South AfricaSeattle Coffee co., Cape Town, South Africa
The Seattle Coffee co. is a tiny establishment next to Exclusive Books in Cavendish Square, a mall in Cape Town (in fact, you can walk right through the coffee shop into the store, if you want to). Exclusive Books opened years ago and then a few years after it the store was refurbished and suddenly we had a coffee shop right there, which, at the time, was rather novel. I walk past it all the time but have never had coffee there - it's one of those things that I've always meant to do, but never got around to - so when I had to meet a friend for a movie I suggest we try The Seattle Coffee co. as I've been dying to sample the coffee. It's one of the oldest coffee shops in the mall (in recent years the coffee shop thing has just exploded and now there are establishments every 12 metres) and it looks like it serves decent coffee.

There are three cappuccino options:
• Short (R11.50 [?]): "one espresso shot with a touch of steamed milk and a thick layer of creamy foam".
• Tall (R13.50 [?]): two shots of espresso.
• Grande (R15.50 [?]): three shots of espresso.

Is that foam I see before me? Must be, because it isn't coffee.

The entire process is - surprisingly, especially considering the price - very self help. You are served your cappuccino in a branded mug, rather than a cup and saucer, and you have to add your own cinnamon out of a shaker at the counter and grab your own sugar and spoon from a basket on the side of the room. There aren't individual bowls of sugar or sugar packets on the tables and you don't get a spoon with your mug, so you have to take one from a pile that's probably been manhandled by dozens of previous customers, which I don't find particularly hygenic.


South Africabrainwavez.org Opinion
Where: Lower Ground Floor next to Exclusive Books, Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa
Hours: Monday to Thursday and Saturday: 09:00-18:00; Friday: 09:00-21:00; Sunday: 10:00-16:00
Phone: +27 21 683 9927
When: 18 October 2006
Size: Short. After my dining companion had added cinnamon for me the presentation was quite pleasant and I was looking forward to tasting the coffee, except here's the surprise: although the mug was about 10cm high the foam inside the mug was about 3cm thick, so for five minutes I played a game of "where the hell is the coffee?" [3/10].
(Size Note: There are also "Tall" and "Grande" sizes.)
Foam: The foam was about 3cm thick inside the mug, leaving very little room for the coffee, which is, I guess, why they call this one the "Short". In fact, the coffee was barely coffee, and just lots of foam. The taste was a little tart and bland and the foam was very light and immensely fluffy. You can add as much, or as little, cinnamon as you'd like from a shaker at the counter [5/10].
Heat: Hot [8/10].
Coffee: The coffee, as with the foam, was a little tart, and pretty indistinguishable from instant coffee, although it was hard to tell for sure because there was barely any coffee in the mug. I don't really have an issue with the flavour, which is why this rating isn't lower. There was no gunge, although it was hard to tell for sure as the mug was black [6/10].
Price: R11.50 [?]. Not only is this expensive under normal circumstances but where the hell was the coffee? [2/10].
(Price Note: "Tall": R13.50 [?]; "Grande": R15.50 [?].]
Overall: What a ripoff. Both the coffee and the foam were okay in terms of flavour, although not particularly noteworthy, but the price is ridiculous and the immense amount of foam stuffed into the mug to disguise the fact that there is no coffee (I'd be surprised if there was 150ml in there) is unforgivable (even though, under other circumstances, I do prefer lots of foam). I will never, ever, have coffee here again, if I can help it. What a disappointment. [3/10].


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