in Carl’s backyard. From these humble beginnings grew a city-wide empire that is now the go-to supplier for the Cape Town’s hippest eateries and the java stop of choice for hardcore coffee fans. Pop in for the finest Brazilian, Guatemalan and Ethiopian hand-selected bean varieties, blended and roasted in-house daily to make full-bodied, full-flavoured, seriously smooth coffee.
Dyed-in-the-wool coffee lovers will adore Bean There – the first South African roaster of Fairtrade-certified coffee to source their beans exclusively through ethical channels. You’re not only contributing to a free and fair African coffee trade when you support this business, you’ll also get a good eyeful of the entire roasting process. The Capetonian branch of Bean There is located in a bright, airy space on Wale, right at the heart of the CBD – the perfect spot to savour a great cup of coffee while enjoying some prime people-watching. TOP TIP: Try the Burundian Musema – a beautifully balanced coffee with a sweat honey aroma, delicate acidity, creamy body and tones of rich berry and dark chocolate. Buy some beans or ground coffee to recreate this jaw-dropping experience at home while you’re at it.
Expresso Lab Microroasters
Espresso Lab Microroasters is a specialty coffee roastery based at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Here, visitors can look forward to enjoying coffee at the hands of a team that takes pride in sourcing small lots of freshly harvested beans that are then analysed to find the perfect roasting profile. This allows the shop’s roasters to reflect the terroir and origin of each coffee, showcasing its complexity in flavour and a striking that fine balance between sweetness and acidity. A little alchemy, a whole lot of science and plenty of really good coffee.
Origin Coffee Roasting
Origin Coffee Roasting is located at 28 Hudson St in the trendy Atlantic Seaboard neighbourhood of De Waterkant. Take a walk to this beautiful spot via the area’s boutiques and enjoy a beautifully crafted cup of coffee prepared by some of the revered baristas in town. Joel Singer and his team are passionate about the entire process, from the sourcing of the green beans, to the precise roasting, blending, grinding and pouring of coffee. Origin is able to get its hands on some of the finest beans around thanks to its preferential relationships with some of the world’s finest growers. These are then roasted by skilled roasters who work tirelessly to reveal the character of each blend.
If this doesn’t whet your whistle, you seriously need to get your whistle checked. Go on, make an outing of it, visit a few of these incredible roasteries and change the way you see coffee forever. Now go and enjoy your coffee fix and, as the Turks say, may your coffee be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love!
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