Today I was ambling around the top end of De Waterkant on a mission that will be revealed at a later date and when I was done I stopped in for a quick espresso at Origin.
I have always loved this place. The concept, the product, the interior. Actually the interior has been a little point of contention for me. Remember I am an Interior Designer when I am not on the blog - and while I absolutely adore the design of this place, I have always felt that this is a shop of two halves. You can literally see the split right down the middle. To the left beautiful, but to the right…well lets just say it falls horribly flat - almost like they forgot to go there. Anyway, I always strategically place myself so that I face the “good” side! But, this is NOT a design site. I am trying to escape from design, remember? Back to the topic and that is Origin Coffee Roasters. These guys are on a mission to change the coffee culture of South Africa. Their head quarters in Hudson Street spills over three storeys, stretches between two streets, and opens onto three outdoor areas. They've combined coffee roasting with a courtyard, a coffee lab with a meeting space, a professional barista school with a warehouse and a tasting room so that you can do more than sit down and sip, arguably, the best coffee in Africa. Origin believes that success starts at the source. They sample, roast & taste before they buy. Importing beans that they have handpicked from all over the continent, the unbelievable selection of coffee on the menu is a testament to the fruits of their labour. They know who grew their coffee, and where, and they refuse anything but the best.
At the back of the shop, separated by large floor to ceiling glass doors, lies another gem. With peaceful Asian–inspired music playing, a unique water feature on the floor and a fusion between Asian and African decor, a tranquil environment is effectively established through the use of sound, scent and carefully placed lighting. This is a calm, serene space away from the hustle and bustle of coffee shop. This is Nigiro.
Simply ‘Origin’ spelt backwards Nigiro is a great representation of the synergy that the well established ‘coffee guys’ are hoping to achieve by having the two ‘opposites’ under one roof. Yin and yang, Origin is to coffee as Nigiro is to tea. Housing over 100 specially blended fine leaf teas, Nigiro is the top destination to enjoy the ambience and tranquility of the ancient Eastern tea ceremony. Like one would when wine tasting, we relied on alternate senses to determine which flavours of tea were being offered to us – sight and more importantly, smell. One can choose from the already extensive selection of teas provided, or ask for your own specially blended combination.
So, this is Origin. Another great Cape Town food icon and a brilliant concept that not only strives to educate the uneducated but also allows people to experience the best of both tea and coffee – all under one roof.