Coffee culture helps Cape Town CBD cafes survive

Specialty coffee shop Rosetta Roastery Café in Bree Street

Specialty coffee shop Rosetta Roastery Café in Bree Street

Published Mar 3, 2021


Cape Town - Coffee culture has helped coffee-centred businesses in the CBD survive amid the economic storms of lockdown, with new cafés also setting up shop recently.

“Coffee shops have held their own in the CBD during lockdown with very few venues, if any, closing down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic hardships it has inflicted on stakeholders and businesses in town and throughout the country,” said Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) chief executive Tasso Evangelinos.

Cape Town is seen as one of the coffee capitals of the world, evident in the plethora of destination coffee shops and venues in the CBD, he said.

According to the CCID's economic publication, State of Cape Town Central City Report 2019, they listed 73 coffee shops in the central city.

Truth Coffee founder David Donde said while it had been tough, loyal customers had kept business booming.

“Business has been particularly challenging during lockdown, especially as one that is reliant on local and international tourists. However, our reputation has helped us get through this time, along with our staff and their loyalty. I think the depth and breadth of the culture, as well as the community, is what has kept things going in the CBD. As coffee lovers, we just keep drinking the good stuff.”

The outlet, on Buitenkant Street, was voted best coffee shop in the world in 2015 and 2016 by London's Daily Telegraph.

“At least two new specialty coffee shops have opened in the CBD during lockdown, designed to meet the high standards of coffee afficionados. They are Rosetta Roastery Café in Bree Street and Caffe Milano at Local on Heritage Square,” Evangelinos said.

Rosetta Roastery only sources single-origin specialty grain coffee.

“We showcase the uniqueness of the coffee, so have two or three different blends for people to choose from,” said manager Timothy Porter.

Other favourites include RCaffé on Long Street, which has been around for the past 16 years and is now under new ownership; Ruby's Bakery and Café; Yours Truly; Dapper Coffee Co and Stellski Coffee Bar.

“Our barista makes every cup with love,” RCaffé co-owner Chanelle Labuschagne said.

Truth Coffee founder David Donde

Cape Times

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