Words: Nina van Schalkwyk
Words: Nina van Schalkwyk
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who drink coffee and those that don’t. I feel very sorry for the latter. It seems to me that a large chunk of my life is spent thinking about where to have my next coffee, which type of coffee I should get, and which establishments make the best coffee. And of course, the sadness at my own inability to brew a better cuppa. Because inevitably I will always have sediment at the bottom of my cup. Sigh. All of this does make me wonder sometimes, though, whether perhaps the strange people who are not coffee-lovers have a lot more time on their hands. But, then again, what good is time if you can’t spend it drinking coffee?
And so, in honour of International Coffee Day in October, I’ve put together a short list of a few of my favourite coffees stops in Windhoek. This is by no means a democratic sample, of course, and I am sure that there are favourites not mentioned here. Tough luck. This is my list, and I speak for myself when I say that the following coffee shops make a pretty good brew.
Deluxe is a relative newcomer on the block, but already they’ve built up quite the following. Situated right outside the front door of Old Mutual’s head-office downtown, Deluxe is a staple for most of the suits power-walking past. The brand is originally from Cape Town, but the coffee beans are roasted on sight and the result is a quality, flavourful extraction.
If you want to know where all the deals are made in Windhoek, visit the Stellenbosch Market restaurant between six and eight on a weekday morning. You’ll see all manner of businesspeople starting their day with small cups of coffee and open laptops. Fresh treats, cosy inside-seating and a crackling fire, plus a wine-list to die for. After just one visit, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.
A Namibian favourite, Slowtown is synonymous with Namibian coffee. Starting out at the coastal town of Swakopmund, Slowtown has systematically taken over most of Namibia. And by that of course, I mean, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek. But I’m sure the rest of the country is not far behind. The coffee shops are each unique, with the same comfortable vibe and relaxed atmosphere. Expect a wide variety of hot drinks with *gasp* optional almond milk.
Klara’s is the place you go when you want to feel like you are in a big city. No, Windhoek is not a big city, it’s hardly a city, to begin with. But walking through the doors at Klara’s, you can almost imagine yourself in one of the metropolises of the world. Take a seat near the floor to ceiling windows that look out on Independence Avenue and watch the world go by. Order a delicious sarmie or slice of cake (gluten-free, vegan. All options here). Did I mention the coffee is pretty good, too?
The Namibia Craft Centre is one of my all-time favourite spots in Windhoek, and so it really isn’t any surprise that I love the little café situated on its top floor. The Craft Café has been around for many years, and it just keeps getting better. Sit outside on the shady balcony, or take a seat inside near the stalls and shop with your eyes. The cakes are delicious, while the standard coffee drinks (think Americano, Cappuccino, Latte) are not bad, either.
Lemon Tree Restaurant at The Village Courtyard sets itself apart with its fantastic location. The overall atmosphere of this business hub in Liliencron Street is leafy, lush and relaxed, which goes a long way in an arid city like Windhoek. Lemon Tree is especially popular for Saturday morning smoothies after your run (note how I said your and not mine), perhaps with eggs and bacon? My favourite and the reason I’m including Lemon Tree in this list is the berry, banana smoothie with a shot of espresso. I find myself daydreaming about it during work.