Deluxe Coffeeworks in Cape Town: The little back-alley coffee roastery that could


What started as a wild idea on a night out for founders Carl Wessel and Judd Francis Nicolay, has turned into one of Cape Town’s best-loved success stories. These days you can get your Deluxe coffee fix at no less than six national outlets throughout the Mother City and Stellenbosch.

Judd and Carl had a chance meeting over a few drinks at Rafikis one night in 2009 and decided to change the coffee landscape of Cape Town by creating a brand that would focus on high quality beans and solid roasting techniques above all else. The two trailblazers eschewed all the standard bells and whistles and started Deluxe Coffeeworks with a single, second-hand roaster in Carl’s backyard. From these humble beginnings grew a city-wide empire that is now the go-to supplier for the Cape Town’s hippest eateries and the java stop of choice for hardcore coffee fans.

Deluxe Coffeeworks has six extremely successful outlets, but for the sake of this particular review we will be focussing on the head office, roastery and espresso bar, tucked away in Roodehek street just off of Buitenkant.


Where? 6 Roodehek Street, Gardens. Parking is problematic on Roodehek itself, rather try your luck along Hope Street or in the ample parking lot at the German Club just around the corner. Alternatively, you could make it a stop along an urban hike through the Company’s Gardens and historic city centre.

When? Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am to 2pm.

Who? Strictly for dyed-in-the-wool coffee lovers who want their java without frills, fuss or over-sized muffins on the side. The roastery on Roodehek has a long, wooden counter and a single couch where you can perch to enjoy your coffee, but don’t expect a sprawling coffee shop where you can linger all day. This is the beating heart of the Deluxe empire, and the energy is palpable with the exquisite smell of roasting coffee beans heavy in the air. Pop in for one of the best cups of coffee you’ll ever have in Cape Town and then be on your way.

What? The house blend coffee, which is the only thing on the menu. There are a variety of single origin coffee beans from Kenya, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Brazil and Guatemala for sale to take home, but these are not brewed on site. Hungry? Grab a delicious taco or Philly Cheesesteak roll at the Bitch’s Tits, which shares an alley entrance with Deluxe.

MUST TRY: The flat white. It’s akin to a religious experience. Vegan? Go for a black Americano, these blokes don’t mess around with almond milk.

Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald / Writing: Anna-Bet Stemmet

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