Part ONE Of SA’s Top Roasteries & Cafès For Coffee Snobs
Over the last few years, SA’s coffee culture has been brewing up a storm with new roasters popping up all over South Africa. If you’re a coffee snob, you know that it’s all about the beans. And if you’re not, you should be. It all starts at the origin and ends with the roaster.
Everyone’s taste is different, and no one knows what you find delicious.
For those of you who turn your nose up at a cup of instant, here is a list of great coffee spots in the Western Cape that roast their own beans, create speciality blends or serve interesting coffee drinks.
Beans About Coffee (Riebeek-Kasteel)
Beans About Coffee offers great coffee blends with quality, rich flavour and freshness. The 100% Arabica coffee beans are sourced from Guatemala, Brazil, Ethiopia and Colombia. Complement your choice of coffee (R24 for a flat white) with a stroll around the quaint town of Riebeek Kasteel.
The Coffee Roasting Company (Somerset West)
This roastery is located on the beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate and serves hand-picked speciality single-origin coffees that are 100% Arabica. The beans are sourced from all over the world, including Africa, Colombia, India, Peru, Indonesia and Guatemala. Pop in to buy your beans or find a cosy spot on the couch and play a board game while enjoying your cuppa (R28 for a grande flat white). The roastery also has a nifty deli filled with lovely spreads, chocolates and olive oils.
This picture-perfect coffee shop ticks all the boxes with its beautiful and homely food and drinks, and friendly service. The beans here are from Deluxe Coffeeworks and are expertly turned into espresso, Americanos and flat whites (R22) for a caffeine kick. If you’re looking for something more exciting, the Deluxe beans also feature in the ice coffee and the ice latte. Baked creations are an irresistible accompaniment, too.
Terbodore Coffee Roasters (Franschhoek)
This roastery uses imported Arabica coffee beans from 13 different countries. They are roasted, blended and flavoured on-site to create the full-bodied range of Terbodore coffees, including the signature dark-roast Great Dane blend. The roasters also offer a range of flavoured brews (hazelnut, French vanilla, Dutch chocolate and English toffee). There’s a quirky coffee truck that does the rounds, too, offering fresh, hot fairtrade brews with a savoury or sweet pastry twist.
Snob’s Coffee (Somerset West)
Snob’s Coffee is the first solar-powered roastery in the country. The beans are heated with infrared radiation heaters in a revolving perforated drum, which then transfers secondary heat to the beans via conduction. This process is not only great for the environment, but it also adds an intense flavour from the slowly developed beans. The selection of coffees includes 11 different blends and single-origin options. A flat white will set you back R28 for a large. Pro tip: The Afternoon Bliss bean has lower caffeine content, so it won’t keep you up all night.
Strictly Coffee (Robertson)
This boutique coffee roastery makes a good post-wine-tasting pit stop. The team roasts a variety of coffees from around the world, including Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Sidamo in Ethiopia. The policy is to roast to order so that customers get the freshest possible brews. (R20 for a large flat white.)
Bean There Coffee Company (City Bowl)
This city-bowl roastery is South Africa’s first to offer certified Fairtrade coffee. Beans are sourced from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. The beans are roasted in the Wale Street coffee shop, so you can watch the whole process while you’re sipping on your mid-morning cuppa. They sell single-origin coffee only (no blends) so that you can taste each country’s unique character and be assured of the highest quality. A selection of coffee accessories and equipment such as plungers, grinders, espresso machines and hand-crafted chocolate are also on offer at the shop.
Bootlegger Coffee Company (Kenilworth, Kalk Bay, Sea Point)
The team here has carefully selected beans from Guatemala, Costa Rica and Tanzania, which are then roasted on a daily basis on-site. The coffee blends display hints of toasted hazelnut, caramel and dark chocolate. You can watch the roaster whirr away as you sip on a flat white (R26) and enjoy delicious breakfasts, lunches or coffee treats. Pro tip: Take advantage of the daily R16 coffee special from 6.30 am to 8.30 am.
Deluxe Coffeeworks (Gardens)
This small roastery has a bit of a cult following. The blends of coffee are delicious, unique and sourced from all over the globe, including Ethiopia, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Beans to take home can be freshly ground to your specifications while you sip away on your favourite brew (R18 for a flat white) and soak up the edgy atmosphere.
Espresso Lab Microroasters (Woodstock)
This passionate speciality coffee roastery has a hand-picked selection of imported green beans roasted in small batches at low temperatures on the premises. The owner has spent some time in Scandinavia and has learnt an approach that leads to a more subtle aroma and taste of the palate. Most of the beans are organic, and single-origin beans, as well as blends from Costa Rica to Indonesia, are offered. Escape the Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday and sneak in here for a Black Ice (espresso, crushed ice and natural sweetener), a Vitamin C espresso shot (with orange juice), or a coffee and tonic. (Prices range from R22 to R30.)
Flatmountain Coffee (Woodstock)
From floral Ethiopian Sidamo to the creamy Malawian Mzuzu, this hipster hotspot on Sir Lowry Road roasts some top-notch beans for Woodstock locals. The coffee menu is similar to that of a comprehensive wine list, with tasting notes on each blend and single-origin cup. A Heritage blend is also offered, made up of two South American coffees mixed with a touch of African beans for a smooth, floral finish.
Haas Coffee (City Bowl)
Coffee at this beautiful coffee spot is described by the Haas team as art itself. The roasters have taken great care in sourcing the finest beans from around the world, including a variety of single-origin coffees from Brazil and Indonesia. Sip on Ethiopian, Guatemalan or Colombian single-origin coffees or try the complex Haas blend (R23 for a flat white). Those who prefer something even more exotic could sample the delectably smooth Jamaican Blue Mountain, made with beans that have been shade-grown on the misty slopes of the Jamaican mountains at an altitude of 1 700m. Die-hard coffee fans can order the Death Wish, the world’s strongest coffee, all the way from New York state. Not for the faint-hearted, this cup packs 200% more caffeine punch.
Hard Pressed (Foreshore)
Good coffee coupled with good music is hard to beat. And with seating both indoors and outdoors, plus free WiFi, this little gem is a great place to get a caffeine fix before, after or during working hours. Their delicious coffee is a special blend courtesy of Mischu and goes great with one of their brekkies or hearty sandwiches.
Hazz Coffee (Newlands)
At Hazz you can sip on a special blend of pure Arabica beans poured to perfection by master baristas. The boutique roastery and espresso bar serve classic caffeinated drinks, from the flat white (R20 for a double) to the macchiato. You can also order a special plunger and Chemex brews. To pair a snack with your cuppa, tuck into deli sandwiches and pastries.
The House of Machines (City Bowl)
The friendly baristas here serve killer 100% certified organic Arabica beans from The House of Machines’ own brand, Evil Twin. The flat whites here are pretty spectacular, and the shop is open from 7 am on weekdays for early birds. Pro tip: Go before 9 am to take advantage of the discounted coffees (R15 for a single; R20 for a double).
Mischu (Sea Point)
This friendly café has won awards for its wonderfully smooth, rich Isabella Blend. Grab a pastry and order your coffee to go and take it for a walk to the promenade. And, if you’re looking for a taste further down the Sea Point strip, you’ll find them pouring outside Laughton’s Hardware, too.
Origin Coffee Roasting (City Bowl)
This artisanal roastery and barista school are also home to a bustling café. Grab a table and sip on your favourite brew and enjoy a bagel, buy boxes of roasted coffees, or watch the espresso machine and coffee grinders at work. Beans come from Africa, South America, Central America and Asia Pacific, and the baristas also serve nitro coffee and nitrogen-infused tea.
Shift Espresso Bar (Green Point)
Organic Fair Trade coffee, sourced and roasted in Africa, is the drink of choice at this cool coffee spot. While there are some good breakfasts and bakes, Shift’s forte is speciality coffees, made with some pretty decadent extras. Standouts are the Hashtag, with a blended double-shot of espresso, vanilla ice cream and Oreos (R35), and the Italian Plumber, with vanilla ice cream, Nutella and condensed milk (R40). Pro tip: Take advantage of the morning special where all classic coffees go for R15 between 7 am to 9 am, Monday to Saturday.
Truth Coffee Roasting (City Bowl)
This stylish steampunk spot serves artisanal coffee made with ethically selected green coffee that’s been micro-roasted in-house. The most popular brew is, of course, the flat white (R23). The Truth team choice, however, is the Sunrise Espresso, a double shot of espresso with a dash of orange juice, which is apparently way more delicious than it sounds.
Tribe Coffee (Woodstock)
Before settling down to a cup of coffee with a muffin, croissant or pastry from the confectionery counter, take a walk through the eclectic courtyard to the roasting room and meet ‘woman of steel’ Bertha, the roaster. She is responsible for roasting the beans that come from organically certified farms around the globe. There’s also a stellar decaf option for those looking to cut down on caffeine. The team are also launching a new menu soon, so be sure to keep your eyes out for that.
Rosetta Roastery (Woodstock)
This roastery, located in the cool creative hub of the Woodstock Exchange, sources single-origin and -estate coffees from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Visit the coffee bar and enjoy your choice of coffee and bean (R30 for a flat white) with a pastry. You can also grab a slow brew, with a choice between a pour-over or a Kyoto ice coffee.
Have you got an absolute favourite brew?
Have we missed your favourite coffee roastery or café? Please share it with your fellow coffee lovers in the comments below.
SA’s Top Roasteries & Cafès For Coffee Snobs