Where to find the best coffee in Cape Town

A city with a passion for excellent coffee, Cape Town is bursting with independent cafés and unique roasteries. You won’t find a Starbucks here (yet). Whether your caffeine kick of choice is a perfect flat white or black pour-over, there are plenty of fine establishments from which to pick. These five are amongst the best.

Coffee is a serious business in Cape Town. Credit: Tyler Nix, Unsplash.

Origin Coffee Roasting

From cold brew to flat whites, the coffees at Origin set the bar very high. Opened by Canadian Joel Singer in 2006, Origin’s headquarters are in De Waterkant, in a large, industrial-style space serving breakfast and lunch throughout the day. You can pull up a pew at the bar and learn more about coffee roasting or the beans used, which are of extremely high quality – the growers are all hand-picked by Origin. There are always at least eight single-origin coffees from which to choose, including varieties from Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil and Rwanda.

Origin De Waterkant, 28 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town 8001


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Bootlegger Coffee Company

The original Bootlegger opened in 2012 in Sea Point, but there are now 15 branches across Cape Town, with more on the way. But this fast-growing company hasn’t lost their focus on quality coffee as the business has boomed. Each branch is clad in black with a scrawled neon sign reading a different line from an AC/DC song. With breakfast and lunch on offer too, Bootleggers are popular with the remote workers of Cape Town; the original Sea Point branch is usually full of patrons hunched over their laptops or conducting standing Skype calls at the communal tables. The rich, strong coffee comes in glass tumblers and there are plenty of alternative options, including turmeric or beetroot and cocoa flat whites.

Bootlegger Sea Point, 39 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town 8005


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Tribe Coffee

An understated offering, Tribe is in the hipster neighbourhood of Woodstock, with a smaller branch in the city. The on-site roastery is famous for Bertha, a 1950s Probat roaster, which you can ask to see when you pop in for a coffee; you can even buy a Bertha t-shirt. There’s a relaxed, low-key vibe to Tribe’s Woodstock base, surrounded by art studios and creative brands. Try a Spanish-style cortado – like a flat white but with thinner steamed milk – made with Zimbabwean beans or a Malawi Gold Aeropress coffee.

Tribe Foundry Café & Roastery, The Woodstock Foundry, 160 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town 7915


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Coco Safar

One of the newest kids on the block, Coco Safar set up shop in Sea Point’s Artem Centre in January 2018. Surely the most luxurious coffee shop in South Africa, Coco Safar (a name that combines the luxurious connotations of the name Coco with the Arabic word for ‘journey’, safar) is not just a French-style café and patisserie – the complex also includes a ‘Capsule Emporium’, selling the world’s first compostable, oxygen-tight BIO-CAPSULES; a coffee lab with the world’s first level-technology espresso machine; and a tea bar with a vast variety of Rooibos. A New York branch is coming soon.

Coco Safar Sea Point, 277 Main Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town 8005


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Deluxe Coffeeworks

Deluxe focuses solely on the coffee, so you won’t find anything else to distract from that, including food. Their blend of Brazilian, Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans has remained unchanged since they started out and their coffee is also amongst the best value in the city. The style is industrial, with unfinished concrete floors, bicycles hoisted onto the walls and vehicle parts arranged as a wall-mounted art piece. Grab a seat at the coffee bar and sip an espresso to Deluxe’s awesome music selection.

Deluxe Coffeeworks Buitenkant Street Head Office, Roastery & Espresso Bar, 171A Buitenkant Street, Gardens, Cape Town 8001


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Check out where to eat in Cape Town or start planning your trip.

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