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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!