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Johannesburg brews flash: The best coffee spots

By: Virgin Atlantic

October 29, 2018

Johannesburg skyline © Shutterstock

Johannesburg skyline © Shutterstock

Here at Virgin Atlantic, we’ve been proud to serve South Africa for over 20 years. Back in March we announced a second daily flight between London Heathrow and Johannesburg O. R. Tambo airport, and yesterday saw the first flight of our new service take off. Operated by a Boeing 787-9, the service offers our latest cabin interiors and inflight entertainment, as well as Wi-Fi on every flight. With two flights per day to South Africa’s biggest city, we expect to carry over 300,000 customers annually – helping to support tourism and trade between the two nations.

Heading to Johannesburg soon? Our additional daily flight departs London Heathrow at 16.45 and lands into Johannesburg at 05.40 local time. The service is the first Heathrow flight to land each morning, making it perfect for business travellers or those with onward connections to the rest of Africa. But if you’re staying nearby, there’s only one essential at that time of the day – coffee. Our cabin crew coffee aficionado Andrea Burton has just returned from the City of Gold, so we tapped her up for the coolest coffee spots in town. Here’s her pick of the best.

“I landed home from my latest trip to Johannesburg last Thursday morning with four of the city’s wonderful coffee shops to pin on my global coffee map. As cabin crew, I’m often asked ‘What do you do after landing?’ Well apart from sleeping, I often spend my layovers continuing my Bond-like mission to discover all the great coffee shops around the Virgin Atlantic network, and I hope you enjoy these Johannesburg finds as much as I did.”

The Grind Coffee Company

“My first coffee stop was The Grind Coffee Company in the high-end Melrose Arch development. They typically brew coffee from three origins, using seasonal blends of espresso beans depending on the time of year. In the 29-degree heat of the South African summer, my cool choice was an almond iced latte. But co-owner Brian tells me they’re most famous for their Coffee in a Cone. Grind were the first coffee shop to offer this signature drink, which was created by Johannesburg-born barista Dayne Levinrad to be the most Instagrammable coffee in the world.”

The Grind Coffee company , 10 Whiteley Rd, Melrose Johannesburg, 2196

Naked Coffee

“Well I certainly uncovered great coffee here at Naked Coffee. It’s hand roasted in Cape Town using 100% Arabica beans, and from my single origin espresso shot to my velvet foam topped cappuccino, each sip was liquid elegance. I would highly recommend the FreeFlow. This is a vegan coffee milkshake made with Naked’s espresso, almond milk and dates, and you can also replace the coffee with 80% dark chocolate if you fancy something a bit different.”

Naked Coffee Kiosk 4, Level 4, Sandton City Rivonia Rd, Sandhurst Sandton , 2196 and
Naked Kitchen & Coffee Bar Shop u38, Morningside Shopping Centre, Rivonia Rd, Morningside, Sandton, 2156

Father Coffee

“My timing was perfect, as I arrived at Father Coffee just as the coffee was being roasted on-site. I could almost taste the aromas that wafted past my nose. This Rosebank roastery and cafe certainly put the special in speciality for me here, with a ‘Gibraltar’ cappuccino (scaled down only in size, not taste) and a perky V60 filter coffee, a single origin from Ethiopia with notes of dark chocolate, red wine and boozy plum.”

Father Coffee Rosebank Roastery & Cafe, The Zone, 177 Oxford Rd, Rosebank Johannesburg and 73 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2000

Bootlegger Coffee Company

“When it comes to stopovers, I always leave one for the skies. In the trendy new The Marc development in Sandton, my cortado at Bootlegger Coffee Company was delicious fuel for my night flight home. And it wouldn’t be a latte layover without a little latte, so I couldnt resist a smooth honey nut concoction before heading off back to my hotel. Bootlegger’s coffee is roasted in Cape Town, and they serve one medium roast which is a blend of Guatemalan, Tanzanian and Costa Rican beans. It’s easy to taste why they’re such a major part of the South African coffee scene.”

Bootlegger Coffee Company, The Marc, 129 Rivonia Rd,Sandton 2128

Our new return flight leaves Johannesburg at 22.20 landing back into Heathrow at 07.30. The route has been timed to enable customers to easily connect onto Virgin Atlantic and Delta flights to over 200 US destinations, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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