MORE THAN JUST A COFFEE SHOP

by MatselaMoshokoa

As much as working from home is great, sometimes one needs to get out and hangout somewhere other than the desk, luckily for us there are awesome alternative spaces to do just that, and still be productive. I personally enjoy working in coffee shops, as a creative I find inspiration comes from dynamic and progressive spaces. I have 5 favourite spots in Johannesburg that i frequent and what I absolutely love about them, is that they are ‘more than just coffee shops’. In addition to brilliant premium coffee, feather light scrambled eggs and freshly baked cupcakes (with low fat frosting), they offer much much more. I could spend hours in the following places. I particularly enjoy that they are small and intimate, being greeted by name is always welcome, something you’d hardly experience from the typical chain coffee shop. Here’s my top 5, and what sets them apart.

THE WHIPPET in Linden 

They call themselves a neighbourhood coffee shop. Their product offering is sourced locally, literally down the road, from breads, preserves, local designer good (bags) and all sorts of tea & coffee accessories. The Whippet is always buzzing and a great place to see and interact with local hipsters. What sets them apart? their breakfast menu has champagne!! which I think is awesome! If you want to learn more about coffee, they have barrister courses once a month, coffee appreciation days. This is definitely for a coffee joint with a difference. For more details   http://thewhippetcoffee.com/

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CROFT & CO

‘Croft ‘ as its affectionately known, is nestled in Parkview’s bustling Tyrone Ave. Once a quaint store that sold men’s accessories, designer satchels, specialty grooming products, cigars etc, was a manly-man’s store. In recent months Croft & Co has  gone through a major transformation, from a retail space to coffee and great food. The vibe is pretty chilled, even when the place is filled to capacity it has this certain calmness to it. I keep going back for their breakfast, their scrambled eggs are the best in town. My other favourite is their steak prego, its absolutely sumptuous, a massive hit at their Friday steak night. Croft & Co also has an impressive wine offering, which I think sets them apart.  Grant, the owner really makes you feel so welcome and at home as he rallies around his guests and I could swear he knows all the regulars by name. https://www.facebook.com/CroftAndCo

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BEAN REPUBLIC

Melrose has a new kid on the block. Bean Republic true its name is an eatery set around the coffee bean. Their coffee and Eddies freshly baked hummingbird cake keeps me coming back for more. The ambiance at the Republic is laid back, with comfortable couches to sink into, you could literally spend the entire day on their couch, which is not that bad considering i’d be getting some work done too. What makes Bean Republic unique is their interactive space, they have a basement that doubles as a small event space, which plays host to live bands, poetry sessions, pop-up shops on the weekend…Oh! and did i mention they serve breakfast through out the day! http://beanrepublic.co.za/

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VELO

ART, COFFEE, FOOD best describes VELO. This art gallery come coffee shop with gourmet paninis has become one of the best eatery in the progressive Braamfontein district. The crowed varies from students, self employed hipsters and suites & tie corporate types, which all make up the dynamic culture that is Braamies. VELO as an art gallery offers artists an opportunity to exhibit their work, their double volume walls are graced by different artist every month, which makes every visit to VELO unique, as you experience a constently changing environment. Its simple interior lends itself to a great function venue, I have personally hosted 2 great events in the past  at VELO (see DIARO FROCK EXCHANGE PHOTOS), so if you’re organizing an event, do consider booking out VELO. https://www.facebook.com/ulovevelo

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MOTHERLAND

Motherland coffee is fast becoming a common site in JHB. With their 2nd store recently opening in Dunkeld, its even easier to get your hands on their fair trade African brew. I find Motherlands coffee ethics admirable and a good reason for me to keep going back. It also details the history of coffee bean growing in Africa. I love how Africa is central to their product offering with slogans like ‘ Africa is the future’ or ‘ choose Africa ‘ in the store, resonates with my personal dreams for our beautiful continent, because Africa is truly the next frontier. Their bran and apple muffin wins 1st prize in my books. http://www.motherlandcoffee.co.za/

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Whether you’re looking for a great lunch away from the desk, a Friday night chill, an art appreciation excursion or just an awesome cup of coffee, try these 5 spots around JHB. They are fresh, alternative and they are more than just coffee shops.

I have shared my favourites, what are yours? I’d love to try them out too.

Lots’o’Love

Matsela