The Truth about Coffee

Cape Town's coffee cult leader calls us to worship at the altar of...perfectly roasted beans

Does your coffee look like a sundae after you’ve added sugar, syrup, chocolate, caramel, sprinkles or whip cream? Why do we add all this stuff? I guess it’s because most coffee is mediocre. It’s bitter (“strong”), so we compensate with all kinds of extras. But there’s hope: TRUTH shall set us free!

The other day, we dropped into TRUTH cafe in Green Point to get a cuppa from coffee evangelist, David Donde. A handsome bearded bloke, he preaches the virtues of pure, unadulterated, full-flavoured coffee. When I ordered a mocha with sugar, he winced, then smiled, “Let me surprise you.” Then his acolyte barista prepared a simple cappuccino, without any frills. I eyed David sceptically. But like a good cult leader handing me a cup of Kool-Aid, he tenderly said, “Just taste it.” And so with trembling trust, I did.

What a revelation it turned out to be. The taste was smooth and balanced, rich with aroma and body. And there was no bitter aftertaste that might tire my palette. The brew remained fresh on my tongue with each sip. And it needed no sugar, syrup or whatever. I was indeed surprised. The cult leader had taken his first step in converting me.

The Origins of Truth

David Donde is the co-founder of Origin, a cafe renowned for excellent roasting. He’s been central to the rise of coffee connoisseurship in Cape Town. Indeed, he’s been preaching the joys of artisanal coffee to anyone who’ll listen, and he’s been quietly training up the best baristas in the country. And now he’s started TRUTH.coffeecult.

But woah, this dude’s got passion. He focuses relentlessly on quality and taste. By going back to the basics – on sourcing beans, roasting them, blending them, and grinding them – David searches for the essence of the humble bean. He says he’s trying to “get coffee to deliver on the promise of the aroma of freshly ground coffee.” A noble pursuit, we’d say.

Truth offers five blends from its vintage roaster, each created to resonate with your different coffee needs: Resurrection wakes you from your coma, Vengeance maintains your momentum, Antithesis keeps you chilling, Donde’s Chaos inspires cult leaders-in-the-making, and Organic tickles barefoot treehuggers.

Great views of the mountain...that’s Table Mountain to you!

You can find Truth on the corner of Somerset and Buitengracht, inside the Prestwich Memorial. While the space is a little hard to spot from the road, it’s actually perfectly located. It opens onto the new World Cup fan walk that connects the Green Point stadium to the city centre. It’s surrounded by a big park with rustling trees, and a direct view of Table Mountain.(Pleasant for cult gatherings).

Truth also offers 3 hours of free, unlimited Wi-Fi for you internet junkies. A good place to chill while looking at porn But be warned: the longer you stay, the more you’ll fall under the spell of this charismatic leader and his magic juice. David calls his cafe Truth.coffeecult for a reason. He advocates “quality” with an almost religious zeal. And many of his patrons have become his followers.

But if you can’t get to the cafe very often, you can buy his blends to grind at home. Truth also sells its own purified still and sparkling water in glass bottles that you can bring back for refills. And, of course, you can get a little bite to eat while you’re there.

Look, coffee’s powerful. We’ve built a whole culture around it. But with all the stuff that we add to the drink, it seems we’ve lost contact with coffee’s essence, and its promise. Truth tries to re-establish that relationship by focusing on the simplicity – or simplexity – of the encounter.

Pop into Truth.coffeecult:

Corner Somerset and Buitengracht
1 Somerset Road, Green Point
+27 (0)21 419 2945
Hours: M–F 7am – 6pm / Sat 8am–noon

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