The Long Road to the perfect cup of Joe
It seems that we will be staying in Cape Town for a few weeks, so I’ve set about learning the bus system (very easy once you get through all the ticketing palaver), deciding which museums to visit (most of them, they’re all pretty amazing) learning the name of our Guard who salutes me every morning with a hearty “Good Morning Madame” when I drive out (his name is Oliver and he’s from the Congo, more on him another time), navigating the supermarkets, still dealing with the drivers (OMG), and lastly finding the place that serves the best coffee.
I know, I know first world problem and all of that, but seriously folks you would think that a country that’s on the same chunk of land as Kenya (home of the humble bean) that you’d be able to get a decent cup of joe. Let me add, this is not a complaint, it’s simply an observation on how good things are in NZ, and I mean they’re seriously good. It’s pretty standard in NZ that you can get a decent espresso grind in a bag at the local supermarket, and It’ll work just as well in a plunger as in stove top espresso maker. If you go into most half -decent cafes they’ll be able to make you a reasonable espresso.
But here I’ve yet to find a really good, strong espresso grind, I’m still searching and I’m prepared to do a LOT of research. It seems that you can get a decent cup of coffee in SA, you just have to know what to order.
If you order a cappuccino you may get something resembling a soup bowl full of weak, milky coffee.
If you go for an Americano, be sure to check if it’s filter or espresso first, this is often quite a good option if they don’t add too much extra water.
Don’t order a latte, it will be unrecognisable, and a flat white is never on offer.
The best thing to do is to order a double espresso, in a larger cup, with some steamed milk on the side. That way you can add the right amount of milk and make it into a kind of flat white.
This last weekend we visited the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the Tea Rooms (where we had a really nice lunch) didn’t come up with a decent cuppa.
Sunday we trawled around part of the waterfront, then went to the Bo-Kaap area of the city http://bokaap.co.za/ . Eventually we washed up at Arnolds http://www.arnolds.co.za/ (not in the Bo-Kaap area but very close) and low and behold there it was, a rich, thick, creamy and full bodied cup of caffeine bliss.
it’s a long road finding the perfect coffee, but it was well worth the wait.