Truth’s steampunk HQ
If you’re a caffeinista and in Cape Town, you know the Truth. Amongst the finest coffee anywhere, David Donde’s coffee roastery has a reputation for leading the vanguard of expert artisanal bean roasters. More than this, there’s a consistency to the Truth experience that brings people back for more and creates converts on a daily basis. So it’s no wonder that in Truth’s new HQ at number 36 Buitenkant, the authenticity of the experience now has a home. And what a home it is.
Located in a beautiful old warehouse built in 1898 (which ’til last year was home to white goods, car parts and pigeons), Truth’s new home is nothing less than steampunk brought to life. After all, the design ethic of real coffee lends itself to this aesthetic: for start, there’s those wonderful old machines that are all steam and brass, heat and hiss. So it’s no far stretch to appreciate why, when Haldane Martin was in discussion with Truth honcho David about the design direction for the operation’s new home, the steampunk idea came to the…ahem…boil.
Steampunk style in every detail
Restoring the building to its true potential and original beauty, the premises live up to the steampunk style in every attentive detail. Where the theme could – and occasionally does, elsewhere - fall flat, at the Truth HQ, it’s spot on. Vintage brass, authentic fittings, mahogany leather banquettes, pressed Victorian panels, custom pipework seating, the longest communal table in the city and staff outfitted by The Little Hattery in period-perfect pieces. Add them all up and you can’t fail to arrive at an impression of consistent attention to detail that completes the look and feel. And at the heart of it all, a vintage pre-steel Probat, the hulking crucible of the entire operation.
What the hell’s a Probat? Around a century when he’s on form. But seriously, it’s the gold-standard coffee roaster – made in Germany, they set the bar for bag roasting, which in layman’s terms means the machine can roast a 60kg bag at a time. To perfection, on account of the addition of digital instrumentation that ensures Truth’s coffee lives up to its reputation of ‘Flavour, not bitterness. No sugar required.’
A coffee cult on Coffee Lane
As if the gods of coffee themselves were leaning down and savouring the aroma, by a twist of serendipity the building backs onto a back alley named Coffee Lane. Really? Really. There’s a touch of fantasy to that, which is in keeping again with the whole package. From the time you walk in and smell the aromas of roasting beans, hear the clank and tinker of baristas and on to the sound of jaunty Prohibition-speakeasy tunes playing in the background, you know you’re in for an authentic experience. So, if you’re in the city, do yourself a favour - head on over to Buitenkant and experience some of that steam, punk.