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Early mornings at mischu
Award-winning coffee and daily food specials
Last updated: Friday, 25 April 2023
You can’t talk about the rise of Cape Town coffee culture without mentioning mischu, which opened in 2012 when the city’s caffeine buzz was still just humming.
With a clutch of “Best Coffee in Cape Town” awards, it serves the city’s early morning risers with coffee, Mediterranean-inspired breakfasts, croissants and fresh homemade muffins from 6.45am.
We spoke to the founder about 10 years of mischu, his coffee shop in Sea Point, and how they've trained over 4 000 baristas and helped other coffee entrepreneurs in the city.
Mischu is in the heart of Sea Point, opposite the Spar on Regent Road. Image: mischu
LEARN THE STORY OF THE ISABELLA BLEND
From the moment mischu’s doors open, eager early risers and coffee addicts come flooding in for their cup of brew (mischu is at its busiest from 6.45 to 11am).
But why mischu? Well, it’s won Best Cappuccino in South Africa, Best Cappuccino in Cape Town, Best Espresso in Cape Town, Best Coffee in Cape Town for 2015, 2016 and 2017…
Why do they keep on coming 10 years later? Afterall, Cape Town has no shortage of cafés and breakfast spots.
Mischu’s list of accolades and acolytes is partly thanks to the Isabella blend. It’s close to founder Mikhael Bou Rjeily’s heart because it’s named after his daughter, who was born the week her dad first released his coffee blend to the South African market.
Visit mischu to try the coffee that won Best Cappuccino and Best Espresso in Cape Town. Image: mischu
GO FOR ONE OF THE BEST COFFEES IN CAPE TOWN?
Isabella is a 100% Arabica coffee from Brazil, Guatemala and Costa Rica, with a mild pleasant acidity and a dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut aftertaste. It’s a full-bodied and well-balanced blend.
According to mischu’s happy customers, it’s easily accessible and flavourful: The type of coffee that you can drink every day. This has made it one of the key pillars of mischu’s decade-long success.
The Isabella blend is a flavourful medium roast, good for both connoisseurs and less-knowledgeable coffee drinkers. Image: mischu
MEET THE OWNER, HIS FRIENDS CALL HIM “MISCHU”
When Mikhael first arrived in South Africa in 2006, his local friends kept on getting his nickname wrong. Known as “Micho” back in Lebanon, Mikhael was incorrectly nicknamed “Mischu” by South Africans - so much so that the name stuck, and he decided to call his coffee shop mischu.
Thanks to Mikhael, mischu guides other small businesses on their coffee journey.
“We started small and we love working with people who dream the way we do,” says Mikhael. Forget big brands or glitzy hotel chains: Instead, mischu guides entrepreneurs of small businesses on what to include on their menu, pricing, what coffee beans to use, how to make great coffee and more.
“We want to use our mistakes to help new coffee shops start off on a better foot,” says Mikhael. Notable businesses include Paris Cape Town, and over ten years, mischu has trained more than 4 000 baristas.
Mischu has trained and upskilled more than 4 000 baristas. Image: mischu
START YOUR DAY AT 6.45AM
You’ll see all kinds of people at mischu, which opens at 6.45am during the week.
Remote workers get a productive start to the day there (there’s free and unlimited wi-fi, even during loadshedding); cyclists and runners pop in after a workout; and dog walkers stop by on their way to the Promenade.
A lot of people sit in and linger, too, inside the bright interior with a massive window overlooking the bustling traffic and stylish pedestrians strolling along Regent Road.
Brunch (breakfast is served until 3.30pm) goes down nicely at mischu, with its sleek black mirrors and hanging lights. Large wooden shelves display coffee beans and accessories, as well as board games (like wooden naughts and crosses and backgammon).
The atmosphere is bustling and lively from when mischu opens its doors at 6:45am. Image: mischu
LUNCH FOR R50, BRUNCH FOR UNDER R100
The menu at mischu is wholesome with a Mediterranean twist. An interesting breakfast that deviates from simple egg on toast is the breakfast flatbread wrap with boiled egg, homemade hummus and chilli. There’s gluten-free options, too, like the maple cinnamon granola bowl.
Nourishing warm bowls feature on the lunch menu (there’s a roasted spiced chickpeas and aubergine bowl for vegans and veggie-lovers) as well as flatbreads (which are freshly-baked in store) and toasties. mischu also has a selection of fresh pastries and desserts - the croissants are ultra-flakey and buttery.
Go to mischu for the food, too. Image: mischu
Capetonians will know that brunch in the city can be pricey. Although mischu’s home is in the heart of Regent Road, one of the trendiest strips of restaurants and cafés in Cape Town, it has breakfast and lunch specials running every day.
And brunch is under R100 with the breakfast special: A regular flat white with smashed avo, poached egg, and veg on sourdough costs R95 (until 3.30pm).
Or, work from mischu for the day and spend wisely with a R50 lunch. The warm bowls, filled with colourful veggies, are on special between 11.30am and 3.30pm (sit-downs only).
Where else in Cape Town can you get a filling, healthy lunch for R50? Image: mischu
BUY COFFEE BEANS + MORE ONLINE
You can also buy mischu coffee online. Along with the Isabella blend, there are four other coffees to choose from (buy the beans or ground coffee), as well as decaf coffee, capsules and coffee-making equipment.
Not a coffee fan? mischu also sells instant powders so you can make some of your favourite in-store drinks at home (like a coffee freezo, spicy chai and white or dark hot chocolate).
Try an iced coffee or coffee freezo if you’re not a hard-core coffee drinker. Image: mischu
START YOUR MORNING WITH MISCHU
Mischu is open: Monday to Friday, 6:45am to 5:30pm; Weekends, 7:30am to 5:30pm
Find it: 85 Regent Road | Sea Point (Opposite the Spar)
Contact them on: 021 439 3944, Website, @mischucoffee
Buy online: Via the website
By Julia Rowley
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