Coco Safar and Kees van der Westen

Tuesday, 17 January, 2017
Imagery provided by Coco Safar

We had the extreme privilege of being present for an audience with Kees van der Westen at Coco Safar in Cavendish Square. Now, most of you will not know who Kees is, the best way to give you a brief overview is to say that he is the man responsible for this:

And for this:

And now, specifically designed for the Coco Safar brand, the Idrocompresso:

The espresso machine market is relatively difficult to break into and challenging the conventional wisdom of a classic Italian espresso machine makes it even more tricky, but Kees van der Westen from the Netherlands has partnered with the right people and found himself a market very willing to support his espresso creations. This latest incarnation weaves together the classic lever machine and the technology behind the Spirit. The mechanics of which deserves a dedicated article, which we will get to in time.

For now we shall appreciate its beauty and the quality of the espresso that it produced. And the luxury that the Coco Chanel inspired brand exudes, with an attention to detail that is mind-boggling. And the humble and welcoming attitude of the team behind this brand. And the excellent quality of the roasting.

We look forward to seeing how Coco Safar grows and continues to push boundaries as they do.

Marc Osstyn, the man on the ground, making sure quality is top priority.

Gerald and Jessica of Rock and Roller Coffee Culture


Conceived in New York, designed in Toronto and made in Cape Town, Coco Safar combines the finest Michelin-star quality patisserie, baked goods and a café style casual food, paired with world class Third Wave coffee and cold brew in a luxurious retro chic setting. The flagship store also features a truly revolutionary free standing espresso bar as well as the first independent retail capsule emporium of its kind internationally.
With the global launch of this groundbreaking brand expected this August, Coco Safar will open the first retail store and café (of many to follow worldwide) in Cavendish Square, Cape Town.

Coco Safar is the culmination of a lifetime of journeys and discoveries in the café, coffee, patisserie industries for the entrepreneurial visionaries behind this highly innovative, multi-sensory consumer experience.
Both creative and entrepreneurial at heart, Wilhelm Liebenberg and Caroline Sirois’ epicurean passion for a unique café experience that combines equally great food and coffee, saw them opening a string of cafés in Montreal, Toronto and New York as part of an insightful street level R&D process to shape and refine the business model and brand identity. “It has always been about excellence, authenticity and relevance”, says co-founder Liebenberg, “and the drive to be unique. If you’re not relevant and you can’t bring a distinctly new consumer experience and product offering, you have no need to exist.”

Yet, it wasn’t quite that simple...the brand took over 10 years of hard work, research and development, to get to where it is today - mainly because of the multi-layered approach of the brand. Everything that Coco Safar touches is of outstanding quality, every product pushes the boundaries of innovation and excellence. “It’s about daily escapism; an escape from the ordinary”, enthuses co-founder Sirois, who is integral to the creative direction of the brand.

The First Retail Capsule Emporium of its kind

From custom fixtures, designer hand-crafted wood and linen counters filled with beautiful, bespoke boxes of coffee and Rooibos capsules, the Coco Safar Capsule Emporium is like none other.
For the first time, Third Wave coffee has made its way into the inside of a capsule, thanks to Coco Safar. The revolutionary capsules make use of the finest grade, small batch and micro-roasted coffee, meticulously sourced from the best producers around the globe. Previously reserved only for coffee snobs in grungy espresso bars, consumers can now enjoy the taste and quality of Third Wave quality coffee in the comfort of their own home, or in Coco Safar’s luxurious cafés. Each capsule has further been sealed in high barrier-proof sachet, ensuring that the coffee is as fresh as the day it was roasted – a fact that’s evident by the incredible aroma released when opening a Coco Safar capsule sachet.

The entry-level capsules come in the form of the City Roast collection with colourful cinematic boxes. Like the iconic cities that have influenced the founders and their travels, each blend is inspired by the evocative characteristics of its particular city, whether it’s the smooth and gripping Havana, the sleek and elegant Saint Tropez, or the boisterous and gutsy Jakarta, there’s a blend that suits everyone’s taste. For the more discerning, there are also the exclusive luxury collections, which consist of specially sourced and unique coffees like limited edition Cup of Excellence® from micro-lots bought on auction and top graded rare coffee beans individually merchandised.

The red and green Rooibos capsules, aptly named Kaapstad and Stellenbosch are out of this world with a special proprietary and secret blend of spice-infused maple syrup, crystalized via a complex process, to elevate the flavour of the Rooibos in ways never thought possible. “We are incredibly proud of our Rooibos capsules. It’s taken years of research and development to get it to this point, and the result is phenomenal”, says Liebenberg, even ensuring them the support of Rooibos Limited, the world’s leading supplier and exporter of Rooibos tea.
The good news is that all Coco Safar coffee and Rooibos capsules are completely compatible with Nespresso® systems available on the market.

A service and quality-driven Breakfast, High Tea and Dessert Destination

No detail has been overlooked when it comes to the seductive and timeliness ambience of the Coco Safar Café and Espresso Bar, or the comfort of its patrons. From the cinematic lighting, to the music, to the seating, every aspect has been crafted to ensure a truly indulgent experience. “Whether you’re popping in for a quick espresso, or want to spend time over a leisurely breakfast, high tea or a true dessert experience, you’ll find that the multi-sensory environment we’ve created, and the dedicated way in which we’ve trained our staff will ensure a seamless yet rather addictive experience, every time”, believe Liebenberg and Sirois.

Coco Safar is obsessed with providing uncompromising, consistent quality which surpasses the expectations of its patrons– ultimately everything it makes and the way it is presented is about creating a sensual experience for the consumer, at every level.

Coco Safar is an authentic, understated luxury café experience, whether you have a few hours to spend, a few minutes to grab a great coffee and a proper croissant to go or want to take away unique and awesome patisserie or a special dessert experience to enjoy back home.

For more information, visit Coco Safar their store in Cavendish Square, Cape Town

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