Cafe Focus: Iris Garden

Thursday, 30 March, 2023

Iris Garden 
Rosebank, The Zone, Tyrwhitt & Cradock Avenue, Johannesburg

Words by Ayanda Dlamini

Iris Garden lives up to its name as it resembles the characteristics of an iris flower. It's small and intriguing, its design depicts an unusual structure and appearance, and its presence catches your eye, so much so that you can't help but walk towards it and observe all its details.

Walking into Iris Garden creates an illusion that makes you feel like you've travelled to another world or time period. Structurally, this space is a work of art, you become compelled by its minimal and calming aura, its clay and wooden textures and its echoes of warm lighting, sandy shades and earthy finishes.

In the world of coffee one could say that Iris Garden is the alternative kid. Their menu is divergent to what you would expect on a traditional coffee menu. Their options and flavours resonate the most with Asian cultures, offering unexpected flavour combinations and true delicacies.

Their menu is like walking into a beverage botanical: Jasmine, peach oolong, hazelnut, coconut mango, blue velvet, Yunnan rose, strawberry matcha. The options are all so colourful and beautiful, it's difficult to choose just one.

A black Americano and a Matcha flavoured Crêpe cake slice is what my heart desired. The nuttiness of my Colombian cup of coffee paired so well with my perfectly layered cake. At this moment, I had nowhere to go, nowhere to rush too. I was just present, savouring each moment I had drinking a good cup of coffee, while eating my matcha cake layer by layer, observing and appreciating its beauty.

I became completely relaxed and sunken in their wide rectangular, low lying chairs. Listening to music, setting up my journal and coloured pens on their imperfectly shaped tables. I had walked in the cafe in the late afternoon when there was barely anyone around. I had gotten so comfortable that when I finally got a chance to look up, I was the only one and it was dark outside. I had been sitting there for a long time without even realising it.

The Baristas began to pack up and so did I. I left feeling satisfied and inspired, realising my happiness is easily attainable through the little things. As much as I wanted to stay a bit longer, It was time to step out of the illusion and bring myself back to my world and time.

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