If Cape Town gets the country’s tourism, Pretoria has its creative sap. And so it follows, of course, that the city should be home to a fine cup of coffee.
Spout Coffee Company is an eye-catching new Pretoria cafe, and yet, this is not just another hip joint that could be on any continent. The vibe here is more about “gut feel”, as Spout owner Philipp Exter tells me, on “gut feel” and feels utterly at home here in Pretoria, a town known to march to its own beat beyond the administrative buildings and worker bees. For starters, the space has been built on unused lot space in Pretoria’s Hazelwood neighborhood, with the cafe occupying a pair of recycled shipping containers stacked on top of each other. It’s the first such recycled container space in the city, and the design touches throughout the small space help the bar to stand out.
The shop opened in May 2016, after some years of Exter running mobile coffee services around the city. “Having an outlet that serves to provide excellent coffees seven days a week made sense as a natural growth phase in our business,” says Exter. “It’s been quite a big learning curve for a lot of the locals—being introduced to new flavors and methods of brewing—and they have taken really well to the espresso bar concept. The speciality coffee industry here is very young; nothing is cast in stone, and there is a big enough playground for various companies to create their own brand.”
The look of the cafe itself is attracting attention from both locals and out-of-towners. The glass house upstairs has seats for a lucky few, and also houses a 5-kilogram small batch roaster. From this perch you can look down across multi-restaurant development The Village, with its multitude of bistros, juice bars and gelato joints.
The constraints of being inside a shipping container help inform the space’s design. “Because we are located in a shipping container, we wanted to keep as many natural textures as possible, with touches of retro details here and there,” says Exter. In fact, there’s no shortage of details that help Spout stand out, from those exposed textures to the packaging, the decor, and the gorgeous handleless cups.