In the Northern suburbs of this African playground is where the freshest coffee spot has opened its doors. And this West Coast side of Cape Town has only recently whizzing towards development and so brand spanking new to a coffee culture. Reload Espresso Bar at Leadville Park therefore just in time opened with these busy Capetonians in mind who want to get their caffeine fix, whilst letting their pups walk and play. Of course the puppacinno’s and doggie treats are the real attractions here.
“Our waitresses walk out to our customers to take orders and deliver hot coffees while they walk their dogs,” says Kilaan Schoeman, owner of Reload Espresso Bar. “Cape Town has a fairly fast-paced culture and we wanted to be a place where people could enjoy good coffee and food on the go, but also a place where they could slow down and enjoy the moment.”
For Schoeman his coffee start was as he calls it, “very humble.” He started in 2010 selling coffee to motorists from a little coffee wagon – just next to one of the busy roads leading into the city. “I would get up at 4am to set up position on the side of the road and try to catch people on their way to work,” says Schoeman, who in fact came from a Science background. “In those days, people mostly knew Nescafe, so it was hard convincing them to stop for a R12 (about $1) cup of artisan coffee. Eventually I realized that I needed to establish more formally, and opened my first store in 2013.” And soon enough he has three stores, and about 35 people working for him.
Cape Town has for the last ten years truly evolved in coffee culture – from the days of Illy Cappuccino to winning titles like “Best Coffee Shop In The World” the city is spreading its coffee understanding wider and thicker. “We mainly use our espresso machines to make our Americanos and flat whites,” says Schoeman. “We have tried to use some alternative brewing methods such as Chemex but our customers are more interested in the original method. This is probably due to the fact that coffee culture is still fairly new to this side of Cape Town and not many of the people in our area are interested in “frills” per say.”
In spite of what all the other Cape Town coffee shops are doing, Schoeman likes to keep things really simple around here. “I don’t believe spending huge amounts of money on an espresso machine is justified. I find greater value in investing in basic WEGA 2-group fully manual machines and grinders, and then to clean and maintain regularly,” he says. “The machine heads are deep cleaned daily, and grinder burrs replaced regularly. Our greatest emphasis is on barista training, we put considerable effort into the technique.”
And this really is just the beginning, the third wave of coffee may have hit certain sections of South Africa but there is a whole new rising wider spread middle class that are eager to obtain status, be part of something cosmopolitan and are happy to pay up to R20 ($1.25 roughly) for a cappuccinos deliciousness. “There is still so much opportunity in South Africa in coffee, particularly if you have a good product. Awareness, for good coffee is growing, and as the middle class grows, aspirations grow too and with that opportunities grow,” shares Schoeman. “Capetonians love good coffee and all of them seem to be latching onto the concept of good coffee. Cape Town has a high rate of success in the sphere of coffee with top class baristas and fantastic locally roasted coffee.”
At Reload they are using Malawi Mzuzu, a medium to light roast. “It’s a relatively unknown region but produces a coffee giving remarkable taste and quality,” says Schoeman. Their partner in roasting is Flat Mountain Roasters that prides itself on deep diving into unique African regions. Bradley Sinclair and Gean Burrell, the owners of Flat Mountain Roasters, created their brand with “the idea of coffee being something that should be enjoyed outdoors on a mountain somewhere or on a secluded beach with just yourself and that perfect coffee moment.”
Besides for also selling beans to take home, Reload offers plenty of food options. Grub, as the locals call it. “Some of our signature menu items are our Bunless Chicken Burger which is stacked tall unlike any other bunless burger we know of, our delicious and home-made Turkish Eggs for breakfast with a yummy spicy tomato and pepper sauce,” says Schoeman. And then those puppy delights for your furry friend.
It’s the perfect place to come puppy-watch, with a coffee in hand of course.
Make sure you stop by on your next Cape Town trip at Leadville Dog Park, Leadville Way, Sunningdale, Cape Town, or visit them online: www.reloadespresso.co.za