MSN: The best coffee shop in the world - Haldane Martin
Haldane Martin is a preeminent South African designer renowned for iconic furniture and high-concept interiors for brands and businesses with signature identities that translate into extraordinary spaces.
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Truth Coffee in Yatzer. Photo by Shanna Jones.

MSN: The best coffee shop in the world

Truth Coffee’s headquarters in Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, whose steampunk concept was designed by Haldane Martin along with the coffee roastery’s interior, has just been named “The best coffee shop in the world” by an MSN Travel writer.

There may be an identikit coffee shop on every street corner these days, but there are still some out there who dare to be different.

As you can see from these pictures, Truth Coffee in Cape Town, South Africa, is quite definitely not your average Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Caffé Nero.

Exposed metal pipes run across the ceiling, while the cool hangout is littered with ornaments including vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines and old candlestick telephones.

Taking pride of place centre stage is Professor Jones’s Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption, an enormous retro-futuristic coffee machine which brings to mind the creations of eccentric inventor Heath Robinson.

The machine, designed by Chris Jones, works on a crank handle and ratchet system, with each cylinder of coffee assigned a lever.

When one of the levers is opened, it starts a chain reaction which opens a series of gates, releasing exactly 225g of coffee into a packet below.

The coffee shop’s eccentric decor was inspired by steampunk, a science fiction sub-genre heavily influenced by the imagery of nineteenth-century heavy industry.

The venue’s stylings were the brainchild of interior designer Heldane Martin, who hit on the idea after noting the similarities between coffee roasters and espresso machines and the steampunk aesthetic.

The visual theme extends to every inch of the coffee shop’s 1500m² space, from large saw-blade tabletops to restrooms featuring copper pipes, old extending mirrors and victorian tap levers.

“People have been pretty bowled over by the design,” part-owner David Donde, 43, said.

“It does tend to attract more interesting, quirky people than your standard coffee shop.”

As unusual coffee shops go, this fabulous place in South Africa takes some beating.

Originally published on msn.com.

25 September 2013

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