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The Local’s Guide To Cape Town For Coffee Lovers


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Eloisa Almaguer



Welcome to Cape Town, the vibrant city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culinary scene. For coffee lovers, Cape Town is a paradise waiting to be explored. From trendy coffee shops to local favorites tucked away in charming neighborhoods, the city offers a plethora of options to indulge in your caffeine cravings.


Cape Town’s coffee culture is thriving, with a growing number of specialty coffee shops opening up all over the city. Whether you’re searching for the perfect flat white, a meticulously brewed pour-over, or a unique coffee creation, you’ll find it all in Cape Town.


What sets Cape Town’s coffee scene apart is the emphasis on quality, sustainability, and the fusion of local flavors. Many coffee shops source their beans from local farms or roasters, ensuring that you’re not only getting a great cup of coffee but also supporting the local community.


In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through Cape Town’s coffee culture, highlighting the best coffee shops, hidden gems, and experiences that will satisfy your caffeine fix. So grab your favorite mug, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of coffee in Cape Town.


Cape Town’s Coffee Culture

Cape Town’s coffee culture is a vibrant and dynamic scene that has experienced significant growth in recent years. The city has embraced the rise of specialty coffee and the art of brewing, making it a haven for coffee enthusiasts.


One of the defining characteristics of Cape Town’s coffee culture is the focus on quality and craftsmanship. Many coffee shops in the city pride themselves on sourcing beans from local farms and roasters, ensuring that every cup of coffee tells a story. This commitment to supporting local producers not only results in exceptional flavor but also promotes sustainability and ethical practices.


Another aspect that sets Cape Town’s coffee culture apart is the emphasis on creating unique and innovative coffee experiences. From tasting flights that allow you to explore different flavors and brewing methods to latte art workshops where you can unleash your creativity, there’s always something new to discover.


The coffee shops in Cape Town are not just places to grab a quick cup of joe; they are vibrant community hubs where people gather, connect, and engage. It’s common to see locals working on their laptops, friends catching up over coffee, and coffee enthusiasts discussing their latest brewing techniques. The inviting and cozy atmosphere of these coffee shops adds to the overall experience.


Cape Town’s coffee culture also celebrates the fusion of local flavors and international influences. Don’t be surprised to find unique coffee creations infused with local ingredients like rooibos, buchu, or Amarula. These innovative blends reflect the city’s diverse heritage and showcase the creativity of its coffee artisans.


Whether you’re a coffee aficionado eager to explore new taste profiles or someone who simply enjoys the warmth and aroma of a well-brewed cup, Cape Town’s coffee culture has something to offer everyone. Get ready to embark on a journey of flavors, aromas, and the vibrant coffee scene that awaits you in this incredible city.


Best Coffee Shops in Cape Town

Cape Town is home to a wide array of exceptional coffee shops that cater to every coffee lover’s taste and preference. These coffee shops not only serve outstanding coffee but also provide unique atmospheres and experiences. Here are some of the best coffee shops in Cape Town:

  1. Truth Coffee Roasting: As one of the city’s most iconic coffee spots, Truth Coffee Roasting is renowned for its steampunk-inspired interior and award-winning coffee. Their carefully sourced beans and skilled baristas ensure a memorable caffeine fix.
  2. Origin Coffee Roasting: With multiple locations across the city, Origin Coffee Roasting is a must-visit for any coffee enthusiast. Their dedication to ethically sourced beans, expert roasting, and exceptional brewing methods guarantees a remarkable coffee experience.
  3. Deluxe Coffeeworks: This small, minimalist coffee shop in the heart of Cape Town consistently delivers top-notch coffee. Known for their no-nonsense approach to coffee, Deluxe Coffeeworks offers a selection of blends and single-origin coffees that satisfy even the most discerning palates.
  4. Haas Coffee Collective: Haas Coffee Collective is much more than just a coffee shop. It is an artistic haven where coffee meets creativity. Enjoy their perfectly brewed cup of coffee while browsing through art pieces and unique crafts in this eclectic space.
  5. Rosetta Roastery: Tucked away in an industrial area, Rosetta Roastery is a hidden gem for coffee connoisseurs. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through their extensive coffee menu, allowing you to explore different flavor profiles and brewing methods.
  6. Shift Espresso Bar: This cozy and inviting coffee shop in Cape Town’s De Waterkant neighborhood is known for its friendly service and expertly crafted coffee. Whether you’re in the mood for an espresso, cappuccino, or pour-over, Shift Espresso Bar has you covered.

These are just a few of the many exceptional coffee shops that Cape Town has to offer. Each one is unique in its own way and provides a distinct coffee experience. No matter which coffee shop you choose to visit, you’re bound to be greeted with warm hospitality, expertly brewed coffee, and a delightful ambiance that will enhance your overall coffee journey in Cape Town.


Neighborhood Spotlights

When it comes to exploring Cape Town’s coffee scene, it’s not just about the individual coffee shops; the neighborhoods they reside in also play a role in shaping the overall experience. Here are some neighborhood spotlights that are worth visiting for their unique coffee offerings:

  1. Woodstock: Located just outside the city center, Woodstock is a trendy neighborhood known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. It’s also a hub for coffee lovers, with its streets lined with hip coffee shops and roasteries. Be sure to check out The Old Biscuit Mill, a historic market that hosts the popular Neighbourgoods Market on Saturdays, where you can sample a variety of specialty coffees from local artisans.
  2. Long Street: Long Street is a bustling and lively part of the city known for its vibrant nightlife and eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. It’s a great place to explore during the day, grabbing a cup of coffee at one of the many sidewalk cafes and immersing yourself in the vibrant street life.
  3. Sea Point: If you’re in the mood for a coffee with a view, head to Sea Point. This coastal neighborhood offers stunning ocean vistas and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the beachfront cafes while soaking in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. Observatory: Known as “Obs” by the locals, Observatory is a quirky and bohemian neighborhood that attracts artists, students, and coffee enthusiasts. The streets are lined with unique coffee shops, bookstores, and vintage shops. This is a great place to explore if you’re looking to experience Cape Town’s alternative coffee culture.
  5. Gardens: Located near the city center, Gardens is a stylish and upscale neighborhood with quaint cafes and charming streets. In this leafy suburb, you’ll find specialty coffee shops nestled between trendy boutiques and inviting restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood and discover hidden coffee gems along the way.

Each of these neighborhoods offers its own distinct character, history, and coffee culture. Exploring the different neighborhoods will not only lead you to exceptional coffee but also provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and local communities of Cape Town.


Coffee Tasting Experiences

If you’re a true coffee aficionado or simply curious to explore the flavors and nuances of different coffees, Cape Town offers a range of coffee tasting experiences that will elevate your appreciation for this beloved beverage.


Cupping Sessions: Many specialty coffee shops and roasteries in Cape Town offer cupping sessions, where you can learn about the art of coffee tasting. Led by experienced baristas or coffee experts, these sessions guide you through the process of evaluating the aroma, flavor, and acidity of various coffees from different regions.


Flavor Profiling: Some coffee shops in Cape Town offer flavor profiling experiences where you can discover and identify the different flavor notes present in a cup of coffee. From fruity and floral to chocolatey and nutty, you’ll learn to distinguish the complex flavors that make each coffee unique.


Brewing Workshops: For those eager to delve deeper into the world of coffee brewing, attending a brewing workshop is a must. These hands-on sessions teach you the art of brewing methods such as pour-over, Aeropress, or espresso. You’ll gain valuable insights into grind size, extraction time, and water temperature, empowering you to create your own perfect cup of coffee at home.


Roastery Tours: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of a coffee roastery and witness the entire coffee bean transformation process. From green beans to fully roasted and packed bags, you’ll learn about the various stages of coffee production. Some tours even include cupping sessions, allowing you to taste freshly roasted coffees straight from the roastery.


Coffee Farm Visits: If you’re up for a more immersive experience, consider visiting a coffee farm near Cape Town. Here, you can witness firsthand the entire cultivation process, from growing and harvesting the coffee cherries to processing and roasting the beans. Immerse yourself in the rich coffee-growing traditions and enjoy freshly brewed coffee surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the farm.


Whether you’re a novice coffee drinker or a seasoned enthusiast, these coffee tasting experiences in Cape Town provide a deeper understanding of the complexities and flavors that coffee has to offer. It’s a delightful journey that enhances your appreciation for coffee and leaves you with a newfound knowledge and admiration for this beloved beverage.


Unique Coffee Creations

In Cape Town, the coffee scene is not just limited to traditional brewing methods. The city is known for its creativity and innovation when it comes to unique coffee creations. Here are some of the most intriguing and delicious coffee concoctions you can find in Cape Town:


Amarula Coffee: Amarula is a popular South African liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. When added to a cup of hot coffee, it creates a delightful blend of flavors, adding a creamy and slightly sweet twist to your usual cup of joe.


Rooibos Latte: Rooibos tea is a beloved South African herbal tea known for its rich flavor and health benefits. In Cape Town, you’ll find coffee shops that offer Rooibos lattes, a delicious and caffeine-free alternative to traditional coffee-based lattes. It’s smooth, comforting, and perfect for those looking for a caffeine-free option.


Bee Pollen Latte: For a unique and nutritious coffee experience, try a bee pollen latte. Bee pollen is known for its antioxidant properties and health benefits. When added to a latte, it lends a subtle sweetness and a delicate floral flavor that complements the coffee beautifully.


Activated Charcoal Latte: Activated charcoal has gained popularity for its detoxifying properties, and you can find it in latte form in some Cape Town coffee shops. The striking black color makes for a visually appealing drink, and the subtle earthy flavor of the charcoal adds a unique twist to your latte experience.


Honey Cappuccino: Cape Town’s coffee culture often incorporates local ingredients, and one of the favorites is honey. Adding a drizzle of honey to your cappuccino not only adds a hint of natural sweetness but also enhances the flavors of your coffee, creating a delightful and comforting cup.


Frozen Coffee Treats: Cape Town’s warm climate calls for refreshing frozen coffee treats. You’ll find coffee shops that specialize in cold brews or craft unique coffee-inspired ice creams and milkshakes. These icy delights are perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day.


These unique coffee creations showcase the creativity and innovative spirit of Cape Town’s coffee artisans. They add a twist to your regular coffee routine, allowing you to explore new flavors and experience the city’s vibrant coffee culture in a whole new way. Whether you’re an adventurous coffee lover or simply curious to try something different, these unique coffee creations are sure to surprise and delight your taste buds.


Coffee and Food Pairings

When it comes to enhancing the flavor profiles of both coffee and food, the right pairing can create a harmonious and enjoyable sensory experience. In Cape Town, coffee shops and eateries have embraced the art of coffee and food pairings, offering unique combinations that elevate the taste of both. Here are some popular coffee and food pairings to try in Cape Town:


Dark Chocolate and Espresso: The bittersweet notes of dark chocolate pair exceptionally well with the robust flavors of espresso. Indulge in a piece of high-quality dark chocolate alongside a shot of espresso to experience the perfect balance of richness and intensity.


Pastries and Pour-Over: Delicate pastries like croissants, danishes, or muffins complement the smoothness and subtle flavors of pour-over coffee. The buttery, flaky textures of pastries enhance the complexities of the coffee, creating a delightful breakfast or afternoon treat.


Cheese and Cold Brew: Cold brew coffee’s smooth and low-acidity profile pairs wonderfully with a variety of cheeses. Hard cheeses like aged cheddar or nutty Gouda, as well as creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert, provide a flavorful contrast that accentuates the uniqueness of the cold brew.


Spicy Foods and Cappuccino: The creamy texture and milk foam of a cappuccino can help soothe the heat of spicy foods while enhancing the flavor. Pair a spicy curry dish or a flavorful Mexican meal with a cappuccino to balance the spice and enjoy a textured, comforting experience.


Fruit and Iced Coffee: Fresh fruit, whether it’s berries, citrus, or tropical fruits, pairs beautifully with the refreshing qualities of iced coffee. The natural sweetness and acidity of the fruit complement the chilled coffee’s bright and crisp flavors, making it a perfect pairing for a sunny day.


Seafood and Single-Origin Coffee: The delicate and nuanced flavors of single-origin coffees, with their varying profiles, can be paired with seafood dishes to create a sublime experience. Whether it’s grilled fish, shrimp, or sushi, the clean and subtle flavors of the coffee won’t overpower the delicacy of the seafood.


These coffee and food pairings are just a starting point to explore the rich and diverse culinary experiences that Cape Town has to offer. The city’s food scene is as vibrant as its coffee culture, and with a little experimentation and an open palate, you’ll uncover even more delightful combinations to tantalize your taste buds.


Cape Town Coffee Events

Cape Town is a city that loves to celebrate its coffee culture, and throughout the year, there are several exciting coffee events that bring together coffee enthusiasts, industry professionals, and the local community. These events provide a platform for showcasing the city’s top coffee talent and offer a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant coffee scene. Here are some noteworthy coffee events in Cape Town:


Cape Town Coffee Festival: The Cape Town Coffee Festival is an annual event that celebrates everything coffee-related. It features a wide range of activities, including coffee tastings, brewing demonstrations, latte art competitions, panel discussions, and workshops led by industry experts. The festival brings together local and international coffee roasters, baristas, and coffee lovers for a weekend of coffee appreciation and discovery.


Coffee & Chocolate Expo: This delightful event combines two of life’s greatest pleasures: coffee and chocolate. The Coffee & Chocolate Expo in Cape Town showcases a variety of coffee roasters, chocolatiers, and coffee equipment suppliers. Visitors can indulge in tasting sessions, watch live demonstrations, participate in workshops, and explore the delicious world of coffee and chocolate pairings.


Barista Championships: Cape Town is home to talented baristas who compete in regional and national barista championships. These competitions showcase the skills, creativity, and expertise of baristas in crafting exceptional cups of coffee. Attending these championships allows you to witness the artistry and precision that goes into making the perfect espresso-based drinks.


Coffee Workshops and Tastings: Numerous coffee shops and roasteries in Cape Town offer regular workshops and tastings for coffee enthusiasts. These events delve into various topics such as brewing techniques, coffee cupping, latte art, and coffee appreciation. It’s an opportunity to learn from industry professionals, broaden your knowledge of coffee, and refine your palate.


Artisanal Markets: Cape Town’s vibrant artisanal markets often feature coffee stalls where you can interact with local coffee roasters and sample their latest offerings. These markets offer a great opportunity to explore different coffee flavors, discover new coffee brands, and learn about Cape Town’s coffee culture while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the market.


Attending these coffee events in Cape Town is not only a great way to discover new flavors and techniques, but also to connect with fellow coffee lovers, learn from industry experts, and celebrate the city’s thriving coffee scene. Whether you’re a coffee professional or a passionate coffee consumer, these events are a must-visit to fully immerse yourself in the world of coffee in Cape Town.


Sustainable Coffee in Cape Town

Cape Town’s coffee scene has embraced the importance of sustainability, with many coffee shops and roasteries actively promoting and prioritizing environmentally conscious practices. From sourcing ethically grown beans to reducing waste, the city’s coffee community is committed to making a positive impact on the planet. Here’s how sustainability is being incorporated into the coffee culture in Cape Town:


Direct Trade Relationships: Several coffee shops in Cape Town have established direct trade relationships with coffee farmers. By bypassing intermediaries, these coffee shops ensure that farmers are paid fair prices for their beans, promoting equitable relationships and supporting sustainable farming practices.


Local and Seasonal Ingredients: Many coffee shops in Cape Town prioritize supporting local suppliers and using seasonal ingredients. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation and promotes sustainability through supporting local agriculture and minimizing food waste.


Reusable Cups and Packaging: In an effort to reduce waste, coffee shops in Cape Town encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups or offer reusable cup programs. Additionally, many cafes have transitioned to sustainable packaging materials, such as compostable or biodegradable cups, lids, and straws, to minimize their environmental impact.


Recycling and Composting: Playing their part in waste reduction, many coffee shops in Cape Town implement recycling and composting initiatives. They separate waste, ensuring that materials such as coffee grounds and organic waste are composted, while paper, plastic, and glass are recycled. This commitment to responsible waste management minimizes the environmental impact of coffee consumption.


Energy-Efficient Practices: Coffee shops in Cape Town strive to minimize energy usage and adopt energy-efficient practices. This includes using energy-saving appliances, LED lighting, and implementing strategies to conserve water and electricity. By prioritizing sustainability in their operations, these coffee establishments contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.


Community Engagement: Many coffee shops in Cape Town actively engage with the local community to promote sustainable practices. This includes participating in community clean-ups, hosting workshops on sustainability, and supporting local environmental initiatives. By educating and inspiring customers and the community, these establishments contribute to a more environmentally conscious society beyond their coffee offerings.


The commitment to sustainable practices within Cape Town’s coffee community demonstrates a genuine desire to make a positive impact on both local and global environments. By supporting coffee shops that prioritize sustainability, consumers can enjoy their cup of coffee with the knowledge that it is ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and contributes to a more sustainable future.



Cape Town’s coffee scene is a dynamic and thriving culture that tantalizes the taste buds and captivates the senses. From the trendy coffee shops in Woodstock to the charming cafes in Gardens, Cape Town offers a diverse range of coffee experiences that cater to every palate.


The city’s coffee culture is defined by its commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation. Local coffee shops proudly source beans from local farms and roasters, ensuring that every cup tells a story of responsible sourcing and supports the community. The emphasis on craftsmanship and unique flavor profiles sets Cape Town apart as a destination for coffee lovers seeking something extraordinary.


Exploring Cape Town’s coffee culture goes beyond simply savoring a great cup of coffee. It encompasses a journey through vibrant neighborhoods, attending coffee events, and experiencing unique coffee creations. From coffee tastings and workshops to attending the Cape Town Coffee Festival, there are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the world of coffee in this city.


What makes Cape Town’s coffee culture truly special is its harmony with the beautiful surroundings and the commitment to sustainability. Coffee shops in the city embrace eco-friendly practices, from direct trade relationships to recycling programs and energy-efficient operations. By supporting these establishments, visitors can enjoy their coffee with the knowledge that they are contributing to a more sustainable future.


So, whether you’re a coffee connoisseur eager to explore new flavors or a casual enthusiast looking for a cozy cafe experience, Cape Town has it all. Indulge in the rich aromas, taste the complexity of flavors, and engage in the vibrant coffee community that makes this city a paradise for coffee lovers.


With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and incredible coffee culture, Cape Town truly offers a sensory experience that is second to none. So grab your mug, navigate the colorful streets, immerse yourself in the local coffee scene, and let Cape Town awaken your senses with its unforgettable coffee journey.