If you like me I cannot function without a great cup of coffee in the morning, the question is where do you find a good cup of coffee?
With our publication Coffee Culture you can do just that.
Discover the top rated coffee shops
Caloroso Cafe – 103 Meade Street, George
This sophisticated cafe is everything a coffee shop should be – a calm place for you to enjoy your brew, and spend quality time with friends. Check out the artwork, which changes regularly as it is sold off and replaced.
Coffee : Colaroso serve their own blend of three origins : an Indian from Mysore, Guatemalan organic Finca Ceylon, and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
Coffee BloC – Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Situated at the beautiful Buitenverwachting Wine Estate, the Coffee BloC and Quafee Roastery are two separate but symbiotic enterprises. Roasters Warren and Mzukisi roast a range of Direct Trade microlot beans that they source from all over. They believe (unlike many other roasters) that a specialist coffee should be roasted to its optimum, and then matched to a brew process, as opposed to roasting each coffee varietal to suit the brew process. This is a real purist philosophy.
This place is a great escape from the urban hustle and bustle (such as it is) of Cape Town‘s Southern Suburbs. As you drive down the long and winding driveway, you will pass horses, geese and cows, and, of course, rows of vines outlining a classic thatched Cape Dutch homestead. The cafe is quite small, with six tables inside, but has a large outdoor area. There is a small range of deli goods in the coffee shop, and wine tasting, too, right next door.
Coffee: Quaffee coffee – single origins and a blend.
Espresso Lab – The Old Biscuit Mill, Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Espresso Lab strives to prefect coffee enjoyment, from sourcing small lots of freshly harvested coffee to finding the optimal roasting profiles showcasing the complexity and balance of each coffee. It’s all about the coffee here – no fluffy scatter cushions and cutesy decor. The interior resembles a laboratory with white tiled walls and mosaic map of the world showing where their beans come from.
Don’t be in a rush when you come here. You will need time to take the full experience in – especially if you try a pourover, as it takes a while to make. Everything is weighed and timed to perfection. Renato spent some time in Scandinavia so he has adopted a Nordic style of roasting, which is softer on the palate. They also stock cool coffee gadgets. Vuyo recommends the cortado.
Coffee: Renato only uses speciality coffee, i.e., coffee that has scored at least 85 points on a 100-point scale. He also uses fully traceable microlot coffees from single estates and cooperatives.
Loading Bay – 30 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town
Loading Bay is a lovely spot in the trendy Bo-Kaap. It’s a mix of great decor, good food, superb coffee and beautiful people. It’s all black and white tiles, raw concrete and Victorian-inspired fripperies. The long slab of up-cycled herringbone parquet flooring that serves as a table is shared by regulars busy on their laptops. Fresh ingredients packed against the walls await only the chef’s hand before being transformed into something colourful and flavourful on your plate. Thursdays are burger nights.
Coffee: Loading Bay serve Espresso Lab coffee – really well.
White walls, bamboo tables and a comfy couch create a cool, relaxed atmosphere in this popular cafe. Many local Woodstock creatives consider this their field office, and spend hours here, penning that prize-winning novel, or designing the perfectly balanced widget. It’s close to the Biscuit Mill but not as busy.
Owner Jake came to South Africa from America to work with the Zip Zap circus, started making wine and cider, and then took his winemaker’s palate, nose and mouthfeel into coffee roasting and blending. He is busy training a new roaster – Dewald.
Coffee: Tribe Espresso Blend. They also have Malawi Gold, Tribe Organic Decaf and the Tribe Filter Blend. They serve Espresso, Americano, Flat White Latte, Mocha, Macchaito, Babycino, Picolo 3/4 Mochachino, Babalas Buster! AeroPress, Hot Chocolate. They serve exotic teas as well.
Urban Espress – 25 6th Avenue, Walmer, Port Elizabeth
This is a definitive urban cafe: open, airy with exposed brick walls and rough wooden counters and tables with some furnishing made from repurposed palettes. There is the ubiquitous bicycle mounted on the wall, and a cool fixie for sale. The tables are widely spaced so you can enjoy your brew without feeling crowded. Despite the surfaces being hard, the acoustics are great : it never feels loud.
There are plug points all around the store, so you can get charged up. Breakfast was prompt, the eggs perfectly done, and prices are reasonable, so have a meal here as well. It was a relief to find this place, a must if you drive anywhere nearby – in fact, I’d recommend making a detour to come here. You will be glad you did.
Coffee: They use a blend of Ethiopian Sidamo and Guatemalan. They serve Americano, Cappuccino, TopDeckaccino, Latte, Flavoured Lattes.
Aroma -Shop 4, Florens Heights Shopping Centre, 255 Lynnwood Road (corner of Pienaar Street), Brooklyn
The service is prompt, and the staff are friendly and accommodating. I was impressed to see Rael behind the counter pulling shots – a real hands-on business. When you’ve had your coffee, you must try their Gelato & Waffle Lounge next door, where you will be in for a big surprise.
Coffee: Uganda Bugisu, Ethiopian Sidamo, Colombian Decaf Roast. They serve Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Flat White, Cafe Latte, Mochaccino, Macchiato, Piccolo.
Origin Coffee Roasting – Corner of End and Albert Streets, Maboneng, Johannesburg
This Gauteng Origin is well positioned at the urban renewal hub of Maboneng, matching Cape Town‘s De Waterkant vibe. The two large tables in the middle of the room are usually occupied with people from all over the world hunched over their laptops. Be careful you don’t trip over all the charging cables.
Coffee: Origin Roasting’s winter blend. Their blend changes with the seasons. They don’t have a coffee menu, but aim to make the kind of coffee you’d prefer. Ask Gift.
A non-profit coffee shop! All profits go to a charity. When you get your coffee, it comes with a token. You then vote by dropping it into one of three charities. The one with the most tokens gets the cafe’s profits for the month.
Coffee: The Pedlar’s Blend, made of Tanzanian (African) and Brazilian, just like the owners! They serve Espresso, Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, Cold Brew, Hario pourover.
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