Finding the best coffee in Cape Town is as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. There are coffee shops everywhere. Just when you think you’ve found it, you’ll taste something great from another place, and your search begins all over again. That’s is until now.
Theo Snyckers, owner of Kamili Coffee has figured out the secret to perfect cup of coffee.
‘My take on perfection is a little different. I believe we are all perfect just the way we are. So when you enjoy something, it’s a perfect moment. If you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, that’s a perfect cup. Regardless of how you enjoy that cup, you like a double cappuccino, the next person likes a double americano, someone else likes sugar in their coffee. Once I hand you that cup, how you enjoy it is up to you. You make it your perfect cup.’
Theo’s theory makes tasting coffee so much more enjoyable. Rather than compare my double cappuccino to ones I’ve had before, I simply enjoy it, and that really does make it perfect. That and the incredible selection Kamili has to offer. They import beans from all over the world, they have single origins and a couple of blends. You can choose to have espresso coffees, filtered coffees, cold brews, alternative brews – you really are spoiled for choice. It’s no wonder the brand has gathered such a strong following.
‘Most of my clientele is local, and it is important to look after people who live and work in town. I have regulars who come in, sometimes multiple times a day. We are like a community. The tourist are awesome, but I believe if you look after your locals, your business will always do well.’
Every customer is important, which is why Theo is alway trying new things and keeps his menu diverse.
‘People like choice. You can actually come to Kamili and have a whole range of coffees from the roasting profile to the beans. If you like flat whites you can have it with Guatemalan beans or Kenyan beans. If you like alternative brewing you can have it here. Probably 80% of people will order their regular everyday, but the 20% who like experimenting are very important to us, because they give us feedback and talk about their coffee experience to others.’
Kamili means perfection in Swahili. It’s is a bold claim to make in this coffee metropolis, but Theo’s passion and philosophy make it true in every sense of the word. What adds to his charm is how humbled Theo is by his success. For him this was just a passion that turned into a profession.
‘I started out small. I had the opportunity to put a roaster in a restaurant in Tokai. I roasted on their bar counter for a while, grew, ran out of space, moved to another place, same story, and now I’m here. When I roast in the early morning, I sometimes have to pinch myself. I can’t believe it. I’m a coffee roaster in Cape Town, one of the coffee hubs of the world and I proud of it!’
Photography courtesy Jess Daley and Kamili Coffee