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How to Make the Most of Your Coffee Drinking Experience
Savour all there is to your delicious and steaming hot cuppa
Last Update 9 March 2017
Coffee culture is a big thing in Cape Town. On almost every street you can find a bustling café that serves a top-notch cuppa java with a flavourful aroma.
And with more cafés opening, the more coffee drinkers need to be aware of the considerations that help you y make the most of your drinking experience (life is too short for bad a coffee encounter).
In our previous coffee culture article, we uncovered the rich history of the brown brew in the Mother City by chatting to a few industry experts (mischu coffee showroom owner, Anthony’s Golden Cup owner and Origin Coffee Roasting owner) and this time, we tap into the same fount of knowledge as well as coffee enthusiasts Belinda Selikowitz and Tracy Novos from WeDoCoffee.co.za for a concise lowdown on all thing coffee.
Without further ado, here are ways to MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR COFFEE DRINKING EXPERIENCE
Know Thy Palate
One of the most important considerations when indulging in a cup of coffee is to understand that taste, for the most part, is subjective. Some people like strong coffee, while others can’t handle an ounce of bitterness. And so the first thing is to establish the kind of taste you enjoy so that you can make a more informed decision about the kind of coffee to have. The duo at We Do Coffee explain that this fact has played a large part in their coffee experiences over the years. Belinda knows that she loves a smooth, nutty taste with no sharpness and so she knows how to alter different orders depending on the specific blend/bean that a particular coffee shop uses, which leads us to the next point…
Always Ask Questions
Sometimes a bad coffee experience is a result of the roaster’s technique, or the particular beans used at that café, but more often than not people are subjected to a ‘bad’ cup of coffee simply because they do not engage with the barista. Owner of mischu Coffee Showroom in Sea Point, Mikhael Bou Rjeily, says that while there are a recommended number of espressos that go into a flat white or cappuccino, the offering tends to differ at each of the many cafes in the city. Some believe in a single espresso shot while others use double espresso shots to make the much-loved concoction. As a result, those who walk into an establishment that serves a double shot (and are used to single flat whites) might leave thinking that their coffee is too strong/bitter and then assume that the cafe doesn’t make good coffee. “A misconception is that you have to take your coffee as it comes,” explain the We Do Coffee women. “The beautiful truth is that shop owners really want you to enjoy the coffee they make you. So don’t be afraid to tell the barista or waitron what you like and these gentle people will make sure you get the coffee taste you want.”
Try different types of coffees and brews
The world of coffee flavours is seemingly endless and one of the best ways to experience as much of it as possible is to branch out from your regular choice of drink. Anthony of Anthony’s Golden Cup Coffee Shop on Loop Street does an excellent job at encouraging folk to try different flavours and styles. His café is filled to the brim with coffee beans from all over the world (think Malawian, Cameroonian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Colombian and more) and he combines s them in various innovative ways to create unique flavours you wouldn’t typically find elsewhere. In addition, there are cafes that specialise in other brewing methods and beverages like Turkish coffee, Ethiopian coffee and cold brews. In short: never stop exploring.
Savour the Coffee (and what comes with it)
The experience of tasting coffee is very similar to that of tasting (and drinking wine, meaning there are practical ways to enhance your experience. These include drinking water first (to clear your palate), taking in the aroma (as a large part of taste is associated with smell), taking small sips and rolling the coffee around different parts of the mouth (so that different parts of your taste buds absorb the taste) and finally swallowing the rich brown brew. Savouring the coffee also involves an atmospheric aesthetic to the location of where you choose to treat yourself to a hot cuppa. “Nothing is better than drinking a steaming cup of coffee over an amazing conversation with great people,” says Anthony. Even the most amazing cup of coffee is best complemented with the things that you, as a coffee drinker enjoy; be it good company or a good book – one thing is for sure: there is more to coffee than meets the eye (or nose!).
Enjoy some delicious cups of coffee in and around Cape Town - and now you know what to look out for!
By Dudu Luthuli
Looking to uncover more of the rich brown brew's history in the Mother City? Here's the 411 on the Rise of Coffee Culture in Cape Town. If you're also on the hunt for the finest cafés in the city, have a look at the Top Coffee Shops in Cape Town.
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