When Starbucks opened its doors in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, it launched the huge Coffee Controversy: whose beans are best?
WATCH: How much is a Starbucks coffee in South Africa?
The heat of the debate made two things clear: Joburg’ers love their brew, and most have a spot that they swear grinds better than anywhere else.
Here is a round-up of those favourites:
The Grind Coffee Company
Why we love it: It’s probably not a stretch to say that this is Johannesburg’s prettiest coffee. That’s because it’s served in a choc-coated ice cream cone, making for the ultimate indulgence. Devotees say it’s darn fine coffee, too.
Urban Grind Roasters
Why we love it: If you believe coffee is an art, rather than a beverage, this is the spot for you. Trained baristas are on hand to guide you towards the perfect roast for your palate.
Why we love it: Fair trade beans mean that, whatever your preferred brew, you can be sure that producers have been equitably compensated for their wares.
Why we love it: This popular coffice spot takes local is lekker to a whole new level, serving beans sourced from around Africa.
Why we love it: Definitely different, State 5 is a cold-brewed coffee pioneer. What’s more, it serves its particular brand of Joe on tap, and has even concocted a couple of coffee cocktails for those who share their caffeine passion.
4th Avenue Coffee Roasters
Why we love it: Don’t let the unassuming façade of this Parkhurst institution put you off: locals adore the shop’s ‘Legendary Pink’ house brew.
The Perfect Cup
Why we love it: Parkview residents are quite smug about their local. Sufficiently tucked away in the Parkview Centre to earn it ‘hidden gem’ status, its single origin beans, flavoured coffees and blends have helped it gain a quiet sort of fame.
Zaris Espresso Bar
Why we love it: The latest addition to Parkhurst’s caffeine hub, Zaris serves Bean There brews with everything – from cappuccinos to cakes – priced at just R20.
Why we love it: A new haven for inner city coffee lovers, this spot is known for its friendly baristas and, best of all, side-street seating for those who like to watch the passing parade as they sip.
Why we love it: Naked’s specially roasted beans boast a unique flavour, thanks to a special extraction method that guarantees richness. It also prides itself on its green credentials.
Why we love it: Tripadvisor ranked this Glenhazel shop as one of the best in South Africa - probably because, in addition to the standard beans (‘economy class’, in Jozi Blue speak), the shop also offers some unusual speciality (or ‘first class’) brews.
Why we love it: It’s great to know that your coffee habit is doing good (besides getting you ready to face the day, of course), and Roast Republic’s #coffeewithaconscience philosophy means that 50% of all profits are spent on education development programmers.
What are your favourite coffee shops in your city? Let us know in the comments section!