Let us introduce ourselves

How important are our coffee drinking moments scattered across our day? We rest our happiness on them, and sometimes it feels like even our survival! So often, however, these meant-to-be sacred moments unhappily collide with butchered coffee made by uninspired or incompetent baristas. At Seattle we have worked hard to maintain the craft element of coffee. It is delicately preserved and nurtured as it journeys through the steps from bean to cup.

We have also put effort towards creating cafés and take-away kiosks that become urban refuges where you can escape, recalibrate and walk away strengthened to face another day in the city. We have trained our baristas to make your drinks just the way you like them – nipped, tucked and crafted to suit your individual taste. Our baristas are primed not just to satisfy our appetite for a great coffee, but for community and recognition as well. We hope that our slogan “the way you like it” isn’t just empty words, but sums up your whole experience in Seattle.

Visit our STORE LOCATOR to find your nearest caffeine fix

At Seattle we believe that life is too short to drink bad coffee.


At Seattle we take the artisanal approach towards the craft of coffee: traceability versus non-traceability of crops; handpicked coffee versus mechanised harvesting; hand-roasting versus computerised bulk roasting; and manual versus automated espresso production.



How it all began

Seattle Coffee Company was created by a husband and wife team – Ally and Scott Svenson – whose inspiration was born out of their experience of specialty coffee brands in their hometown of Seattle. They had been living in London for years, missing the Seattle way of life, and frustrated that a concept they took for granted back home was not available in the UK. So, in 1993 the Svensons opened up the first Seattle Coffee Shop in Covent. The fresh concept was unlike anything the English public had experienced before and was instantly well-received. They sparked a coffee revolution in the UK that continues to reverberate down to the present day.

  • 1993

    Seattle Coffee Company opens in London, sparking a coffee revolution in the UK.

  • 1997

    Seattle Coffee Company opens in Cavendish Square, Cape Town, SA

  • 1998

    Starbucks buys out Seattle UK, converting all their stores to the familiar green Siren branding.

  • Today

    Seattle continues to thrive as a family-owned South African company, with over 85 stores countrywide.

Our growth has extended from stand-alone stores to bars in FreshStop at Caltex stores and Food Lover’s Market stores across the country.



Where it all begins

The best quality coffee starts with premium-grade green beans. Arabica and Robusta are the two main species of coffee trees, and Arabica is by far the superior strain. We source the top 1% of the world’s finest Arabica beans. We work closely with every farmer and co-op to ensure that their methods of soil preservation, harvesting and processing will maximize their crop quality and ensure the sustainability of their environment . . .


Turn up the heat

Roasting coffee is a science and an art form. Mixing their honed skill, culinary intuition and an understanding of scientific absolutes, our highly apprenticed roasters guide each roast through well-defined parameters. Careful thought and 20 years of experience have gone into every step of our roast. This extends from the intricacies of the gas burner, how the beans are tossed within the roasting drum, all the way to the cooling system that quickly . . .


The way you like it

To the untrained eye, making a great cup of coffee may seem simple and pedestrian. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We estimate that there are 100 steps to making a great cappuccino. In the mix are humidity or temperature changes that require our baristas to make incremental adjustments to grind size in order to avoid under or over-extraction. Under-extract and the coffee will taste sour and thin; over-extract . . .


Something for every palate

Each major coffee region in the world, spanning Indonesia, Africa and South America, possess unique flavour profiles. Some are higher in acidity while others are fuller in body. Some have fruity notes while some deliver more chocolaty flavours. In order to create our signature espresso blend, we have combined beans from all the major coffee growing regions of the world. This . . .


Here are some tips for preparing amazing coffee at home:

  • Oxygen, moisture and bright light are the worst flavour-busters for storing roasted beans.
  • An airtight ceramic, glass or steel container is great. Never store them in the fridge or freezer.
  • We recommend that you enjoy your coffee within 6 weeks from the roast date. Thereafter it slowly begins to lose flavour.
  • Always grind coffee fresh for each cup. Burr grinders give the best consistency. The general rule of thumb is to make the grind coarser for a long brew time, and finer for a short brew time.
  • Don’t skimp on the coffee! The rough guide for brewing coffee of proper strength is about 12g (1 heaped tablespoon) of ground coffee per 250ml (1 cup) of water.
  • Tap water with too much chlorine can taste bad. Use fresh filtered water whenever possible.
  • The proper brewing temperature is under boiling point. Don’t scald your ground coffee.
  • Pay attention to brew time: under-extract and your coffee will taste sour and thin; over-extract and your coffee will taste bitter and heavy.
  • Once brewed, don’t expect coffee to hold its best flavours for very long. Reheating, boiling or prolonged sitting on a warming platform will turn even the best coffee bitter. Enjoy it straight away!
  • Always follow strict cleaning routines on your equipment, as stale coffee oils can build up.
  • If you followed all of these simple steps, remember to take the time to savour your coffee! Taste can be subjective, so experiment with your technique to best suit your palate.


Our approach towards food echoes our coffee philosophy: quality above all else. Instead of using factory-made or preservative-filled produce, we have created a food offering that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our coffee: hand-made artisanal snacks for which you will come back time and again. To this end we use the best fresh ingredients in all our products and ensure that our muffins, sandwiches and pastries are baked daily.