I really enjoy a good cup of coffee. I'm also naturally fullashit to the point that I rarely trust a cup of coffee to be good when I buy it, so I tend to prefer making my own. There are some really great coffee joints in Cape Town where you can buy a decent cup of coffee, but sadly, they are far and few between.

This evening, I tried the new Vida e Caffe at Century City. I grabbed an Americano on the run. I love Vida e for the concept, for being the only "on the run" coffee franchise in SA and for the excellent branding. But oh dear is their coffee CRAP!

But I know this! I've known it for a while. Infact, most would agree, the coffee at Vida really doesn't deserve to be called coffee, but more akin to dirty water with a bitter taste and a dash of milk!

I go back to their stores with this deep down hope that perhaps the refugee behind the counter with the cool personality and funky accent will by some great act of the heavens, pull off a great cup of coffee.

Sadly, it hasn't happened!

Kudos to the company for putting together an excellent brand identity and for a very slick experience everytime, but c'mon people...

How hard is it for a coffee shop to sell a good cup of coffee?

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8 Opinions

  1. Vince // 10 September 2008 at 20:28

    I think perhaps you've had a poor experience; I'm never let down by the jozi's CBD branch. Rosebank Mall's branch is particularly good too. Go check out what I've written about food / coffee on Moral Fibre www.moralfibre.co.za

    Also just one handy hint - in order to ensure that you receive great coffee tell the "refugee" to ensure that he doesn't burn the coffee, ask him to turn the heat down a little bit as this will ensure the brewing process doesn't destroy the taste..

  2. SaulK // 10 September 2008 at 20:34

    I've got to agree with Vince on this one. I really enjoy Vida coffee more than any other brand out there.
    In my opinion it's
    1) Vida
    2) Seattle
    3) Lulu's

  3. HoTsTePPa // 10 September 2008 at 21:03

    Aaah, I see what this means then! It's a Cape Town thing!

    Admittedly, I have always been jealous of the quality of service that you guys in JHB are spoilt with.

    In CPT, it seems that waiters tend to believe that by serving me, they are doing me a favour.

  4. Vincent // 10 September 2008 at 21:36

    Perhaps its the Jozi baristas fear of being hauled over the counter should they pour a crappy cup of coffee. I went to Vida in Long / Hope street in Cape Town and it wasn't the best - stale rolls and the coffee was way too damned hot.

    Its also about letting the guys know that they've cocked up - I think that positive critique is needed especially with a growing brand which Vida most certainly is.

    Did I mention that I'm a Vida - fan - man and that I go to Vida every day :(

  5. HoTsTePPa // 10 September 2008 at 22:09

    I agree that making them aware of the problem helps solve the problem, unfortunately a manager is never around and all that you will get from the foreigners behind the counter is a semi-sympathetic, semi-mocking apology and nothing will be done about the problem.

    During your next trip to CPT, try Balducci's in the Waterfront. Great service, great food, great coffee!

  6. Anonymous // 10 September 2008 at 23:09

    Not a Cape Town thing as I've had nothing but good experiences at the Cavendish Square and Somerset Mall Vida branches. I think they make great coffee.

  7. HoTsTePPa // 11 September 2008 at 12:00

    @craniac - Unfortunately my experiences at Cavendish has been vastly different. The muffin seemed old enough to bear kids and the coffee too was disappointing.

    Maybe I am ordering the wrong cup, what do you guys suggest?

  8. Vincent // 11 September 2008 at 18:26

    I think your comments are valid - you had a bad experience.

    I know that other Vida's trash their old pastries, I know because the guys in the CBD are forced to give me a free muffin at five pm. hahaha