Truth, Cape Town South Africa, caffeine, coffee shops, steampunk, Victorian steam-powered machinery: I think I would love this place called Truth. What a beautiful combination South Africa, caffeine and Victorian steam-powered machinery. But I realize I am really old since I had no earthly idea what a steampunk-themed coffee shop is … on second thought, it appears that I am too young!
Features on interior design here on Colossal are few and far between, there are times when a space is so wholly original it’s just too hard to pass up. Case in point: Truth Coffee Shop in Cape Town, South Africa. This radically designed steampunk-themed coffee shop was created by Heldane Martin who considered the form factor of espresso machines and coffee roasters to be somewhat similar to the Victorian futuristic fantasy style found in the aesthetic of steampunk. The hope was also to personify Truth’s attempt at roasting the very best coffee by offering a perfectly executed space.
Every inch of the coffee shop is packed with visual candy from large saw-blade tabletops to beautiful overstuffed booths and an ornate array of coffee making equipment that looks absurdly complex, almost like interior of a World War 2 submarine. If that wasn’t enough, Martin also crammed the space with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, and old candlestick telephones. The design even extends to the restrooms which have exposed copper pipes, old extending mirrors and victorian tap levers.
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld, Stephen Hunt and China Miéville. Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.