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The best coffee spots in Durban

The Taste Detectives round up the best places to get your coffee fix in Durban.

by: The Taste Detectives | 12 Jan 2015

If you want to know where to find the best caffeine fix in Durban, you just have to ask the locals where they hang out. Getting a response from the caffeine hazed can be tough, but we persisted and present you with the best, according to the coffee junkies.

Stretta Cafe

They are known for a lot of things, not least every dish they serve that kicks the competition into the black hole. Their micro roastery beans which are curated by Durban coffee geek Craig Charity are arguably the best Durban has to offer.  It’s worth the trip for that alone.

The Beans: Lineage Coffee

Seen and heard: “The new bean is Delicious!! If you haven't tried the Lineage coffee here- u havent lived!! Plus a Great breakfast as usual”

Empire Coffee

The latest from the Bella and Boo stable, Empire Coffee does not disappoint. Home made cupcakes (try the chocolate ones) in a very slick interior. Bella and Boo is joined to their hip, so your kids can go overdose on the sugar next door while nurture your caffeine need.
The Beans: Coffee Merchant – 100% Arabica

Seen and heard: “Super coffee, great destination stop if you in Kloof.”

La Maison

The only downside to La Maison is that they are not open on Sundays! This is chick hangout, on steroids, hosting everything from Baby Showers to Birthday parties. The decor shop will be hard on your wallet. :-)

The Beans: Coffee Merchant – African Blend

Seen and heard: “Quaint and out of the way of the busy traffic in the surrounding areas. I had the carrot cake and milo and it was great. It’s a lovely place to catch up with friends :)”

Verve Cafe

This quirky coffee shop in Umhlanga goes artisan on both coffee and tea.The Chocolate Cheese Cake might be our top reason for returning again and again to this delightful spot. We love the boardroom table and reclaimed furniture with all the funky yellow bursts. Their cafe menu is divine!

The Beans: Coffee Merchant’s single origin bean from Nicaragua.

Seen and heard: “just enjoyed an awesome cappuccino & slice of coconut cake at your coffee shop! Perfect spot to spend some time in the warm winter sun. “

Chateau Gateaux

No Coffee list is complete without mention of our Durban vice, those makers of the most decadent cakes on the planet! It’s always a winner and consistently delivers the best coffee and cake combo your heart desires. We’re suckers for that Red Velvet Cake…

The Beans: 100% Arabica

Seen and heard: “Love the new decor at the Durban North Branch  peaceful, glorious food and the best coffee around. See you there“
Nationwide Branches |  7.30am – 6pm Facebook

I love Coffee

The Carrot Cake muffins are all the way from Corner Cafe. Local beans and chilled music. The perfect pit stop on the way to work.
Love tea? They’ve got Kombucha!

The Beans: A special mix “I love Coffee” created for them by Colombo. (you can buy it to brew at home too)

Seen and heard: “New addiction – Mochachino with White chocolate- yum!”
“Love this place, great coffee and fresh juices, great staff, great music, always busy :)”

Bike and Bean

Hot location, hire a bike or sit back and watch the exercise bunnies do their thing with the spectacular Indian Ocean at your feet.

The Beans: Colombo Coffee, Sipi falls beans from Uganda and more!

Reviews: “A world class venue with a fantastic vibe, great coffee, beautiful view and fantastic beach experience! #Durbz-Promenade :-)”

The Factory Cafe

Not your average coffee shop housed in an urban chic warehouse. Live music on selected evenings, great munchies and the perfect place to grow legs.

The Beans: Colombo Coffee

Seen and heard: “When we get to good old Kwa-Zulu Natal we never miss out on the opportunity to pop in at this vibey coffee parlour. I love the passion that the young adults have in what they do and accomplish in the coffee world”

Coffee Merchant

Why: For starters they supply independent coffee shops, some of which made it to the finals list of SM Café Society competition. This spot is the real deal.

The Beans: Italian Espresso, Italian Blend, Out of Africa and Nomura. Flavoured blends like Kahlua Fudge! Yum.

Reviews: “Amazing fresh roasts, I like their Nonmara best”

Antique Cafe

Alice in Wonderland meets Pandora’s box with coffee on tap. For the chicks, there’s a hot looking Italian owner for entertainment. For the weak, the Bee Stings are out of this world!

Reviews: “My new favourite for coffee AND shopping :-)”
“Antique Café Churchill House one of the best kept Durban secrets!! So proud of you Terri-Anne Marais and Stefano Toffeli!!”

Savior Brand Co

Leather shop gone coffee! The new Hipster magnet on the Berea. What a hidden gem tucked away in the horseshoe road off Umgeni rd. Polish off your coffee with stunning bagels like the Pastrami with wild rocket, pickles, cream cheese & a hint of pesto.

The Beans: Colombo

Seen and heard: “Great People. Great Coffee. Great Leather”
“What a fab place, and those biscuits are to die for” Our review here

Jacksonville Coffee

Gym bunnies, you can also get your protein smoothies, fruit juices and healthy snacks after your workout. Silbert, the barista serves up Zim Shot which goes well with condensed milk if you’re not on a health binge! Other than that, the chocolate chunk biscotti will be your downfall.

The Beans: Coffee Merchant

Reviews: “I had what could have been the best cappuccino I have ever tasted today! Blown away!!! Well done Jacksonville! Umhlanga is lucky to have a shop now”

Duke & Duchess

What used to be a bike shop with a fabulous coffee machine is now a trendy spot for coffee lovers. A delicious cafe menu has been introduced and you can browse the imported bike accessories if that’s your thing. There’s also Sweeny the Barber who will sort your crown out for a small fee.

The Beans: Colombo

Reviews: “Best cafe racer coffee shop/meeting place…please open one in JHB :)” “Awesome people. Excellent breakfast & coffee!!!”


Coffee with a personal touch. Sue is the much loved owner of this chilled sidewalk cafe that serves the best damn pasta salad this side of the Umgeni.

The Beans: Tribeca Coffee

Reviews: “This is one of the best Coffee Cafe’s in Durban! Arty, friendly, relaxed, with excellent food… The owner is the heart and soul of this beautiful Gem tucked away in Glenwood… an absolute must for coffee lovers xxx”

I want my Coffee

The love child of Ard Matthews and Deborah Good who wanted to create a place that stimulates both the senses and the soul at the same time. A shared love of music and an appreciation of divinely good coffee is all it took to put mere words into packed action.
The Beans: 3-bean organic blend from Ethiopia.
Reviews: “I was there for the first time yesterday…. reminded me of coffee shops in NYC !!! I loved it….and the coffee was great!!! Thank you!”

Mark Gold

This elegant coffee shop attached to a jewelry store has been quietly serving kick ass coffee for years. The movers and the shakers hang out here. Oh, and the coffee drinkers. The cheesecake is another reason to go.

The Beans: Farfell Coffee from Zambia and more.

Reviews: “This place is definitely one for my little black book“

“My  perfect mid-shopping lunch spot, the open chicken sandwich is divine”

Bean Green

What makes them special is that they roast their own beans on the premises. The addictive smell of freshly ground beans overwhelms you as you walk into this cosy old house that has been converted into a coffee shop. Live gigs, with a steady stream of regulars. Coffee connoisseurs paradise.

The Beans: Bluff Bru, Blessed Bean, Midnight Mood and Goodness Gracious

Reviews: “Great coffee. It rivals some of the stuff created in London, where they’ve been doing this stuff for centuries.!”

@ Coffee

Situated inside the Apple store in Florida rd, a clever and creative space.  There is a beautiful laser cut Marine Ply with graphic inlays showing the journey from bean to cup on a brick wall to entertain you as you suck back their fine brew. The Cakes…drumroll..! Lindt Chocolate cupcakes are addictive! Bonus – deliveries in the area.

The Beans: Nicaraguan bean from Coffee Merchant.

Reviews: “Thank you for the AMAZING coffee.. I am sorry I used my finger to lick the froth out the cup. It was just THAT good”

Coffee Tree

Hipster paradise, but plebs are welcome too. This is Judd Campbell’s latest playground. We love the whole rustic and quirky vibe, and of course, the beans. Loads of gluten free snacks and vegetarian meals. Free Wifi!

The Beans: Colombo Kenyan blend.

Reviews: “Just visited Coffee Tree for the first time. Delicious vegan gluten free breakfast, awesome coffee, nice vibe. We’ll definitely be back. Well done”

This awesome coffee round up was brought to you by The Taste Detectives. Follow them on Twitter for all things Durban.


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