The brainwavez.org Cappuccino Quest
The Cappuccino Quest is on hiatus at the moment - read here for the explanation - but we will be resurrecting it in 2010.

How hard is it to find a decent cappuccino? Pretty difficult, if you ask us. At first we thought it was just a Cape Town problem, but after Mandy tried a few cappuccinos in London in 2006, we realised it must be a worldwide calamity, so we're now on a quest* to find places that actually make a decent cappuccino.

We're looking for:
• Size: A "regular" that's actually a reasonable size (the large, "grande", or any other extra-sized, higher-priced version that may be offered doesn't count - unless it's the only option - as we're trying to compare offerings of a baseline size that is as similar as possible).
• Foam: Thick, tasty foam that's piled high above the mug (if you're Mandy) or thick, tasty foam that's not piled too high (if you're Jase), so we apologise for the inevitable discrepancies - call it "testing perogative";
• foam made from milk, not cream, although we'll usually mention if a cream option is available, as some people prefer this;
• whatever is on top of the foam should complement the flavour of the cappuccino.
• Heat: Some sort of heat, but this is a tricky category as it's so subjective, so instead of rating it for quality, we rate what we are served on a heat scale of 1 (cold) to 10 (super hot):
  1 completely cold
  3 tepid
  4 barely warm
  5 lukewarm
  6 warmish
  7 warm
  8 hot
  9 very hot
  10 boiling;
• Coffee: A rich, full flavour that isn't too tart/bitter (or tastes burnt), and no little bits of gunge or granules sitting at the bottom of the cup when we're done (or, worse-case scenario, floating in the coffee...yuck...);
• Price: A reasonable price, since many establishments seem to think it's acceptable to charge excessive amounts ("reasonable" is, of course, relative and will largely be considered on a country-by-country basis).

• We end off with an overall, subjective rating that is a summary of our feelings about the various factors. A cappuccino with a high overall rating is one that we would want to buy again and would recommend to others.

This page highlights our most recent experiences, in chronological experience order (as opposed to time-leaping archival posting order). Click on the items, where applicable, for a more detailed review and, in most cases, photographs. Archive pages will be posted when we've experimented enough to need archives.

In the interest of attempted culinary suicide ("research") we've also taken to sampling cappuccino products that you can buy in stores, find buried in kitchen cupboards, or which mysteriously appear on our desks.

* Please note that this quest is not scientific and each tester has certain particular preferences that add slight discrepancies. The quest is more about the sensory experience and overall value. (And no, that doesn't mean we roll around in the foam. That would be weird.)


Two Creek Coffee House, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Cappuccino
Where: 502 East 3rd Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103, USA
When: 13 July 2008
Price: $2.75 [?]


Salt Lake Roasting Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Cappuccino
Where: 320 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111, USA
When: 12 July 2008
Price: $2.80 [?]


Woolworths Café, Constantia Village, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa: Tall Cappuccino
Where: Inside the Woolworths store, Constantia Village, corner of Spaanschemacht Road and Constantia Main Road, Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 28 June 2008
Price: R16 [?]


Jonkershuis, Cape Town, South Africa: Cappuccino
Where: Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Off Constantia Main Road, Constantia, 7800, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 1 June 2008
Price: R12 [?]


Hollow On The Square, CBD, Cape Town, South Africa: Cappuccino
Where: Thibault Square, CBD, Cape Town, South Africa
This coffee shop has now apparently moved to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
When: 19 May 2007
Price: R12 [?] (I think)


Caffè deLuca, Cape Town, South Africa: Singolo Cappuccino
Where: Thibault Square, CBD, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 19 May 2007
Price: R10 [?]


Woolworths Café, Cavendish Square, Claremont: Cappuccino
Where: Woolworths Café, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 22 November 2006
Price: R14 [?]


Chai-Yo, Cape Town, South Africa
Where: 65 Durban Road, Mowbray, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 17 November 2006
Price: R10.50 [?]


Secret Location, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Where: A secret location (to dissuade stalkers) in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
When: 12 November 2006
Price: Free


Kauai: Regular Cappuccino - Takeaway, Cape Town, South Africa
Where: 1 Mostert Street, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 9 November 2006
Price: R9.90 [?] (Note: The price has recently increased to R10.50 [?])


Mugg & Bean: Red Cappuccino, Cape Town, South Africa
Where: Ground Floor, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 3 November 2006
Price: R10.40 [?]


Mugg & Bean: Quick Cappuccino, Cape Town, South Africa
Where: Ground Floor, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 3 November 2006
Price: R9.20 [?]


Seattle Coffee co. (Cavendish Square Branch), Cape Town, South Africa: Short
Where: Lower Ground Floor next to Exclusive Books, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 18 October 2006
Price: R11.50 [?]


John Dory's Fish & Grill (Walmer Park Shopping Centre), Port Elizabeth, South Africa: Regular
Where: Shop 50, Walmer Park Shopping Centre, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
When: 29 September 2006
Price: R9.00 [?]


@ the Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa: Red Cappuccino
Where: Tyger Valley Waterfront, Tyger Valley, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 14 October 2006
Price: R12.00 [?]


Wild Bean Cafe, Cape Town, South Africa: Cappuccino
Where: Inside the BP Express at the BP Service Station, Forest Drive, Pinelands, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 7 October 2006
Price: R9.95 [?]


Bardelli's, Cape Town, South Africa: Cappuccino
Where: 51 Kenilworth Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 15 September 2006
Price: R9.00 [?]


Salt Lake Coffee Break, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Regular Cappuccino
Where: 430 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111, USA
When: 1 September 2006
Price: US$3.35/US$3.60 with tax [?]


It's been a month in the (sporadic) making, and quite an effort of back and forth editorial and graphics work and decision making, but we are now proud to present brainwavez.org's first Cappuccino Quest Tour: A Cappuccino Tour Of New Zealand. While on vacation in New Zealand in August 2006, Jase stopped at a few cafés and restaurants to sample the local cappuccinos and provide us with this report, complete with travelogue notes to set the scene.

Observatory Café, Lake Tekapo, New ZealandNaff Caff, Queenstown, New ZealandSeabreeze Café and Bar, Picton, New ZealandDux Cafe, Wellington, New ZealandFidel's, Wellington, New ZealandLa Scala Restaurant, Paihia, New ZealandCustoms Coffee House, Auckland, New Zealand








Posted by: Jase Luttrell


Starbucks (Phinney Ridge Branch), Seattle, Washington, USA: Grande Cappuccino
Where: 316 N. 67th Street, Seattle, Washington, 98103, USA
When: 18 August 2006
Price: US$3.22+tax [?]


Caffeine (Riebeek Street Branch), Cape Town, South Africa: Single Cappuccino
Where: 38 Riebeek Street, Cape Town, South Africa
[Note: This establishment no longer exists, although there is still a branch in Hout Bay.]
When: 25 August 2006
Price: R9.00 [?]


Product: Gula-Gula Victory Cappuccino Sweet (circa: within the last 10 years)
Where: At my office desk in Cape Town, South Africa
When: 28 August 2006
Price: n/a


Product: Nescafé Cappuccino (circa 2002)
Where: At my house in Cape Town, South Africa
When: 29 July 2006
Price: n/a


Product: Caldo Caldo Cappuccino
Where: In an office in Cape Town, South Africa
When: 12 July 2006
Price: n/a


South AfricaObz Café [entry page pending]
Where: 115 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
When: 7 July 2006
Size: Regular (although it was a tad on the small side) [5/10]
Foam: Thick, fluffy, and piled high, but no cream option [8/10]
Coffee: Excellent flavour, no debris at the bottom of the cup [8/10]
Price: R11.50 [?] (expensive, especially considering the size) [4/10]
Overall: Decent [8/10]
Posted by: Mandy J Watson


United Kingdom: EnglandCaffè Nero (Oxford Street 1 Branch) [entry page pending]
Where: 48 Oxford Street, London W1D 1BF, England
When: 25 June 2006
Size: Regular [7/10]
Foam: Reasonable, but not exactly noteworthy [6/10]
Coffee: Your standard cappuccino flavour [7/10]
Price: GBP1.75 [?] (a little pricey) [6/10]
Overall: Not bad - I'd definitely order again [7/10]
Posted by: Mandy J Watson


United Kingdom: EnglandKnights Table Rotisserie - Knights Kingdom, LEGOLAND Windsor [entry page pending]
Where: Windsor, England
When: 22 June 2006
Size: Regular (although it was impressively large) [8/10]
Foam: What foam? [1/10]
Coffee: Yuck - tasted like standard instant coffee [4/10]
Price: GBP1.95 [?] (expensive) [5/10]
Overall: Never, ever again [3/10]
Posted by: Mandy J Watson