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Kamili Coffee Shop on Harrington Street
Sister to its Shortmarket and Long outlets, Kamili on Harrington offers food, a great vibe, awesome service and delicious coffee that will have you coming back for more
As I stepped into Kamili, the familiar and comforting feeling that undoubtedly helped the hotspot’s sister shops become so popular hit me like that first taste of caffeine in the morning. The warmth of the baristas, the low-volume music, the modern but rustic décor and, of course, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee made me feel like I was home. The coffee enthusiast in me was beyond excited.
For those not in the know, Kamili has been in existence for about five years, and in this short span of time, many – both locals and visitors - have dubbed it the best coffee in Cape Town. But what makes Kamili so special? According to owner Theo Snyckers, it’s “that the focus at Kamili is on enjoying your coffee”. He goes on to say: “We’re not prescriptive in any way, we allow you to drink your coffee the way you want to”.
Kamili, which means ‘perfect’ or ‘exact’ in Swahili, sums up a coffee experience at the Harrington haunt rather aptly. “I believe that everyone and everything is perfect, just the way it is. If you experience perfection, there’s joy”, adds Theo. And joy can definitely be found in a cup of Kamili coffee.
Theo and his staff understand that a perfect cup of coffee to one, may not be ideal for another, so it’s their mission to embrace their consumers’ individuality. Customers are encouraged to let the baristas know exactly how they would like their cuppa, without worrying about offending or stepping on anyone’s toes. With offerings from various African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, as well as a variety from Central America, patrons can experiment with their selection.
Having a little chat with the barista about what makes a cup of coffee just right for you will go a long way. “We have people come in and question what the difference between a cappuccino and a latte is, and that’s awesome,” says Theo with an enthusiastic smile. “It means that the person feels safe enough to ask those kind of questions, because they probably wanted to know for years, and now they know what they prefer and based on that, they can start ordering coffee in a manner that appeals to them and not just what they think they should be ordering”.
Although Kamili on Harrington offers the same heart-warming service, the vibe is very different. Kamili on Shortmarket and Long is fast-paced, people pop in on their way to work or a meeting or a tourist tour etc., while the latest addition is more of a destination. “When people walk through the door they hang out, which is great and what I had envisioned,” enthuses Theo.
Housed in the newly renovated building, with minimalist interior design, and a gorgeous view of Table Mountain the Harrington hangout will undoubtedly capitalize on the area’s up-and-coming status. “I believe that the East side of Cape Town is going to be the new hot precinct, and I’d obviously like to be a part of that,” says Theo.
A little bird whispered to me that Kamili will be importing the Malawian Geisha, a green coffee bean. According to Theo, from a commercial point of view, the Malawian Geisha wouldn’t be the first choice for coffee roasters or coffee shop owners, as it is a low-yielding strain, which results in the strain being quite pricey, but as Theo maintains “the quality of the berry is phenomenal and the Malawian Geisha coffee is really great”.
For great conversation (with mates or the friendly baristas) or just a place to whip out a book accompanied by that much-needed caffeine fix, Kamili on Harrington offers a unique experience of coffee in the CBD. Embark on a journey of coffee discovery and order your coffee the way you like it!
Note: The upstairs section of Kamili on Harrington is open to the public, and soon you will be able to visit Kamili on Harrington for single origin tasting. There will also be more food options available, with a special focus on footlongs (made with meat from Richard Bosman), waffles and salads. Kamili on Harrington’s menu is under construction and coming soon.
Tip: Customers are encouraged to experiment and try their favourite coffees, from flat white to cortado, made either with a Kamili blend or the single origins available. Give the gift of good coffee this Christmas: purchase 1kg of coffee beans and receive a FREE 250g bag of beans of your choice.
The Bill: Coffees: R15-R35 | Non-coffees (including teas, chai latte, hot chocolate, dirty chai and red cappuccino): R16 – R25 | 250g coffee beans (from Africa and Central America): R80 – R85 | 750g coffee beans (from Africa and Central America): R230 – R245 | 1kg coffee beans (from Africa and Central America): R300 – R320
by Marian Volkwyn | Video Credit: Josh Oates
#CapeTownMagNew is a long-standing project that is dedicated to discovering exciting new places in and around our pretty city. We tell their stories, find out what they offer, and delve into what makes them unique. From cafés and restaurants to trampoline parks and dog hotels, there is always one new place in the city that we uncover each week. You can follow #CapeTownMagNew on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to track recent features or read more here about more Hot Spots and New Restaurants in Cape Town and Surrounds.
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