South Africa Caffè deLuca, CBD, Cape Town, South Africa: Singolo Cappuccino
Caffè deLuca: Singolo Cappuccino

While off on an expedition with some friends, who were helping me test cellular phones for an article I was writing, we stopped off at the Caffè deLuca branch that had just opened at Thibault Square in Cape Town's CBD to wait out the rain. As it was a Saturday it was one of the few places that was open because the city tends to shut down on the weekends and, in fact, we were politely chucked out just after 14:30 because the café was closing.

We sat down at a table and consulted the menu, which is printed on a board behind the counter, because the waiter didn't offer us a printed version and I'm not even sure if they have any. Unfortunately the board doesn't list the prices so unless you feel like going the rather uncomfortable route of asking what everything you're interested in costs you have to order blindly.

The establishment itself is rather pleasant, however, with a view onto Hans Strijdom Avenue and part of Thibault Square that, on any other day, would be ideal. There are tables both inside and outside and the interior has minimalist, contemporary décor that is complemented with light lounge music (or light jazz, depending on the time of day or the mood, I guess) that is played through the sound system.

Caffè deLuca: Singolo Cappuccino

The cappuccinos, however, are not particularly noteworthy. All my friends ordered the large ("doppio") option, while I opted for the regular ("singolo") size as per our Cappuccino Quest rules. It was interesting to see, however, how a larger size and resulting extra expense doesn't necessarily result in better value for money.

The cappuccinos are served with house-branded sugar packets and a small almond biscotti that isn't particularly noteworthy.

South Africa Opinion
Size: The regular is called the "singolo". It was served in a standard cup that holds about 250ml. The cup was filled almost to the brim with coffee. [6/10]
Foam: One of the biggest differences between the regular and the large is the foam. The singolo cappuccino's foam was about 1.5cm and rose just slightly out of the cup. It had quite a thick, creamy consistency and taste and wasn't too light or fluffy. A heart pattern had been created in the middle of the foam, which I presume was due to the barista having had some proper training, and it looked really good. [9/10]
Heat: Barely warm. [4/10]
Coffee: Rich, but bitter, which I do not care for, with very little milk. There was a little bit of gunge at the bottom. I don't know what brand of coffee they used. [6/10]
Price: R10* [?], which is a reasonable price. [6/10]
Overall: I was not at all impressed with the cappuccino, and a subsequent visit to the establishment about a week later reconfirmed this - the coffee was even more bitter, just as lukewarm, there was even more foam in the cup, and that time I didn't even get the foam heart. [5/10]
Primary Tester: Mandy J Watson
Additional Testers: Paul Pregnolato, Doane Smuts
When: 19 May 2007
Other Options Available:
Doppio Cappuccino: It looks as if it might be - at most - about 350ml, R12* [?]
(As you can see from the photo the doppio cappuccino didn't have the heart in the foam and instead a small amount of hot chocolate had been sprinkled on top. The foam was about 3cm thick and that was all in the cup, so I'm not sure how much extra coffee you actually receive if you opt for the doppio instead of the singolo.)

Contact Details
Where: Thibault Square, CBD, Cape Town, South Africa
This coffee shop has now apparently moved to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
Hours: Monday to Friday: early (before 07:00) to about 16:00; Saturday: early to 14:30
Phone: +27 21 421 8241
Web Site: [although the site has been pending for over a year now] Speak Your Mind

* Price is correct for date of testing
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