Espresso Lab Microroasters

This is no ordinary lab. Vuyo shouts out from behind his equipment, ‘One last time’ and one wonders if his experiment has gone awry. Instead, Helene makes her way to the Ipod dock on a shelf nearby to start the song over. Everyone continues with his or her tasks but with a bit more bounce than before. You wont find any white coats, safety goggles, puffs of purple smoke or loopy scientists with crazy hair here. What you will find are a team of people who are taking coffee to a new and very exciting level.

I managed to spend some time with Renato, co-owner alongside Helene, who is one of few people with the ability to talk scientifically without inducing a narcoleptic episode – the type of person one would have hoped for at school. No disrespect intended, Mr Bentley. They adopt the Nordic principles of roasting which lends itself to a softer palate. Renato spent a number of years in Scandinavia learning all the tricks and has further maintained a strong tie with the roasters up north. They regularly swap green bean samples for analysis and experimentation.

The interior resembles the crisp and clinical features of a lab. A tiled map of the world indicates the homelands of the beans and the open space means you get a bird’s-eye view of the happenings. They also stock a number of cool gadgets you can buy to wow your friends the next time you have them around for dinner. Check out the inverted Aeropress – the packaging is super cheesy but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

More exciting though is their current coffee selection. One in particular is an espresso blend that they have put together for the chilly Cape winter with beans from Brazil, Costa Rica and Ethiopia.

A much more intense espresso blend, one that brings our warm chocolate, caramel and honey notes, with a soft presence of tropical fruit acidity. This is a much more complex blend with a full-bodied flavour and will have us cuddled up for the coming months.

Although intended for the summer months, I recommend you try a Black Ice. I don’t need to explain why.

Monday to Friday 08h00 till 16h00
Saturday 08h00 till 14h00

The Old Biscuit Mill
373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock
021 4470845

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Written by Cindy Taylor

Cindy is the editor in chief and photographer for I Love Coffee.


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8 Responses to “Espresso Lab Microroasters”

  1. Andrew June 8, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    We love these guys!! Congrats Renato, Helene & Vuyo!!

  2. Jesse-Leigh Elford June 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Hey Renato, Helene & Vuyo

    Agree with Andrew, we love you guys!!!!

    Legends in the coffee business! Best coffee in town!!!

  3. Kyle Fraser June 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Such an awesome place!

    Will visit again when I’m in the Cape.

  4. Koek! June 10, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    This looks gooooooood…

  5. FindingMyUnicorn June 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    I went there today. Blogged about it too. Love love love it. <3

  6. Elzabi September 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Definitely great coffee – not for the feint-hearted.

  7. Jen April 17, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    Will NEVER go here again. Coffee was OK, but the worst service I’ve ever had in any establishment anywhere. From the moment my friend and I walked in, the guys behind the counter leered over us. During the whole time we drank our coffee, one guy hovered by our table and kept staring at us and listening to our conversation, and he wouldn’t move even after we asked him to. When they brought our coffee, the guy grabbed my arm tightly; I’m sorry but you don’t touch customers that way. They made us feel so incredibly uncomfortable that we finally left before we’d finished. I will never ever go there again.


  1. espresso lab microroasters « Süssigkeiten: photgraphy love design journalism blog cape town - August 28, 2010

    [...] Quickly went with Des for a coffee – for the first time at Espresso Lab Microroasters at the Old Biscuit Mill. They were really busy and stressed today, but the coffee was awesome. Problay pretty chilled there during the week. More about this coffee place on  ILoveCoffee. [...]

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