I Love Coffee cafe: bridging the hearing divide by the cupful

At I Love Coffee the adage “actions speak louder than words” rings true. This Cape Town cafe doesn’t just serve coffee, it also serves the Deaf community. 

Opening its doors in 2016, I Love Coffee dedicates itself to being Cape Town’s leading roasted coffee supplier. It sets itself apart from the rest by supplying its caffeinated goods while simultaneously igniting change for South Africa’s deaf and hard-of-hearing population. 

Picture: I Love Coffee Group / Facebook.

While functioning the same as all cafes, I Love Coffee operates with one difference.  Most of its staff are deaf or hard of hearing. A hearing disability can be a hindrance to someone’s employment prospects, but this roastery celebrates it. The business does not see deafness as a disability, but rather as a different human experience.

While people born unable to hear may not be able to hear sounds, there are many other effective modes of communication like sign language, lip-reading and written text.

Picture: I Love Coffee Group / Facebook.

I Love Coffee encourages the hearing community to learn a bit of their language. Before you visit the cafe, visit their website where you will find access to a page that will teach you how to sign your order. The categories include greetings, hot and cold beverages, food and nibbles and condiments. Short videos of the staff will demonstrate how to sign exactly what is necessary when you visit the cafe.

Also read: Tiny cafés in Cape Town with a big place in our hearts

​I Love Coffee Group says: “Everyone loves coffee. It engages our senses, whether hearing or Deaf, providing us with a shared experience through common ground, and what better common ground, than ground coffee? This Deaf Culture is a celebration of unity, which includes family members of Deaf people, sign-language interpreters and anyone else who in some way identifies with the Deaf Community.”

Not only does this cafe facilitate a connection between hearing and Deaf people, but it has also made an influential stance in encouraging Deaf employment.


  • Location: 103 Garfield Rd, Claremont.
  • Hours: Monday to Friday: 8 am – 4 pm | Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm | Sunday: Closed
  • Contact: 082 575 1493 | www.ilovecoffeegroup.co.za

Enjoy a coffee and a pastry, and learn a bit of a new language while you’re at it.

Also read: 

ArtiChoc Café: Where chocolate, magic, and loved ones meet

Picture: Unsplash.

Best of the Cape – CapeTown ETC