Steampunk Coffee

5 Ways to Tantalise your Tastebuds on the KZN Midlands

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So how do you tantalise your tastebuds on the Midlands?

Now traditionally I think you would expect a foodie writeup right? Well, while this is something that piques my interest and by golly, do we have some great food in the Midlands, this is a slightly different take on your tastebuds. While food comforts the soul, coffee seems to envelop you in a happy ”safe place” moment and tells you it is all going to be okay after you just finish your cup. Much to your surprise you note your mind tends to concur 🙂

So in my need for different places to test these magic beans, I am often found visiting coffee shops. Some of these are regular favourites but some of the newer ones are making waves too.


The Upper Millstone

Not your traditional coffee shop. Actually, this is an artisinal bakery. With a variety of yummy snacks to choose from; ranging from loaves of tasty bread, to croissants, to tarts and eclairs and even lunchtime sandwiches. They are very interactive on Facebook and just as welcoming when you walk in the front door. The Upper Millstone also seems keen to regulary try out new goods.

The wonderful surprise though, is it is a great coffee shop too – serving up tasty cappuccinos every time. On my few visits I have experienced lovely silky textured milk with a medium roast to delight my tastebuds and have them begging for more.

The Wifi is fast, the décor is lovely and the atmosphere is helped along but some pretty nifty tunes.

Do yourself a favour and have a stop in Hilton Village at the The Upper Millstone.



Ground Coffee House

The new kid on the block and making waves already. Ground Coffee House opened in December 2016. If you want coffee on the run, this is a great local stop and is already becoming popular with the local clientele. The clean lines of the décor and wooden touches immediately put you at ease which is a great bonus, as sitting outside at the tables with the view out to the mountains does as well.

I have tried the cuppuccinos, red cuppaccino and iced coffee. All have had me smiling and ready to rock and roll. The iced coffee has the refreshing blend of creamy texture and coffee hit, while the cuppaccino’s have a full body without being overpowering. The red cuppaccino will have you wondering why you don’t have this more often as well.

The friendly folks here and chilled out atmosphere will have you feeling more cheerful as you head out into the day.



A rather unexpected coffee treat can be found at Artisan. This time with a twist. And who doesn’t love a good twist in the storyline? Artisan is well known for their pizza and pasta and usually requires a booking at night because it is so well attended. But coffee in a cone is the ‘new treat that has had me licking my lips. A chocolate coated sugar cone holds a strong and creamy cuppaccino (Zimbabwean beans when I have tried this delight) that packs a punch. The aroma is quite something with the classic combination of your ground coffee and a hint of chocolate. It is enough to make anyone’s tastebuds start a party. This is novel treat that is well balanced and leaves you feeling like a kid with it’s favourite ice cream. ‘The friendly staff will undoubtedly have you smiling (as will the occasional Frank Sinatra song). Situated in Hilton Village, it is very worth a stop. Go ahead! Try something new.




One never forgets your first love. It is kind of like that with Steampunk for me because that is where I first fell in love with coffee. I have learned so much about coffee since and still love this place. It is my home as far as coffee is concerned. It is no surprise that this uber popular stop still pulls locals and people from far and wide to try its great coffee. With attention to detail this is the coffee I still rate as the highest on the Meander. If you want to know what time and attention to craft tastes like, have a cappuccino at Steampunk. Although their iced coffee, ristretto, espresso’s and well, pretty much anything on the coffee menu are great. Their beans are roasted right next door which adds a wonderful authenticity to the whole setup.

The décor is typically Steampunk genre and is another drawcard just because it is so different. The tasty treats that are on sale are a huge hit and are so worth a try too. But it always comes back to the liquid gold that this venue produces. Its all about great quality coffee. Try it! Your tastebuds will thank you.



Lucky Fish Deli

Situated at the trendy Yard 41 in Howick, this stop always has me smiling. I love the modern country set up and the fact that you just want to pull up a window seat, or sit at a table to watch life for a while. There are always great snacks on sale here if you need to top up on fuel to keep going. The cuppaccino’s here are strong but well balanced. They pack quite a punch without leaving the bitter after taste that this can sometimes give. I enjoy their double shot cuppaccino because I like it fairly strong, but either way, you will get good bang for your buck and be sure to go away with a spring in your step.

When all is said and done, there are so many great stops on the Midlands Meander that I feel like by not mentioning the others I am betraying them. Coffee is being taken seriously here, as it should be. But ranging across the Midlands is Blueberry Hill Cafe, Coffeesmiths, Terbodore, Granny Mouse, Full of Beans Cafe, Jaxx and Coffeeberry to mention a few. They are all amazing.

If you want to tantalise your tastebuds, I suggest you hop in a car and take yourself on a roadtrip to go and experience this out on the Meander. Your tastebuds will thank you.



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See you on the road….

Follow Carmen:

I take the path less travelled and hope to get photo's along the way. Also enjoy a bit of adventure, especially when shared.

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