Mzansi Life & Style was recently invited to the opening of the first Starbucks store in South Africa. Now, if you watch any American movie or TV series, this is by far the most commonly used coffee shop reference. It has taken a while to get to our shores, but like Krispy Kreme and Burger King before that, coffee addicts can finally get their paws on the real deal.
And the real deal when it comes to coffee can involve an intricate, almost lab-like concoction of tubes, filtering and boiling, all to create that smooth, strong taste from a bean. The Reserve section of Starbucks is where you will find the finer selection of coffee, specially brewed by very informative baristas, with a passion for the dark elixir.
I tasted the Burundi and Kenyan reserve coffee and both were strong and full bodied, and although I could not smell the soil it was grown in, as my Barista emphasized, I’d give it two thumbs up.
For the more adventurous, and just to pretend like you’re in a movie, you can order the (let’s take a deep breath now ….) Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with an extra shot of espresso, fat free milk and a dash of cream on top.
The launch was very well attended, and I spotted the likes of Top Billing presenter Christopher Jaftha, musician Slikour, various 5fm presenters, Zuraida Jardine, Stacey Holland, singer Nizreen, as well as fellow bloggers.
Entertainment included performances by Tamara Dey, with Nothende and Zakes Bantwini, as well as traditional story teller Ncina Mhlope, who wove Starbucks coffee into one of her lovely, long tales.
The venue is very spacious with seats inside and outside. The inside has intriguing artwork, like the Starbucks logo made of nails, as well as the wooden cut outs on the wall.
But the best “artwork” was the caricatures that one could sit for, done by Sandra Kellerman. I thoroughly enjoyed being drawn and my caricature created on a Starbucks coffee cup. There were two artists, and I found myself being caricatured twice in one night. Which one do you think looks better?
There’s also confectionery and snacks for sale, as well as an array of merchandise, like coffee mugs, coffee, flasks, etc.
On opening day, apparently die hard fans started queuing from the early hours of the morning, so expect to wait a while, but it is well worth it.
Corner of Cradock Road & Tyrwhitt Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg