The Kiffest Coffee in Cape Town (A New Thing)

So, if your husband – like mine – is straight and over 30 it’s probably not his best to sit and la-la in cafes and coffee shops, awesome as they might be. In fact, sometimes I think if I left my husband to his own devices instead of dragging him by the trouser leg to ‘events’ he’d never leave the house again, bless. So, quite by accident, I’ve embarked on a New Thing. Since my mom is DIVINE beyond and the only time I chat to her is for three seconds when she arrives to babysit and I should have been somewhere ten minutes ago, and as she also has the problem of a husband who is straight and over thirty, we’ve decided to meet for coffee every Tuesday morning. Which is so fab, actually, and so fun.

This Tuesday was our first meeting and we went to one of my favourites, Haas in Rose Street. I hadn’t decided to blog about it yet so I didn’t take any pictures, but here’s their website with loads It’s completely cool, and the waiters wear top hats and they do this savoury muffin (in truth, the real reason I go there) made with spinach, sweet peppers and melted cheese which they serve warm with home-made jam. It’s so big even I (greedy guts) can only eat half, and so divine you have to stop talking for a while. Haas is also part shop/gallery which sells stylish, rather beautiful artwork and knick knacks. So, it’s really quite win-win. And their coffee, of course, is great.

I read somewhere that they sell this rare, super-expensive coffee made from the poo of some exotic animal which lives in a tree on an island far away. (I’m not sure if they actually serve poo coffee – probably not – but what I have is really good and doesn’t taste anything like that).

Not that I’m a coffee connoisseur by any means. In truth, and if I was left to my own devices and wasn’t afraid of being ridiculed, I wouldn’t buy the Jacobs for a gazillion rand, I’d get that huge tin of Ricoffy white people buy for their maids and be happy as a banana. But since I’m married to a Scandinavian where coffee drinking is something of a religion (and who can blame them – without those hourly pots of jet-fuel-strength brew to keep them buzzing through the interminably long winters there’d be a lot more hara kiri going on, in my opinion), it’s become a bit of an indispensable part of my life. But I’m not going to be all blah-blah-these-coffee-beans-have-a-clean-nose-and-top-notes-of-veldskoen-and-chewing-tobacco, I’m going to talk about how fun it is to sit there and what you can eat and who you’re inclined to see. Because there are so, so many amazing cafes in this town that I just never get the chance to go to.

And we’ll go to fabulous places, and we’ll go to places that are fabulous for different reasons. And I think this new year’s tradition is going to make 2014 quite a fun one. I’m excited. Watch this space!

My new coffee shop buddy, Lorraine Hayden. The kids will not be invited, obz.
My new coffee shop buddy, Lorraine Hayden. And the girls when they were very little.

32 thoughts on “The Kiffest Coffee in Cape Town (A New Thing)

  1. Love it!! I wish I could do that with my mom. Actually… why CAN’T I? Well, partly because I am a bit snowed with working from home and a small baby, but we could manage once a month, surely? Inspiration!!

  2. ‘weekends come and weekends go , my husbands gearstick is stuck in slow….”
    Your brilliant column reminded me of this ad. My husband lives 500mtrs from where he grew up 55 yrs later so you can imagine how far he is prepared to venture…..but I can easily get him to Starlings. Now there is a coffee shop worth a Tuesday morning visit!

  3. Fabulous Susan. I own a house up there, but live in SS and love the breakfasts at Starlings and their great cappuccinos as Helen mentions. Looks very interesting.

    1. Do! It’s great. And when you’re there check out the postcards. One said something like, ‘Things are getting worse. Send more chocolate.’ And another said, ‘Sterkte, Skattie!’ Very SAn and cute.

  4. Ohhh yaaaay! Looking forward to reading your stuff Susan! I love coffee shops (husband doesn’t do coffee at all :-(!) In fact, when I can get him to reluctantly accompany me, he is “miles away”, checking his incoming mail on his phone and drinking sparkling water. I get that Coffee shops are about the ambience, the people, the food, the service, the stuff around you, not only the coffee – although good coffee is great as well.
    Going to suggest a coffee date with my daughter as well, as I will be on a flying visit to her in Somerset West from Durban in KZN.

  5. Hi Susan I don’t know if this is how you reply, as I am new to blogs etc…..I don’t follow any other blogs, but yours is something I look forward to reading every week. I relate to so many issues and situation that you post. Thanks so much for lighting up my inbox! x Cathy

  6. Mothers: their person person is so wonderful. I was stuck on my own mother’s mother person for too long. Both of you are so lucky.

    1. Kiff is a rad word. We should all endeavour to use stoked, kiff and rad at least once this week, and not in writing, in a normal conversation with random people. The options are endless ” You want me to lift to the school Kirstenbosch outing? Rad, I have a kiff people carrier and am stoked to see the gardens again”. See? It’s easy and I’m sure the teacher concerned won’t notice my casual use of SA lingo.

      1. well our think our words are far better than today’s LMAO and OMG.
        so let’s do that bru, let’s bring kiff back.
        I will be stoked to see the revolution of words occur.
        How rad would that be? ;)

  7. They most definitely sell the poo coffee (Kopi Luwak*)! I’ve had it there, and at ‘only’ about R120 a cup it’s way cheaper than abroad! Haas is a fantastic spot, and the Bo Kaap is such a gem.

    Also, if your hubby is into his Scandinavian tasting coffee, you should know that they use a different method for roasting beans there. That’s one of the reasons it tastes so different to elsewhere in the world. The one Cape Town coffee joint that follows the Scandinavian method, that I know, is Espresso Lab**, in the old biscuit mill. Dodge the hipsters-in-hemp and get a packet or two, I bet he will taste the difference.

    Not saying it’s my favourite -though it is ONE of my favourites- but as a Viking I bet it will be his!


  8. Love your blog Susan, especially the comments about those poor South Africans who jsut cannot return but would love to and berate the country for the error of their decisions!!
    If you love coffee you should try Rosetta Roastery at Woodstock Exchange. The coffee’s divine and the guys who own and the baristas are so knowledgeableabout all things coffee. they make coffee come alive!!!

  9. Theres lots of other lovely stuff happening at the Woodstock Exchange that you may find exciting as well.

  10. Just come across your blog and when I saw you have writings on The “Kiffest” Coffee In Cape Town I knew I would enjoy what you have to say and had to follow! Looking forward to reading more.

  11. Hey Susan, check out Molten Toffee on Kloof Street and Hard Pressed Cafe on Bree Street – both are phenomenal (and I am a bit of a coffee snob) with great vibes too!

  12. Have you checked out Rosetta Roastery at the Woodstock Exchange. Amazing single origin coffees, that you jsut dont get anywhere else.

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