The food industry has suffered harrowing effects from the ongoing Pandemic. While some iconic coffee places such as Craft Coffee in Newtown and Coffee Exchange in Parkmore sadly closed down, it’s encouraging to see a number of Joburg’s firm favourites still standing (and some expanding). Here’s a list of five to check out.
Father Coffee – The Zone in Rosebank
Father Coffee is the South African Roastery of the Year winner for 2020 in the Coffee Magazine Awards. If it’s not the quirky name which was randomly picked by the partners that attracts you, then the trendy setting of greenery, wood-panelled walls and an outdoor area just might do the trick. The quality of their roast and brew might very well make you a regular. Father Coffee opened on Africa Day (May 25) in 2013 with the aim of developing coffee culture in the city.
“At that time it was tough to get a really good specialty coffee in the city. What we wanted to achieve was to create a brand that could also be considered in an international sphere,” explains Barry Weedon, a partner in the business.
Among their signature offerings is a modern take on a traditional espresso blend which boasts a great body and just the right amount of acidity and flavour. Father Coffee prioritises seasonality – working with fresh harvests as well as consistency.
The brand also sells quality coffee-making machinery. They will be expanding with a new shop opening in Kramerville soon. This branch will serve as the mothership with a larger roastery, a lab and a bakery. The Rosebank shop will also be extended to offer a showroom experience of what the brand is all about.
The Perfect Cup – Parkview
The Perfect Cup is one of Johannesburg oldest roasteries offering flavoured coffees, blended coffees and single-origin coffees. The community-orientated coffee shop started out as San Francisco Coffee Roastery in the 80s and became The Galaxy before changing into The Perfect Cup in 1996. The shop has maintained the same roasting and blending methods and even works with the same roaster that was used in the 80s. It specialises in fluid bed coffee roasters for a smoother and cleaner profile as compared to the popular drum roasters. Their Ugandan darker roasted coffee is highly recommended.
The Perfect Cup stands out for being kid-friendly with a kiddies room and parent and kiddies meetups twice a week. The space also curates lovely artsy events like Jazz on a Saturday morning and the coffee art workshops with coffee artist, Nomfundo Khemese.
Bean There Coffee Company – Milpark
Bean There Coffee Company specialises in single-origin, fair trade coffee which can be traced back to one country and region. The adventurous connotation in the wordplay of the name is the ethos that drives the experience the shop offers. It’s like travelling with your senses and it’s all about a sense of discovery. The café, nestled in a mix of carefully curated, bespoke stores and independent restaurants of the lovely 44 Stanley garden courtyard complex in Milpark, boasts exclusively African coffees from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi; Rwanda; Kenya and Tanzania.
This is complemented by the sale of coffee equipment. The company also has a barrister training school for customers or anyone needing a job.
The recently refurbished venue is ideal for birthday parties and weddings. However, coffee lovers can revel in the café’s cupping or coffee tasting events which happen every two weeks on a Saturday morning.
Doubleshot Coffee and Tea – Dunkeld
As one of the leading coffee roasters and tea blenders in Johannesburg, Doubleshot Coffee and Tea is a haven for both coffee and tea lovers. The beans here are seasonal, specialty grade with an ethical pedigree. The iced teas are natural and brewed from leaves.
Doubleshot and Tea was in Braamfontein from 2011 until December 2019. The new shop in Oxford Parks in Dunkeld, Rosebank, boasts a fresher look but has maintained the retro vibe that feeds into the café’s philosophy and experience.
“The inspiration for the original logo was always one of old Americana, and we wanted a somewhat nostalgic, authentic and classic look. With the new café we wanted to combine a sense of history, authenticity as well as modern minimalism to communicate the core elements of our brand and our products – warmth, natural goodness, handmade authenticity and simplicity (with some playfulness),” says owner Alain de Assis Rosa.
Africa Black Roastery & Espresso Bar – Northriding
Africa Black Roastery and Espresso Bar is big on teaching people about coffee. The owner, Erina Nigrini, has sat on numerous Specialty Coffee Association competitions in Atlanta and received her World Barrister Certification in Kenya. The shop in Northriding functions as an espresso bar, a restaurant, a barrister school as well as a roastery. It boasts well-trained staff and high-quality machinery for its single origin and blended coffees. If you’re curious about coffee – from blending to latte art, Africa Black hosts regular group events to educate and share the love.