Coffee, Tea & WiFi – the perfect traveling trio.

I have spent a lot of time drinking tea and coffee in the last 60 days and I now have a deeper appreciation for the art. In both Indonesia and South Africa, it is serious business.

Red cappuccino

Bali and the surrounding islands are famous for Kopi Luwak coffee fetching as much as $700/kg. What makes these so special? The coffee cherries are part-digested and expelled (!) by the Asian palm chivet, roasted, ground and served. It’s a delicacy, I hear. The “ordinary” coffee was fine with me.

The Cape Town region is proud of its Red Cino, a cappuccino made with rooibos tea, I have found this is an acquired taste. Cafes in the southern Cape are taking that leap to “experience cafes” with themes from trendy steam punk to corporate Starbucks-esque to small local rest stops. In all coffee shops the menu is complete with drinks ranging from flat whites to americanos to pour overs.

Here are some that have stood out for me for one reason or another. And they all had wifi with one exception.

Secret Cafe, Nusa Dua, Bali

My final coffee stop in Bali. It was a sweet reprieve from the heat and serene contrast to the world outside. With an Italian flair, comfy sofa, old towny bikes on the walls and red surf board, it has an expat surfer tone. I loved the patio with creeping vines shrouding me from the noise of fast-moving scooters. As it was my last hurrah, I indulged in 2 large cappuccinos here and buzzed all the way home, stopping along the way for a pedicure!

Secret cafe

Mischu, Sea Point, Cape Town

I ventured here on the recommendation of my AirBnB host. It’s a small bustling, bright cafe with a local vibe. It was Saturday and the concert of ladies laughing, babies gurgling, cyclists comparing rides and construction road work as a back drop just seemed to work. The coffee was delicious – sweet and creamy and I learned about a “cafe freezo”. Oh boy. That’s a coffee milk shake, heaven in a cup.

Origin Coffee, District Quarter, Cape Town

Now this is professional coffee and the baristas are competing in the 2017 World Barista Championships. This became my meeting place to connect with my new South African friends (Terea, Karen & Patrick, Gail) and feel like a local. So many interesting drinks, although one tea stands out, African Sun iced tea. A spicy cinnamon flavored roobois tea perfectly thirst quenching after a rigorous yoga class.

At Origin all the coffee beans are roasted on site and the kitchen bakes all their own breads and cakes. The building is in the old slave quarters district of Cape Town, so the atmosphere is authentically South African. This place intrigued me.

Origin coffee roasting

Origin pour over coffee

Giovanni’s, Green Point, Cape Town

What a truly Italian deli, panettone and Italian olive oil line the shelves! This is how I imagine a cafe in a small town in Italy. Older gents having afternoon espresso, made up dignified ladies sipping cappuccinos and the odd tourist mixed in. The coffee was great and one of the very few cafes with no wifi. Good for conversation but not great if your trying to figure out your next moves!

Truth Coffee, Prestwich Place Memorial, Greenpoint, Cape Town

During construction of the area in 2003, unmarked graves of a large number of the free slaves, blacks, washer women and babies were discovered. So a memorial was created. The cafe is set inside the memorial; after a resurrection or vengeance coffee you can peruse the interpretive exhibit and peek at the boxes and boxes of exhumed bodies. A bit creepy but good piece of history.

And I’m off to find my next unassuming cup of coffee. ?.