The coffee culture that has emerged in major cities around the globe has also taken over Cape Town. There is definitely a thriving coffee community in the Mother City and South Africans increasingly embrace the culture of good coffee. More coffee drinkers have bean grinders at home and not only coffee making machines anymore; we are shifting away from drinking instant coffee and whilst Cape Town is famous for its tourist attractions, it is now also the ‘capital’ of the South African coffee scene and is recognised as a player in the speciality coffee field. There are thought to be over 150 roasters in the country and international Barista flock out to see what South African roasters are up to.
Here is our selection of the finest and most unusual coffee spots in and around Cape Town:
Truth Coffee (Central Cape Town)
David Donde, the main face behind Truth loved the idea of wanting to provide the best coffee experience there is around. The design of the ‘Best coffee shop in the world’ (MSN Travel 2013) focuses around a cast iron vintage roaster drum. The cast iron gives off radiant and convective heat making for a stronger flavoured coffee than that of other coffees brewed in the more common steel drums.
36 Buitenkant Street, Central Cape Town
Origin Coffee Roasting (Central Cape Town)
These were the pioneers of the coffee culture in Cape Town. Here you will get top notch, well roasted artisan coffee. The shop invites its visitors to explore new varietals from 10-2 -bins of the finest single origin coffees on display each day, to find out about the farms they were grown on and experience and explore with different blends. Both coffee and bags of the beans themselves are available for take away too.
28 Hudson Street, De Waterkant
Deluxe at The Yard (East City, Cape Town)
For most the coolest coffee place in Cape Town, Deluxe offers affordable coffee (R12 for anything served there) with reasonably priced beans. The shop is modelled on an espresso bar, a real gem – top to bottom glass panelling, the décor simple, retro and interesting. The Baristas are quintessentially hipster.
25 Church Street, City Bowl
Tribe Coffee Roasters (The Foundry, Woodstock)
Located in Woodstock, in the trendiest Cape Town neighbourhood Tribe is set in a small, unassuming building set back from Main Road, Woodstock. Tribe roasts their own daily drinking coffee and will deliver directly to surrounding offices or homes. Two top calibre roasters in Jake Easton and Bradley Juter run the show with the help of coffee professional Kate Nero.
170 Albert Road, Woodstock
Bean There Coffee Roasters (Central Cape Town)
This is the home of yearly coffee competitions with participants from all over the world. The people behind Bean There are coffee fanatics who travel across Africa to find you the best bean. It is South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee and strives to make a sustainable difference in the lives of African coffee producers by personally sourcing quality coffee through direct fair trade.
58 Wale Street, Cape Town
The Bootlegger (Sea Point)
This fairly new venture is busy morning until night with excellent food and beans you can pick up right there in the café. It features an imported Dutch Giesen coffee roaster and beautiful wood counters. Almost everything you see has been custom made. It’s simple but very New York.
If you are not so keen on coffee? Try Bootlegger’s iced tea made daily from loose-leaf rooibos and expect a new flavour every day!
39-41 Regent Road, Sea Point
Haas Coffee Collective (Bo-Kaap, Cape Town)
It is all under one roof – it is home to collectibles, a gallery and studio space, an advertising agency and a coffee shop. Formed in February 2010 by Francois Irvine, Tess Berlein and Glynn Venter, Haas, as it’s casually known, is design oriented and a lovely café to sit and sip in. Haas also offers their coffee for purchase online. You will also find quirky details on your crockery, made especially for Haas, like ants crawling on your side plate or a skull on a coffee cup.
And for those who consider themselves real connoisseurs, you will be happy to hear that this Bo-Kaap cafè stocks Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world. Made from beans that have been eaten by Asian Palm Civets, small forest dwelling mammals – this blend is mild and not as bitter as other coffees.
67 Rose Street, Bo-Kaap
And our pick of relaxed eateries with the focus on good coffee:
Starling and Hero Bicycle Café (The Woodstock Exchange, Woodstock)
Starling is a classic café with the cyclist in mind. You can bring your bicycle to get fixed and get great coffee and food while waiting. Located in vibey Woodstock Exchange, it is healthy, serves on-the-go cupcakes, snacks, coffee and a variety of freshly made juices and smoothies.
66 Albert Road, Woodstock
The Blend (East City, Cape Town)
Open daily for busy worker bees and students, The Blend offers a variety of coffee unlike any other café in Cape Town, a selection of the city’s best roasts under one roof. The Blend stocks roasts of Tribe, Deluxe and Kupa and is in the process of signing up a bunch of other roasteries. For lunch try one of their killer sandwiches – think bacon, brie and fig or pesto chicken.
79 Roeland Street, Cape Town
Loading Bay (Waterkant)
One of the only places in Cape Town to serve Espresso Lab Roasters coffee. The coffees, served in glasses rather than traditional porcelain cups, are excellent as are the Lebanese style breakfasts. The food is great (try the truffle chips), epic Thursday burger nights and friendliest staff – plus there is also an AMAZING mens and ladies wear shop attached.
3 Hudson Street, De Waterkant
Jason Bakery (Bree Street, Cape Town)
Jason Lilley rose to fame in Cape Town as ‘Captain Bread’ after his Twitter Alias. He is also the man behind the original Jardine Bakery. You will find here goods baked to perfection before sunrise.
Jason offers croissant-addicts their daily fix, baked treats including home-style breads, cakes, pies and great coffee in a relaxed off-street environment or for take away.
185 Bree Street, Cape Town
Superette (The Woodstock Exchange, Woodstock)
The brainchild of the organisers of the Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock, Superette is a neighbourhood café where you can find an assortment of your favourite market produce and speciality foods.
The menu is prepared by chef Lyndall Maunder and Aisha Redpath Treppo using locally sourced seasonal fare. Fresh from farm to plate. It is a hipsters and in-crowd paradise with highly dependable coffee. Coffee by local roasters Deluxe and Rosetta, as well as a selection of craft beers on tap. Perfect for people watching.
66 Albert Road, Woodstock
Olympia Cafe and Deli (Kalk Bay)
A classic out of town venue – if you are out by the sea and need a caffeine fix, Olympia Café makes an immense cup of coffee and has incredible food to go along. A buzzing café on the vibey Kalk Bay main road. Olympia Café is well known for their awesome breakfasts and bakery, fabulous coffee, sensational seafood and yummy lunches. A must visit.
134 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Courtesy Gaby Gramm, Luxtravelex