The Department of Coffee

This weekend it was very hot in Cape Town and I was invited to a rather different birthday celebration at The Department of Coffee in Khayelitsha.


I have spent time in Khayeltisha but am not exactly familiar with the ins and outs. My Google maps got me to Ntlazane street but it took me a couple of drives up and down to find it (eventually I stopped and asked). 

Searching for number 158 I couldn’t work out why I kept seeing number 28 and then clicked that it was tagging by the 28s (numbers gang) which made me laugh.


Basically you just need to look out for the big red building! Now I know. It’s opposite the train station and serves commuters as well as interested visitors. Artisan coffee among shacks and barefoot urchins? 

“Before us, there was no coffee culture here; people have this idea that cappuccinos are expensive,” explains Wongama, who was a fireman before he and the others quit their jobs to take on this challenge. “So, we’re trying to show them that it can be affordable and accessible to all.”

Thankfully they also make freezy chinos which we slurped happily while we watched the world go by. Definitely worth a visit. One can never go to Khayelitsha and not come out a little bit changed.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 5am – 6pm; Saturday: 7am – 3pm

VPUU Building | Corner of Ntlazane Road and Khwezi Crescent | Llitha Park | Khayelitsha | Cape Town |Wongama: +27 (0) 78 086 0093; Vusumzi: +27 (0) 73 300 9519; Vuyile: +27 (0) 78 316 2918