FINDING COFFEE HEAVEN IN CAPE TOWN
WORDS AND IMAGES: SAMANTHA DE WET
Living in Cape Town, one is spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend activities. There are many trendy places to visit and an ever-changing assortment of fun and interesting goings-on in and around the city. Recently, on a chilly, cloudy Saturday, my husband and I chose to try something a little different – a coffee and rooibos tasting at Coco Safar. It is safe to say we were blown away by the experience (in a very good way).
After just a few minutes in Coco Safar, I realised that this was much more than just a cool coffee spot, I could sense the passion that has been poured into creating a memorable experience for whoever comes in the doors. It exudes a sense of global grandeur that is grounded intrinsically in the local scene.
Founder and CEO, Wilhelm Liebenberg, has certainly captured a wide audience with this gem that is distinctly luxurious, but warm and welcoming at the same time.
MICHELIN-QUALITY LUXURY COFFEE
As described on its website, Coco Safar is a “Michelin-quality luxury coffee, bakery/patisserie and all-day café brand in one, including a specialty espresso bar and retail capsule emporium”.
It’s a feast for the senses in more ways than one – from the interior décor to the friendly and oh-so-sharply-dressed waitron to the uncompromising attention to detail and sensational menu and food, this place really delivers. Whether popping past on your morning coffee run, enjoying a pastry from their in-house patisserie (their croissants have been officially crowned as some of the best in the world) or staying for a long, delectable lunch with friends, you are bound to have an extraordinary experience.
Among the variety of memorable world-class offerings at Coco Safar, in my opinion, the unique coffee emporium is a stand-out. Some say you need to do more of what brings you joy – for me, the Café Gourmand experience is a great source of joy.
The Gourmand includes sampling five of the specialty coffee and rooibos capsules paired with a selection of petit fours (I’ll get to the petit fours in a bit, because – wow).
The Coco Safar capsules are Nespresso-compatible and also, importantly, compostable. The coffee range includes seven different pods of varying intensities and flavour profiles made with specialty coffee beans roasted on site by a fancy, eco-friendly Loring Smart Roaster. Named after international destinations like Lisbon, Jakarta and Manhattan, these capsules reference the travel theme of the establishment.
Bringing it back home, the distinctly local signature blends of red and green rooibos have been aptly named the ‘Kaapstad’ and ‘Stellenbosch’.
Enjoyed with milk or without, these delicious caffeine-free teas are enough to tantalize even those who don’t consider themselves tea-drinkers.
We were hosted by experienced and friendly Barista, Fanual, who guided us through our selections over the few hours that we were seated at the special coffee emporium bar. We tasted three coffees of varying intensities, starting with the least intense – the Saint Tropez, then the Havana and ending with the most intense, the Napoli.
We ended off by tasting both rooibos teas. Each of these was delicious in its own way but, if I must highlight the one’s I enjoyed the most, it has to be the Havana coffee with its chocolate undertones and the Green Rooibos.
Another aspect that enriched the experience was our host’s well-articulated knowledge, paired with his personal preferences and friendly conversation which made the whole event feel authentic and tailored to us specifically.
THE CHERRY ON TOP
I had high expectations going in and was pleased when the tasting exceeded them, but what I had not fully prepared myself for was the accompanying petit fours which took the experience from wow to double wow. These could be described as the ‘cherry on top’.
We each had a unique and beautiful combination of the most ‘insta-worthy’ petit fours, beautifully and artfully plated as if by Picasso himself. And not only did these deliver in visual appeal, but boy did they pack an incredibly delightful ‘punch’ in the flavour department too. Each petit four took my taste buds on a wonderful journey of flavour and texture that delighted and surprised with every bite.
As the experience drew to a close, we took our final sips of tea and I quickly mopped up the last of the divine tangy sweetness off the petit four platter. It had been such a treat, from the moment we arrived to the time we left feeling giddy with the pure ‘specialness’ of the experience.
Whether a Cape Town local or a visitor, you must add this to your to-do list. Plus, it makes for some amazing photo opportunities for your social media – just take a look at my Coco Safar highlight on my Instagram page as an example and follow me @sun_lovin_sami so I can share more joy with you.
Til next time, do more of what brings you joy [then share it with those in your world].
Note: This review is purely based on personal experience and is not sponsored in any way by Coco Safar.