Have to Have Haas

Nestled in the middle of CBD’s colourful Bo Kaap is the wonderfully unique Haas Coffee Collective. Haas offers a feast for all of the senses as soon as you walk through the doors. You almost don’t know what to do with yourself, walk up to the counter and order a delicious smelling coffee and every cake they have (they all look incredible)? Or grab a seat and assert your place in the middle of this design emporium? Or explore each of the sections of this small coffee shop that also poses as a sort-of gallery with incredibly unique, bizarre and inspired art pieces, hangings, trinkets and curiosities? As I’m sure you can tell from all of those questions, there are a million dazzling things hitting you all at once. However, once you have settled yourself in and ordered a (delicious) coffee or tea, you have time to soak up the very chilled atmosphere that Haas offers.

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Haas Coffe

1003985_10151452626141879_309519496_nSome shots I took showing off Haas’s wonderfully weird decor

Incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff will explain the different blends of coffee that they offer and might even suggest that you try the maverick drink of choice:  kopi luwak coffee, priced at an unashamed R100 per cup (about $10 or £7). This is the most expensive coffee in the world and it is pretty rare – Haas is the only venue in South Africa that sells it. It is so rare and expensive because of the bizarre process that goes into creating it. Sometimes known as ‘poop coffee’ it is created by the Asian Palm Civet eating the coffee berries and then excreting them. This process supposedly takes out the bitter taste of the coffee and improves the flavour. Obviously after hearing all of this I had to try it! I must confess though I love coffee, I am no expert. I enjoyed my civet cup of coffee but it certainly didn’t blow my hair back. I’m glad I tried it just to tick another interesting thing off the bucket list though.

936475_10151354759661879_1380912874_nMy cup of kopi luwak coffee

Haas offers a number of other interesting coffee blends, all with wonderfully original names, ranging from ‘The Swimming Club,’ to ‘The Mysterious Gentleman,’ to ‘Monday Moring Lift Club’ and my favourite: ‘The Famous Jailbreak’ – all unique and equally delectable.

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1005954_10151452626221879_76974248_nWinter’s day vibe and a Summer’s day vibe at Haas

The reason that I wanted to write about Haas is because it is my go-to coffee spot in Cape Town. I love the decor and the vibe, and I especially love showing it off to my friends. If someone has never been there or heard of it I know I have to take them. If it’s a sunny day we’ll sit outside and soak up the multicultural beauty of Bo-Kaap, or we’ll sit in the inside/outside courtyard in the back and enjoy our own little oasis of serenity. On a cold winters day walking into Haas is like walking in to a (very stylish) hug, the warmth of the place and the aroma of the coffee greet you at the same time.

 1044168_10151452626101879_860813165_nJess Curtis and I enjoying the sunshine outside on the vintage Haas chairs

Haas is kooky, and quirky without being too try-hard. Their décor is based on a wealth of curated design items, most of which can be purchased. You never know just what you will find next time you visit – dinosaur pot plants, a flea cross-stitched into a pillow, painted ants crawling over your saucer or a crocheted animal head hanging on the wall – next to the real taxidermy heads.

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931254_10151452639041879_165981638_nExamples of some of the awesome curiosities one can find at Haas

It’s refreshing to be able to go into a place and sit with a cup of coffee and just survey the scene for a while. Haas is most definitely a winner in my books – you will probably find me there on a casual afternoon this week!

482159_10151317135756879_1875434565_nMy favourite – the Zebra head that greets you as you walk through the door

The Truth About Coffee

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Soy Latte at Truth Cafe

The first awesome coffee place that I stumbled upon in Cape Town was Truth café on Buitenkant Street. This place could rival Shoreditch in London as the hipster hub of the world. The waiters and waitresses wear an assortment of hats, from trilbys to top hats, and they all look like part time musicians and artists. As you walk into the building you are instantly transported off the streets of Cape Town and into what feels like a secret club – where all of the cool kids hang out. Truth has seating for every occasion –  tables spilling onto the street, small tables for intimate coffee dates, a long bench that stretches almost the length of the room and has multiple plug sockets dangling from the ceiling for those wishing to lose themselves in their laptops and deep American style booths fitted with dark leather chairs. This place is lit only by a few flickering lights hanging from the ceiling and some suspended lamps at the counter, giving it a low light. A friend of mine referred to the ambiance in Truth as being similar to an instagram filter – how fitting!

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Light fittings dangling from the ceiling 

The most impressive aspect of Truth though is the enormous coffee roaster behind the counter. It’s sheer size is astounding, it looks like if you were to climb into it, it might transport you to another time in history. This piece of technical ingenuity has almost a whimsical feel, it looks like a contraption that could only have been thought up by the likes of Roald Dahl, Tim Burton or Lewis Carroll.

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Part of the coffee roasting contraption

It’s big, copper and cool – you get the picture. Now, lets talk about coffee. Truth promises that they “roast coffee properly” and let me tell you, they do not lie. The coffee is incredibly rich and strong. I seize every opportunity that I have to take a coffee expedition with my classmates and introduce them to this special place.If I could start every morning with a coffee from truth I know every day would be fabulous. Lucky for me they have a cheeky side stall that sells coffee to-go from the window – not so lucky for my wallet.

16083_10151332232271879_1754206914_nLunch time adventure to Truth for an on-the-go coffee

Link to Truth’s website: http://www.truthcoffee.com/

Coffee Culture – First Love

One of my favorite things to do is to collect coffee places. Independent coffee shops always seem to be interesting, some are quirky, some are hipster, some are incredibly posh and most have a wonderful uniqueness to them that the gigantic establishments like Starbucks, Costa and even Vida E just cannot contend with. In England I would love finding these brilliant little places – Exeter was particularly full of them from the wonderfully strange Bike Shed which is tucked away just off the high street and offers big friendly sofas and an  eclectic mix of décor. To the beautifully traditional Tea On The Green which offers the most magnificent view of Exeter Cathedral and the most delicious cream teas that you could imagine.

 

IMG_3263 Exeter Cathedral as seen from Tea On The Green

And lest not forget, most importantly the famous Boston Tea Party with its spacious top floor filled with huge desks and mismatched chairs and sofas that make it feel somewhere between a huge common room and a very loud library. With every new place I visit I am able to add more exciting coffee shop joys to my list of favorite places ever and in this section of my blog I will share them with you as I find them.

 

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This is how much I love coffee