Tribe Coffee + BMW Motorrad South Africa

A specialty cafe within a motorcycle dealership makes for an exciting lifestyle hybrid


by Chérmelle D. Edwards

The connection between coffee and motorcycles is a natural fit; adrenaline rushes aside, both cultures attract deeply devoted fans that enjoy conversing about machines, nuances and destinations. The latest place in Cape Town to combine these two passions is at the BMW Motorrad dealership, which is serving up fresh brews from Woodstock’s Tribe Coffee Roasters.


The collaboration began when BMW Motorrad asked Tribe to turn a portion of their location into a cafe. Initially, the premise centered around “the idea that there had to be a ‘remove’ between what was considered sales floor and anonymous space set for cafe clients, and incorporate the idea of adventure into a static space,” says Tribe founder Jake Easton.


Customers who venture into the moto-centric Tribe Coffee locale will instead find a well-planned environment; one catering to the customer, without losing sight of the fact the coffee shop is its own expression within the dealership. Taking a cue from Portland’s See-See Motorcycles, Jane Motorcycles and the BMW Welt home office in Munich, the Tribe partners convinced the brand to forge ahead with their own plans of making a more cohesive lifestyle-driven cafe.


Everything in the airy space—except for the imported lights over the coffee bar that evoke R26 headlights from 1952—is made or sourced locally within South Africa. Industrial pendant lights, handcrafted furniture and hanging plants all channel the spirit of vintage motorbikes, tinkering around in a garage and the great outdoors.


“We wanted to put ‘lifestyle/cafe’ motorcycle culture into the BMW setting and incorporate the high-tech methodology of BMW into the low/non-tech world of riding motorcycles,” fellow Tribe partner Kate Nero shares, on solidifying the cafe’s adventurous motif.


Merging two aesthetics into a modern context of sourcing high-quality beans with the principals of specialty coffee roasting, Tribe Coffee’s lifestyle collaboration “has no boundaries, we’re willing to play anywhere in the world,” says Easton. Even in a motorcycle shop.

Images courtesy of BMW