Feel good about your caffeine fix at the Darcy St Project
Parramatta has one of the best coffee cultures of any suburb in Sydney, and there are probably over a hundred coffee joints in Parramatta where you can pick up a decent brew. But not all of them have a social conscience. However a hidden gem called Darcy St Project does. Darcy St Project is a Brew Bar as well as a Coffee School, and it is all about Social Enterprise - and they are on a mission to make Parramatta the "Coffee Capital of the World"!
Occupying an unpretentious position at the bottom of a car park, Darcy St Project is located away from the main drag of restaurants that Parramatta is famous for. It's just a small shop front on a nondescript lane way called Horwood Place (which is right next to the entrance to the Horwood Place car park). Inside this little gem, they roast their own beans, they run a coffee school, host barista workshops and they brew up some seriously good coffee.
The Brew Bar: The Darcy St Project is a Brew Bar not a cafe as such - you can't sit down and order an Eggs Benedict for example, but they always have some sort of sweet treat that you can purchase to enjoy with your coffee. Whether you like the common cappuccino or the more specialised Aeropress, Cold Drip or V60, your caffeine fix will be well and truly sorted at the Darcy St Project. You can even purchase coffee equipment as well as their take home packs of freshly roasted coffee beans.
The Coffee School: If you want to learn all of the tricks of the coffee trade, the Coffee School at Darcy St Project will provide you with a thorough knowledge of where the coffee comes from, right through to how to brew the perfect cup of coffee using both traditional and alternative brewing methods. You can even learn how to roast the beans that you will use to make the perfect brew. Whether you are a young person who wants to use speciality coffee skills to work and travel abroad or just a caffeine addict who wants to retrain and learn all there is to know about your beloved coffee bean, Darcy St Project has an affordable course for you.
The Social Enterprise: So how is the Darcy St Project operation about Social Enterprise? Well, for a start all profits made by the Brew Bar/Coffee School are reinvested into scholarships for marginalised people in barista and coffee roasting skills. They offer work experience at the Darcy St Project (or organise it through an affiliated cafe) so that the apprentices receive hands on experience in how a hospitality establishment runs. You can also "pay it forward" at the Darcy St Project. This means that when you buy your coffee, you can also purchase a coffee for someone else to have at a later time - that person will be someone who may not be able to afford to buy their own coffee due to the current circumstances in their life.
Image courtesy of DSP
So next time you need your caffeine fix, why not drop by the Darcy St Project and check out this little hidden gem - not only will you walk away with a darn good coffee, but you will feel good in the knowledge that you have contributed to the wonderful work of this social enterprise venture.