Hg2 Cape Town co-author Keith Bain celebrates his love-affair with the Mother City’s best coffee spot with, well, another double espresso. And a new online review.
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A posse of grown-up skater-boys (heavily tattooed, fat disc earrings, Ed Hardy caps); one hip-bohemian priest with a handheld placard declaring “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE” (honest to God!); and flirting with him is a lithe big-bosom woman in a T-shirt promoting HIV awareness. In saunter two tidily coiffed gents in suits (ties and stripes in Cape Town? Not entirely unheard of…). Perched at the counter is Cape Town’s most recognisable fashion designer; his twin brother, the pub owner, test drives his first cappuccino of the day. Behind them, a chorus line of flashing eyelids belonging to a string of gorgeous models…. I’m getting my midday fix at Deluxe Coffeeworks, watching the world come and go, stationed on a comfy antique armchair (one of the two featured in the photograph of Deluxe in this month’s edition of Wallpaper*).
Outside, on the window ledge, a pair of scruffy metrosexuals bedecked in scarves and retro sunglasses tinker with their cellphones and suck deeply on their cigarettes—all very Waiting for Godot. Then, inevitably, a couple of rockstar types stumble in, hiding rockstar hangovers behind Frisbee-sized shades. Smiles all round, high-fives, and a few bear hug greetings. Things just got several degrees sexier; more so, thanks to the increasing absence of space and combustion of conversation. The baristas know the score; two super-strong depression-lifting macchiatos are already on their way. Stickers, business cards, and urban websites have colonized the espresso machine’s rear end—an arbitrary collection representing a year in the life of what is hands-down Cape Town’s best coffee outlet. And in the background, co-owner Judd Francis is hand-mixing beans—from Brazil, Guatemala, and Ethiopia this time (to make up the signature Fast Eddie’s Espresso blend)—in the tiniest roastery in town. It all happens beneath a high ceiling, in a compact, aroma-saturated, old school space: We Capetonians gather here for the ultimate pick-me-up, and although one of their rich, dark, chocolaty espressos will sort you out for the day, it’s impossible to leave after just one… the addiction is instantaneous.
Deluxe Coffeeworks is at 25 Church Street in the Cape Town CBD (it’s a tiny laneway just off one of our most-walked stretches: St George’s Mall). Deluxe has just joined Hg2 Cape Town’s online content, despite the fact that they serve only coffee. Oh, and tins of top-grade ice-tea, and pressed juice.