What’s the best takeout coffee in town?

2014-11-17 14:30

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Great coffee brightens up any day. But it’s a bit of a luxury, so if you’re going to buy it, you should buy the best. #Trending puts three coffee brands to the test

1st

Father Coffee

Americano: R13 and R18

Cappuccino: R15 and R20

10/10

I like my coffee like I do my conversation; dark, spicy and a little continental. Father coffee is all of these with the additional pleasure of pretty packaging.

The Americano is a heady mixture of Arabica and African blends resulting in a brazen, quite perfectly rounded cup of chaff.

Their Braamfontein HQ is a gleaming ode to pine parquet, striking a hip balance between a Swedish sauna room and a Bavarian craft brewery. Sit on the steps outside to ogle, judge and admire the hipsters of Braam while sipping on the best brew this side of the boerewors curtain.

– Garreth van Niekerk

9/10

Having never tried the coffee from Father, I was pleasantly surprised by what a robust flavour each cup had. The wonderful blend of African and central American beans was a winning combination.

I am in no way a coffee expert, but there’s something about the double-shot Americano that stands taller than the rest.

The small white packaging is cute and sleek and makes a great accompaniment to the beautiful bold flavour of the coffee.

Father’s cappuccino and Americano are certainly my favourite of the three brands. It’s no wonder it’s getting such rave reviews across the board.

– Thembi Dzonzi

8/10

Oh friggin yum. May I add an exclamation? Oh friggin yum! This, dear Motherland and Vida, is coffee. Rich, strong and perfectly roasted. If this doesn’t wake you up and steer your day in a decent direction, I’m afraid you might need to resort to crack.

Fresh, simple, minimalist labelling and a small portion, but it’s also the cheapest of the lot – not that it’s exactly cheap.

If coffee is this intense, all you need is a modest cup. I am heading to my nearest outlet and I’m going to pick up a few bags of these beans to brew at home.

– Charl Blignaut

» Father Coffee, 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Joburg

2nd

Vida e Caffè

Americano: R15 and R18

Cappuccino: R17 and R22

6/10

Vida is great for convenience, but the infamous red cup is consistently watery.

To deny Vida a mid-level ranking would be unwise for me because their mounting accessibility quickly escalates to the same position as the other infamously available red cup (clue: it starts with a W and ends with an Impy).

Although I fear the possibility of being poisoned behind the guise of a smiling “obrigado”, I will admit to preferring the simple pleasure of the latter’s garage coffee to its overpriced Portuguese competitor.

The complimentary chocolate is a nice treat, but drinkers beware the sweet distraction.

– Garreth van Niekerk

4/10

For a big brand such as Vida, I genuinely expected the coffee to be a lot more spectacular – after all, how could thousands of people across the country be wrong?

But I forgot that for bigger and more commercial brands such as Vida, Starbucks and Nestlé, the quantity-verses-quality-principle favours the quantity scale.

This isn’t to say the coffee is a dismal outrage to consumers: Vida provides a wonderful product – one full of flavour and presented well. It’s evident that great precision is taken in the making and presentation of the product.

Although the complimentary chocolate certainly helps sweeten the deal, it still measured lower than Father, in my opinion.

– Thembi Dzonzi

6/10

The bright-red branded Vida has become synonymous with takeaway coffee, and it’s clear to see why. They’re crowd-pleasers. The portions are huge and you get a free chocolate with your coffee.

Quite an okay chocolate at that, dark and full of cocoa. It’s a myth that Vida is the most affordable coffee – it costs the same as the next cup of luxury living.

It’s okay, but it’s too weak, too watery and it tastes no better than what I brew at home at a fraction of the cost. Also, get thee behind me Movember and all those who serve their coffee in special moustache-emblazoned cups.

– Charl Blignaut

» We bought from Vida e Caffè, Shop No EG 08 B, The Zone, Oxford Road, Rosebank, Joburg

3rd

Motherland Coffee Company

Americano: R14.50 and R17.50

Cappuccino: R18.50

5/10

Motherland coffee is watery and loses out to Vida’s corporate convenience and Father’s push on quality roasting and blending.

I will do whatever I can to support local brands, especially with Motherland’s focus on coffee from Africa, but its promising marketing campaign falls flat with a cappuccino that is more flat white than a foamy cloud and an Americano that needs an extra Italiano. But I will give it the thumbs up for the recyclable cups.– Garreth van Niekerk

5/10

Motherland brings together a great blend of African beans. The Americano could pack more of a punch – it seemed to lack the depth of flavour I expected from the beans. It just doesn’t seem to have the distinct flavour of a Robusta bean expected in an African blend.

The cappuccino was the better of the two. I enjoyed how mild and creamy it is. After tasting Motherland’s coffee, I can safely say that I prefer a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. It honestly just tastes much better that way.

The packaging was my favourite of the three – it’s actually really cute and I love that it’s dressed in brown and black, and stays true to the African theme of the café. – Thembi Dzonzi

5/10

Ja, the packaging is pretty and offers a hint of environmental awareness, but why is “the motherland” depicted as an rural barn in the illustration?

The cappuccino was frothy and full, and promised great things, but quite frankly, the African Robusta beans leave a metallic aftertaste. The flavour is thin.

I know this might make me a bad person, but I need my coffee rich and roasty. I’ll support African-grown tea, but the coffee beans I mix with Arabica when I grind. This was also the most expensive of the coffees we tested. – Charl Blignaut

» Motherland Coffee Company, Shop G22, The Zone, Phase 2, Rosebank, Joburg

Vida e Caffè

Americano: R15 and R18

Cappuccino: R17 and R22

6/10

Vida is great for convenience, but the infamous red cup is consistently watery. To deny Vida a mid-level ranking would be unwise for me because their mounting accessibility quickly escalates to the same position as the other infamously available red cup (clue: it starts with a W and ends with an Impy).

Although I fear the possibility of being poisoned behind the guise of a smiling “obrigado”, I will admit to preferring the simple pleasure of the latter’s garage coffee to its overpriced Portuguese competitor. The complimentary chocolate is a nice treat, but drinkers beware the sweet distraction. – Garreth van Niekerk

4/10

For a big brand such as Vida, I genuinely expected the coffee to be a lot more spectacular – after all, how could thousands of people across the country be wrong? But I forgot that for bigger and more commercial brands such as Vida, Starbucks and Nestlé, the quantity-verses-quality-principle favours the quantity scale.

This isn’t to say the coffee is a dismal outrage to consumers: Vida provides a wonderful product – one full of flavour and presented well. It’s evident that great precision is taken in the making and presentation of the product. Although the complimentary chocolate certainly helps sweeten the deal, it still measured lower than Father, in my opinion.– Thembi Dzonzi

6/10

The bright-red branded Vida has become synonymous with takeaway coffee, and it’s clear to see why. They’re crowd-pleasers. The portions are huge and you get a free chocolate with your coffee. Quite an okay chocolate at that, dark and full of cocoa. It’s a myth that Vida is the most affordable coffee – it costs the same as the next cup of luxury living. It’s okay, but it’s too weak, too watery and it tastes no better than what I brew at home at a fraction of the cost. Also, get thee behind me Movember and all those who serve their coffee in special moustache-emblazoned cups. – Charl Blignaut

» We bought from Vida e Caffè, Shop No EG 08 B, The Zone, Oxford Road, Rosebank, Joburg

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