CAPE TOWN, Marc 18 — Everybody loves koffie in Cape Town. For Capetonians have access to some of the best coffee in Africa, with a growing number of cafés, professionally trained baristas and roasteries. Yes, Capetonians love their koffie — whether it’s a flat white or an espresso.
What’s more, the South African capital is also home to the world’s best coffee shop according to The Daily Telegraph. That might surprise café goers in established coffee capitals such as Wellington, Tokyo and Oslo, but then again, maybe they haven’t been to Truth Coffee.
Looking like something that came out of the film The Fifth Element, the coffee shop founded by David Donde is a paradise for steampunk fanatics. We marvel at… the entire café, covered by South African designer Haldane Martin with aged metal piping, repurposed machinery and stripped wooden floors. This is a factory of dreams and of artisanal coffee.
Every sip reveals something new, both for the tastebuds and for the other senses.
Here is a vintage typewriter incorporated into the striking bar; here are some retro posters and some steampunk-inspired art. Music is loud, naturally. Even the baristas serving us are dressed to match the ambience, each in bespoke steampunk attire.
Truth Coffee’s key feature is the 60 kilogram Probatcast iron roaster drum from the 1940s. Nicknamed the Colossus, this old-school roaster produces more heat than conventional steel drums. The result? Expect bold-tasting coffee here, to go with the bold décor.
Signature drinks include their Sunrise Espresso (a double shot with a dash of orange juice) and Keto Diet-approved Battle Brew Coffee (blended Americano, butter and MCT oil). Not our usual cuppas, but as lively as the heart of Cape Town.
For an entirely different experience, we head over to Woodstock, a gentrified suburb of Cape Town popular with hipsters and artists. Founded in 2010, Rosetta Roastery has been quietly drawing coffee lovers looking for a good cuppa away from the chaos of the city centre. The cosy interior, lit by soft lights, is immediately welcoming.
Owners Rob Cowles, a business major, and Jono Le Feuvre, a former journalist, first met at university. They even formed a band together but it was coffee that turned out to be their most enduring passion. Sharing their brew-fuelled fervour with their fellow South Africans seemed the next logical step.
Rosetta Roastery is all about single-origin, micro-roasted coffee. Forget about bold notes; lighter, subtle flavours prevail here. The duo sources single origin and estate coffees from South and Central America, Africa and Asia, so two thirds of the space is sensibly allocated to their roastery, where a Diedrich IR roaster reigns supreme.
Their friendly head barista, Ollie Balekage, is very eager about sharing his ideas about what’s the best way to prepare a specific coffee, what beans he’d recommend based on our desired profiles, and more. He’s a coffee geek’s dream come true: a barista who knows his stuff and who is unapologetically geeky about it too.
Yet the Rosetta team isn’t snobbish about coffee. Instead they want to demystify the nuts and bolts behind a great cuppa. The name “Rosetta” isn’t just derived from the iconic fern-leaf latte art but also the Rosetta Stone that helped in decoding hieroglyphics. Coffee here isn’t meant to be complicated, but enjoyed.
Capetonians love their koffie, and with such excellent brews and animated conversations, it’s not hard to see why.
36 Buitenkant St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm; Sat 8am-6pm; Sun 8am-2pm
Tel: +27 21 200 0440
Unit AG02, Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa
Open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm; Sat 9am-1pm; Sun closed