We've all heard that dynamite comes in small packages. Well, Aroma Gourmet Coffee Roastery in Pretoria is a fine example. I pulled in at this small (really small) but brilliantly positioned coffee shop for a post-work cuppa. It was a bit on the quiet side, which is normal for that time, but I have on many occasions gone past and seen the place packed around lunch time, with patrons ranging from trendy hipsters to grandparents with their kids.
It's a new family-owned and run business and you feel the family vibes the moment you step inside - from the greeting at the entrance to the sense of genuine camaraderie among the small compliment of staff. These guys really enjoy working here, and it shows.
The setting is funky yet relaxed - soft jazzy, bluesy tunes with stylish décor create a relaxed, European café-bar atmosphere. On to the menu then - simplistic, effective, not overly complicated. A good selection of hot and cold drinks along with a few sandwiches and cakes to snack on. I sampled the Cold Meat Sandwich, which was really good, perfectly sized. To drink, try the Peanut butter-and-Coffee Freezo - a caffeine rush and peanut butter in one refreshing cold drink … I will be back for more!
The 'inside info' shared with me by barista Mallon is something you won't find on the menu - for a nominal fee you can actually add a syrup shot (Tiramisu or Hazelnut) to your hot drink - apparently those in the know order a double shot to add to their cappuccino.
So what makes this place what it is? Well - according to manager Rael this is the only Gourmet Coffee Roastery in Pretoria that roasts its own coffee beans in-store. The result? Only the freshest cappuccino this side of Guatemala. I think they're onto something here.
Pretoria is really lacking when it comes to quality coffee roasteries, and in my opinion Aroma is just about the best there is at the moment.
You get a loyalty card and every 10th drink is on the house. Need more? Well, should you feel that your shoes are not shiny enough, you can have them polished at the counter while you wait for your brew. Yes, you read correctly. Surely this has to be a first for any coffee shop in the country?
Address: Shop 4, Florents Heights Shopping Centre, 255 Lynnwood Road (cnr Pienaar Street), Brooklyn (Opposite Hillcrest Boulevard).
Mon to Fri: 7am - 6pm
Sat: 7am - 3pm
by Llewelyn Venter