Shift Espresso Bar in Cape Town

Meet Green Point’s new rebel with a (coffee) cause

Luigi Vigliotti’s new Shift Espresso Bar is all about pushing things slightly out of place. Having traversed the globe as a dancer, this fetching entrepreneur, whose love of coffee stems from his Italian roots, has seen and tasted plenty, and in his fresh-faced shop, he’s brought it all together to brew up a venue that’s just a little rebellious, a little intent on raging against the machine.

Firstly, the bar, which opens on Green Point’s main drag on 23 June 2014, doesn’t look much like your mainstream café. Blending a dark-toned indie aesthetic with industrial touches (like suspended, zigzagging copper light fittings and shelves with metal piping), it claims a sleek yet edgy feel and an anything-goes ambience that invites customers to forge their own path, and well, make whatever they want of the space.

“It’s meant to be the sort of place that people can come to any time of day and do whatever they want in, be it play games or strum on the guitar or study or work [there’s free Wi-fi, laptop plug points and cell phone charging stations],” explains the co-owner.

But the stand-out feature of Shift is, of course, the coffee, which doesn’t exactly conform to ordinary joe standards either. Though the expected cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and Americanos are all present and accounted for, Shift imports some of the individuality that Luigi’s observed abroad and whips up a few against-the-grain speciality options too. There’s the Hashtag, the Rebellion, the Bearded Junkie and the Italian Plumber, and although the co-founder is keeping the exact ingredients under wraps, he has revealed that these out-there concoctions include treats like condensed milk, Oreos, hazelnuts, gelato and Nutella.

Aside from the adventurous combos though, the java itself has a distinct identity that’s worth a little tongue wagging. The passionate co-owner surveyed around 50 different roasters before he settled on one that could offer him beans good enough to blow the minds of both coffee snobs and noobs. There are two blends available, a rich Italian one and a full-bodied African one with a thick crema, chocolaty outset and caramel aftertaste, and both, according to Luigi, are tasty enough to alter drinkers’ mindsets about this aromatic beverage.

“That’s what the bar is all about, after all,” he says, “shifting expectations, people’s understanding of coffee and the way they drink it.”

One way you can choose to drink your cuppa at Shift is with a complementary bite. Visitors can look forward to innovative palate pleasers like peanut butter and salted caramel brownies and hazelnut and chocolate croissants as well as a few Italian-inspired lunch snacks, including paninis, ciabattas and baguettes with meats like prosciutto and cheeses like buffalo mozzarella.

So, if you’re the type that likes to swim a little upstream, or if you just appreciate some good ol’ Italian hospitality wrapped up in a trendy setting, you know where to go for some good food and freshly brewed goodness. Simply look out for the sexy spot that’s shaking up Green Point’s café scene.

Tip: Prove you’re a loyal customer at this hip coffee shop by popping in regularly and you just might be treated to a special surprise. Also, if you buy a Chemex coffeemaker and bag of beans from Shift (yes, they’re soon to have a retail side too), you can benefit from free barista training.

The Bill: Although everything Shift does is exotic by nature, Luigi promises that its products aren’t that exotic cost-wise. He’s made a concerted effort to keep prices fair, so that patrons can come in and enjoy a sandwich and coffee for little more than R50.

Opening Hours: Weekdays: 7am – 6pm | Sunday: 8am - 3pm 

47 Main Road (next to the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa) | Green Point | Cape Town


Bit of a java junkie? Find out about other top coffee shops in Cape Town.


Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smart phone, add to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in an around the Mother City!

veld_and_sea_pansiesSpring Flowers: Edible Flowers and ...

Where to go for foraging, fynbos tastings and apothecary workshops

Vintage_Market_2Vintage Treasures: Form Clothing To ...

Find hidden gems and unique antiques at this vintage market

SING_choir_extravaganzaSee The SA Choir (& 3 More Champions) ...

Watch the choir that wowed America’s Got Talent Live at Grand West

garden_cafeNEW: The Restaurant Made From a ...

A container cafe in a business park with well-priced lunch menu

Afrocation_tourCape Flats Hip Hop Pioneer Launches New ...

11 stories inspired by hip hop and children’s imagination

healthy_kids_are_coolA Market With Healthy Food Kids Won’t ...

Learn where good food comes from, how to read labels, what to avoid and get ...

With_You_FestivalTop SA And German DJs Ring In Festival ...

Feel the love in the city and make friends across the dancefloor at this house ...

kanu_run_1Kanu Wines Opens Its Gates For Its ...

And see what’s new at the Stellenbosch estate


image description

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.