New Kid on the Block: Next Coffee, PMB

Friday, 31 May, 2024

Words by Katie Burnett

Pietermaritzburg might be KZN’s capital, but there aren’t too many specialty coffee options in the city. The team at Next Coffee saw this gap and in February of 2024, opened a Specialty Coffee Drive-Through. Not only can you get the convenience of a drive-through at Next, but objectively great quality specialty coffee as well. As a local coffee drinker, I was excited to see this space open and give it a try! Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.

Competition drives excellence and in this relatively sleepy city, the coffee drive through game is extremely strong! With Coffee Box launching one of the first coffee drive throughs in the country in Pietermaritzburg a couple years ago, Next Coffee has arrived on the drive through scene with a splash!

Let’s start at the beginning: Next Coffee has some of the best equipment in the game, two La Marzocco Linea espresso machines, a Wally milk steamer and multiple Malkönig grinders make for consistently great coffee (the specialty coffee fans in KZN’s capital breathe a sigh of relief). Arriving at Next Coffee, I was greeted by the busy Next Padel padel court and gym. As I continued to the drive-through, I dodged the scurrying coffee drinkers moving across the small parking lot with their takeaways to watch the padel. Following the road around to the right and into the drive-through, I was instantly welcomed by the server on the communication system as I looked through the menu. Flat white please.

I continued on to the window where the barista handed me a couple of Lindt Lindors and some biscuits, “for the drive”, he said, and my coffee was out in a matter of minutes. From here, it’s a 2 minute drive back to the N2.  Next Coffee is situated close the Liberty Midlands Mall, at 14 Townbush Road. Surprisingly, the free Lindors weren’t the main event as I drove away: the flat white was well-brewed with great milk texture and temperature. Next Coffee truly feels like the café that Pietermaritzburg has been waiting for, a high-end café for the discerning consumer (who perhaps enjoys a game of padel every now and then).  

Being well-travelled and inspired by the booming urban coffee culture in Dubai, the Next Coffee team have created a space that is elegant and modern. It is spacious and welcoming but feels high-end and luxurious.  They wanted to open a coffee shop that was quality focused, from the feel of the couches to the coffee and pastries, every part of my experience at Next felt generous and intentional. 

Their food menu is focused on pastries and light meals. Toasted sandwiches, wraps, bagels and various breakfast options alongside an extensive list of curated deserts and pastries are what you can find at Next. If you catch it at the right time, you can also indulge in some chocolate covered strawberries or brownies from the chocolate fountain stand outside. The drive-through is not the only draw to this new coffee shop, their sit-down options are great too. If you’re looking for a third space in PMB, there are long desks with plug points and USB ports to charge devices and get some work done while looking over the road below. Looking to take a special someone out for a coffee? Cozy booth seats, balcony seats and larger family tables are available too. 

If you’re in Pietermaritzburg, swing past this centrally-located café for a great coffee and pastry!

If you liked this article, then you may also like these:

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!