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Cape Town Coffee Bar Named “Best Coffee Shop In The World”


by on 08/10/13 at 5:17 pm
17 comments


Local cultish destination for hipsters and Cape Town’s coolest kids, Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street, was lauded as the “Best Coffee Shop In The World” by no less than vaunted travel journo Tom Midlane on Microsoft’s popular MSN Travel segment.

[Image courtesy of Shanna Jones - view more of Shanna's photography work here]

The centrepiece of Truth’s Cape Town HQ is the daringly different interior design, referred to as ‘Steampunk’ by founder David Donde.

“Steampunk is often described as Victorian Futurism, but is perhaps better explained as what happened when Goths discovered the colour brown,” says Donde proudly surveying his territory. “Dark colours dominate, don’t expect a well lit airplane hanger here. Coffee wasn’t meant to be cheap and cheerful was it?”

“Colossus” at its centre

The Haldane Martin designed steampunk interior of the Truth HQ is planned around a vintage coffee roaster. The lumbering cast-iron barrelled Probat is affectionately named “Colossus” and sits in the centre of Truth Coffee Roasting’s new head quarters.

A raw metal cage surrounds the stage, allowing it to be safely viewed as it roasts away on its flames. “You see, coffee has always been steampunk!” exclaims Donde. The space is more holistic than you’d expect, with details being considered down to the Little Hattery-made uniforms.

“The coffee inverse is also a source of items in tune with our space,” continues Donde, “and Africa’s only Slayer espresso machine dominates the Victorian pressed ceiling and leather clad bar. Steam has been the Barista’s power of choice since the beginning!”

Also atop the bar is steampunk artist Professor Jones’ Mad Steampunk Coffee Dispenser. A clockwork marvel, weighing about half a ton, and comprising over 2500 parts, many of them salvaged. See the video here:

Haldane specified a five barrel coffee dispenser. “Our philosophy adorns our walls, laser cut into what other than a huge piece of raw leather.”

Expect to be served in antique crockery and cutlery and of course oak boards.

The space has been recognised internationally with it being the only African finalist ever in the ‘World Bar and Restaurant’ design awards and MSN travel UK announcing us as the world’s best Coffee Shop.

Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.

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17 Responses to “Cape Town Coffee Bar Named “Best Coffee Shop In The World””

  1. Joerg

    Oct 10th, 2013

    Pity about the coffee though.

  2. Rudi

    Oct 10th, 2013

    Yeah, great news. These are the same guys who started Origin Coffee in De Waterkant, Cape Town. This place rocks – well done chaps.

  3. Ken

    Oct 11th, 2013

    Congratulations! Now if only you can get the service sorted and figure out how to roast the coffee and pull decent consistent shots………..

  4. Rudi

    Oct 11th, 2013

    @Ken – c’mon guy, “consistant shots”… that’s part of the charm. If you want consistant shot go to Seattle – :)

  5. Seakah

    Oct 11th, 2013

    The TRUTH is that this is all a load of self-righteous, wankerish press. Coffee schmofee. Same types that think ‘Power and Glory’ is a half respectable establishment. Why don’t you all blog about it over a yoga session and latte double mocha flat tripple froth machiato schmato at the Woodstock Wanker Exchange?

  6. Andrew

    Oct 12th, 2013

    @Seakah. Couldn’t agree more. Hilarious. All this coffee culture bullshit is s up its own arse. And needlessly expensive

  7. Carrott

    Oct 14th, 2013

    If one judges a coffee shop on its well thought out design elements, yes. But best coffee? I don’t think so. Also is shamefully expensive.

  8. Rudi

    Oct 14th, 2013

    @ Seakah & Andrew: c’mon guys, show a little more love & tolerance. You guys probably get excited about other things (e.g. train spotting or rock opera perhaps?) and we coffee nuts are not gonna call you wankers.

    Just because we’re more cultured, and mostly better looking than you, doesn’t mean you gotta hate.

  9. Kaydee

    Oct 14th, 2013

    Agree to disagree. Let the hipsters flock here. Way to go on design guys! Looks good, love the attention to detail. You are steampunk, and the cool kids love it. With regards to best coffee, I’ll be sticking to Deluxe.

  10. Johan

    Oct 15th, 2013

    What CRAP is this? How can anyone say anything as subjective as ‘best in theworld’ for coffee? Coffee??!? It’s like saying the ‘best art’ in the world, or ‘best dress’ or ‘best song’. It’s nonsense, and I can’t believe so many people have tweeted / liked a second rate journo spouting his opinion. Ridiculous. Cape Town in general is so up its own pretentious arse.

  11. Barbara

    Oct 15th, 2013

    The interior of this place is wonderful. Original and stylish. Can’t talk about the service, but quite honestly, I prefer Vida coffee. It’s all about personal taste. Ridiculous to call this coffee the “Best in the World”…….

  12. David at Whipstock farm

    Oct 15th, 2013

    Great theatre. Congratulations David Donde on providing atmosphere and style to the wonderful process of roasting the bean.
    Keep at it old bean

  13. Jen

    Oct 18th, 2013

    Love the look of this spot.
    Hate that the journo wrote:”the daringly different interior design, referred to as ‘Steampunk’ ” How old are you dude? It’s like saying “referred to as ‘Art Deco”.

  14. Deano

    Oct 18th, 2013

    In fairness guys they did say best coffee shop in the world and not best coffee. Yes I know you’re thinking but surely it’s all about the coffee. For some maybe, for others not. Haven’t been there so can’t judge. I’d choose to look at the positives rather, such as international attention. I think it’s great. Now for that cup of Ricoffy ;)

  15. Pietmoz

    Oct 29th, 2013

    Complaining about the quality of the coffee is like complaining about the quality of the food at Hooters. You don’t really go there for the coffee. You should all just be proud we are making the international press for something positive instead of some horific crime story…

  16. matt

    Oct 29th, 2013

    It’s a pity that the service is SH1T.

  17. Ruan

    Nov 10th, 2013

    Damn guys, why all the negativity..? I went there yesterday with 2 close friends – and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Apart from the much vaunted (deservedly so) design etc. I have to say that the service we got was excellent, the coffee really good; and it was really not expensive (around R15 for a flat white).

    So let’s rather celebrate the positive press they got. Good for them. I will definitely go back for more – just like I go back to Deluxe as well. I appreciate good coffee.

    And btw – I am certainly not a “hipster”. Just an ordinary married bloke who really loves coffee.

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