The Hottest Coffee Spots in Cape Town

coffee spots

Coffee is the second biggest industry in the world after petroleum, as recorded by Pronto Gourmet Coffee. When you think about it, you’ll be amazed at how obvious it seems. Everyone uses petroleum, the raw material of petrol, to come and go and nearly every household has a container of coffee in the cupboard and regularly enjoys this caffeinated beverage at various coffee shops.

Some people claim that they can’t start their day without coffee since it gives them energy, while others avoid coffee at all costs. This ongoing debate deliberates the benefits and risks of coffee, but regardless of this, Café Colombia claims two-thirds of Generation Y (you belong to this group if you were born between 1980 and 2000) population drink coffee dailyIt has now become a life source to millions, financially and physiologically.

The Coffee Journey

A person who doesn’t enjoy coffee is often gasped at. How can someone NOT like coffee? Well to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of coffee. Yet here I was, searching for Cape Town’s best coffee spots. Don’t worry, I gathered some troopers from the office to help me make this as accurate as possible. Since statistics don’t lie and most students fall under the Generation Y category it would be safe to assume that a caffeine fix is a regular occurrence.  Coffee is known to generate an energy boost and prevent a major crash. Feel a low coming on? Consume vast amounts of Java. It’s a cycle that never ends and there are fellow coffee lovers out there who have decided to make it their job to serve the best quality and tasting cup of Joe.

 

The EduConnect Team set out into the beautiful Mother City and sought out the best coffee spots we could find. We weren’t just looking for tastebud-blowing coffee. We were looking for the ultimate student spots too. Whether you need a new place to study or do projects in peace with a hot cup of Joe, or you need a place to unwind and relax from frustrations, we found them all.

The Company Gardens Coffee Shop

Company Gardens

This is a great place to start your morning. The tranquility and atmosphere of nature sets a certain tone to your mood and you can feel the skip forming in your step.

Service might not always be on top form, but the location and inspiration you can gain from it is worth the trip.

BE WARNED: Our Deputy Editor was caressed by a chipper squirrel. She will never forget the ‘traumatic’ experience of a squirrel clinging to her buttocks unexpectedly.

1. The Coffee

  • Enjoyability: 5/5
  • Presentation: 5/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

For a caffeine alternative we ordered a tea blend called Immensely Beautiful which is a herbal infusion of rose hip, blackberry leaves, peppermint and hibiscus. It was served in a pretty glass tea infuser called a Nigiro teapot. It was rather pricey but it is very enjoyable, this will be a real treat for a herbal tea lover.

Immensely Beautiful Overall: 5/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check! 
  • Plugs: check!
  • Study Atmosphere: check! 

This coffee shop will be perfect for an early morning study session. The afternoons become rather busy, as it’s a popular place for parents and nannies or babysitters to bring children for an afternoon outdoor activity.

Truth Coffee Roasting

Truth Coffee

We had to find out for ourselves why Truth was ranked number one in the world. Not only is the coffee spectacular, the service is impeccable too. Everyone working there is friendly and eager to help. The feel and look of the place is edgy and makes your creative juices flow.

FYI: They offer top class barista courses for coffee lovers or those who want to make coffee their profession. They have a 2009 Barista World Champion working behind the bar. Need I say more?

1. The Coffee

Here we didn’t order a caffeine alternative. Instead they gave us two of their best drinks – the Sunrise Espresso and the Silky Vengeance. Both are served cold and refresh you in more ways than you could think is possible.

The Sunrise espresso is a double shot of espresso with a dash of orange juice. It is served in a small glass cup with an orange slice attached.

  • Enjoyability: 5/5
  • Presentation: 5/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

The Silky vengeance is a mixture of espresso, cold milk and condensed milk. This is heaven to your taste buds and leaves you wanting more.

  • Enjoyability: 5/5
  • Presentation: 5/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

They don’t have sugar on the table. Truth serves the coffee the way it’s meant to be consumed – pure, black. If it’s meant to be milky or sweet, they’ll add it themselves. Regardless of this, you won’t want to add sugar. I, the non-coffee lover, enjoyed these caffeinated beverages immensely. Now that’s saying something.

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Study Atmosphere: check !

Truth is extremely busy. I doubt this place ever has a lull in its day. If you like a noisy environment and can study well in it, then this place is perfect. They have some booths towards the back which are slightly quieter without losing the atmosphere.

Field Office

Field Office

The original idea behind Field Office was to provide a meeting place for the owners to showcase their furniture. This little piece of information will be helpful when you notice the décor. Furniture on the walls and bucket lamps? Situation explained.

The service was speedy and we felt quite comfortable sitting in this quiet coffee shop, observing the people who were lost in the world of technology.

1. The Coffee

We ordered a cappuccino. It had a sweet taste to it and was pretty strong. If you’re on a real grind and need a huge kick to your productivity, this could be the one for you.

  • Enjoyability: 3/5
  • Presentation: 3/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

We sat down here for a lunch break, ordered sandwiches and a greek chicken salad. The salad was only R40 and it was huge with generous helpings of avo and all of the other good stuff.

  • Price and Taste: 5/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check
  • Plugs: check
  • Study Atmosphere: check

The simplistic décor and calming atmosphere allows for a productive session. As I mentioned, there were people who were lost in their world of technology, you could be one of them.

Kamili Coffee

Kamili

This experience was a real treat. After having cup after cup of Java, we entered Kamili fully expecting another flat white or cappuccino. Instead, owner and former bee keeper, Theo Snyckers, gave us a welcomed change of scenery.

Goodbye iced coffee, hello Honey Badger. Forget espresso blended with ice-cream and hello espresso mixed with honey. And it’s not just any honey, it’s proudly South African made by Theo’s friend’s dad.

Theo then gave us a sample of his nitrogen-infused coffee, which is the first of its kind in Cape Town. This is more of an acquired taste and will be better suited to intense coffee lovers out there – this is not a biased, non-coffee lover opinion, the other ladies agreed with me.

1. The Coffee

After the Honey Badger, we didn’t even consider trying a coffee alternative. Myself included. The Honey Badger is perfect and no other beverage was needed to convince us that Kamili deserved to be named one of the best coffee spots in Cape Town.

  • Enjoyability: 5/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

*It is a bit pricier than a cappuccino, but is definitely worth the few extra bucks! 

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: Nope :/
  • Plugs: Nope :/
  • Study Atmosphere: check!

They don’t have Wifi and plugs but if you just need to write or type out an assignment, Kamili has a quiet section that you could use for an hour for a change of scenery while enjoying a great cup of Java. Honestly, I would just go for the Honey Badger and pretend to be working when actually it’s just an excuse to drink caffeine. 

Anthony’s Golden Cup Coffee Shop

Anthony's

With dreams of opening a coffee museum with their collection of coffee pots, the elderly couple that owns this coffee shop is willing to offer the stories of their dreams and history. Their coffee isn’t as amazing as some of the others we tasted, but it suits the student piggy bank extremely well and it’s worth it. The staff’s kind hearts come out when they offer free coffee to the public sector workers of the area. Those guys are constantly in and out, refilling their cups.

1. The Coffee

The coffee was served very quaintly in a red polka dot cup and looking very foamy. The coffee was quite strong and slightly bitter but the chocolate sprinkles on top accentuated the taste well.

  • Enjoyability: 3/5
  • Presentation: 3/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

Considering we only paid R10 for a cappuccino, the price and taste go hand-in-hand. 

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: nope :/
  • Plugs: nope :/
  • Study Atmosphere: nope :/

This quaint coffee spot isn’t the ideal study spot. It’s small, cramped and can get quite stuffy in there. I would stop by here for coffee and maybe a quick recharge on the way to a study session in Gardens, to class, or to a well-deserved break.

Olympia Café

Olympia Cafe

Situated on the sea front of Kalk Bay, this almost Jamaican themed café is a gem you need to visit. Their view is spectacular and the sidewalk right in front of the café is bustling with residents off to work or walking their dogs. You’ll be greeted by friendly staff with warm smiles who eagerly await your order.

FYI: A cool fact – they have their own branded wine. And the café is dog friendly! I wouldn’t suggest bringing your Boerboel with for company, but a Chihuahua or other miniature dog would fit in quite comfortably without the risk of mass destruction.

1. The Coffee

Their coffee and view left us in the most amiable of moods.

  • Enjoyability: 3/5
  • Presentation: 3/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

We ordered the apricot and custard pastry as a caffeine alternative, as the smell and sight of freshly baked goods left our mouths watering. I would definitely go back to try out a few more pastries or dishes.

  • Pastry: 4/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: nope :/
  • Plugs: nope :/
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

Unfortunately they don’t have WiFi or plugs but there were a few corporate-looking men sitting at the window seats with their tablets. If you’re lacking inspiration or just need some refreshment and DON’T need WiFi, this place will get your creative juices flowing and leave you in awe of the view. Just remember to take a fully-charged electronic device to work from.

Hello Sailor

Hello Sailor

We set out to Obs, a popular destination for students. Hello Sailor welcomed us inside with its old-school navy feel. They served us quickly and we settled in and watched as life outside the café’s window continued.

They serve coffee and yummy food during the day and at night they offer the perfect start to a night out. They specialise in craft beers and offer a new menu with different specials every week, and from what I saw, it looked delicious. And you never know, the comfort might extend out to the harbour and you might bump into a real sailor there one day.

1. The Coffee

We were served a good old flat white in record time.

  • Enjoyability: 3/5
  • Presentation: 3/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

The red iced tea was very refreshing and wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet as iced teas tend to be at times.

  • Red Iced Tea: 4/5

2. Student Features

  • Wife: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

In terms of a great place to plonk during the day and study for a few hours, this place is perfect. They have plugs and free WiFi. Claudia, the manager, informed us that during exam times they are pretty full with students and have many regulars. I would definitely suggest giving this place a try.

Starlings Café

Starlings Cafe

Nestled behind the hedges on busy Belvedere Road in Claremont, you’ll find tranquillity and beauty. Although bustling with breakfast goers and friends catching up over a cup of coffee, this place still emanates peacefulness. Sitting under a canopy of trees with the trickling of the nearby fountain, I found myself getting lost in a new world with ideas flowing through my mind. Some may call this daydreaming, but I refer to it as being inspired.

1. The Coffee

Another cappuccino – keeping it real.

  • Enjoyability: 4/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

As a caffeine alternative, we were given the suggestion of the green juice. A combination of apple, cucumber and mint. After dreading trying a cucumber juice and half of it being knocked over the table, I actually enjoyed the fresh taste. You wouldn’t think that there’s cucumber in it if no one told you.

  • Green Juice: 5/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

This café may be busy but everyone seems to be aware of the tranquillity the place exudes and no one speaks overly loud or makes a huge noise. It’s the perfect combination of business and quiet.

Haas

Haas

This coffee shop is distinguished in the busy Buitekant Street by its completely black exterior and twisty architectural designs. This intriguing exterior invites you in and leads you into a visual feast. The bar and modern African décor captivates you, if it weren’t for the smell of the coffee, you might forget why you first entered its doors.

1. The Coffee

We ordered another flat white.

  • Enjoyability: 3/5
  • Presentation: 3/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

As a coffee alternative we had an apple juice with a shot of red espresso. This is smooth on a dry throat and refreshing on a hot day.

  • Iced Tea: 4/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

The atmosphere is study-friendly and it’ll be easy to get into the zone and study away with a good cup of Java for a few hours.

Bean There

Bean There

This shop is simply elegant with its white, sleek feel with splashes of colour. The window seats are inviting and super comfy with the overflow of cushions and colourful pillows. The counter is filled with glorious treats and the smell of coffee can’t help but to draw you closer.

1. The Coffee

We ordered another flat white.

  • Enjoyability: 4/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

No alternative was needed, the iced coffee hit the right spot in coffee lovers and not, alike. 

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

Bean There has a steady stream of customers who mostly seem to stop by for a take-away. The couches or tables towards the back would be an ideal study atmosphere. Although I can imagine myself snuggling up on the window seats on a rainy day with a good book and a steaming cup of Java in my hands.

Origin Coffee Roasting

Origin Coffee

This coffee shop not only has a great atmosphere but they provide coffee education too. We were shown a new method of making coffee. It’s called the siphon filter method. The glass beaker they use is called a siphon which uses a halogen light to heat up.

This method was started in the 1830s and then fizzled out when easier ways of coffee making were developed. It has only just recently come into the market again with the popularity of the hipster culture.

1. The Coffee

This coffee is highly recommended for the connoisseurs of the world. It’s very strong and can be a bit overwhelming, even for a coffee lover. But give it a bash and let your taste buds do the deciding for you.

  • Enjoyability: 5/5
  • Presentation: 5/5
  • Value for money: 2/5

This method of making coffee results in a very strong coffee and might not be enjoyed by everyone, coffee lover or not. This is a rather pricey coffee due to the time and skill the preparation requires, but the rest of the store is very reasonably priced.

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: check!
  • Plugs: check!
  • Student Atmosphere: check!

The atmosphere is study-friendly. It isn’t too loud but it still has a steady buzz of coffee drinkers to give you the general vibe and to allow you to work productively. The light in this coffee shop is quite weak, so try and find a light spot so that your eyes don’t become weary.[/su_spoiler]

Jason Bakery

Jason Bakery

Warning: EduConnect will not be held responsible for any addiction this next coffee shop causes.

It is highly recommended you give this place a visit on a Saturday. While it looks like the whole Mother City is fast asleep at 8am after a night out, Jason Bakery is buzzing. People are queuing to get a taste of the bakery’s specialty: doughssants.

A doughssant is a combination of a doughnut and a croissant. It looks like a ring doughnut but the pastry is the same as a croissant. Every Saturday they have a different flavoured doughssant. They’ve been serving these delicious pastries for 2 years now and haven’t repeated a flavour. We had a doughnut topped with a brash amount of dark chocolate, an assortment of berries and filled with vanilla cream custard throughout the centre.

1. The Coffee

The coffee is served at an impressive speed considering the busyness of this Saturday morning. It’s foamy, tasty, warm and hits the right spot on your pallet. The perfect way to start a day.

  • Enjoyability: 4/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 4/5

The caffeine alternative was the doughssant, of course. They also have yummy, freshly squeezed juices if you like that kind of thing. The doughssant was spectacular and would get 10 stars if it could.

  • Doughssant: 5/5

2. Student Features

  • WiFi: nope :/
  • Plugs: nope :/
  • Student Atmosphere: nope :/

As far as a place to study goes, this place would not be it. They don’t have WiFi and the premises is very small. The tables are also small and it would be difficult to balance a laptop and all of the extras on it. It’s extremely busy and noisy. This place would be the place to take a study break and chill with friends or grab a booster.

BONUS SHOP: Honest Chocolate

Honest Chocolate

As I’m sure you can tell, this place is not directly related to coffee. They do serve coffee, but that wouldn’t be your reason for visiting Honest Chocolate. The name of the store drew us nearer (females + chocolate = an expected response) and the quaint décor pulled us inside.

We were served a Coconut Dream. A well-deserved five stars. It has organic chocolate, dates and coconut milk blended together to give you a life-changing drink. The store makes its own artisan organic chocolate and doesn’t add any processed sugar.

  • Coconut Dream: 5/5

The shop has a constant flow of customers and isn’t really a sit down and study place. The tables are small and too close to the front to give you any concentration ability.

FYI: At night it turns into a gin bar.

And there you have it, folks.

12 of the best and most interesting coffee spots that we could find in the Mother City. The diversity amongst these coffee shops is amazing and each place has something different to offer, whether it be the style of making coffee, the bakery or the vibe. Unfortunately in a place as large as Cape Town, we may have overlooked a few that we’ve never heard of. Feel free to pop us a message and we’ll take a look at it.

EduConnect 2cents

Cape Town’s residents offer a wide range of diversity. No matter the ethnic group, culture, race or gender, everyone drinks coffee. Hop on over to one of these coffee spots to drink a great cup of Java and perhaps even meet new people. Coffee puts everyone in a great mood and is a great way to bond with people. Perhaps take a coffee tour yourself to be educated on all things coffee and to meet some new people who could teach you a thing or two.

Head on over to our review on The Academy of Coffee, a new shop in Woodstock that is sure to tickle your taste buds!

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