Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published September 24th 2012
Sydney's biggest coffee from one of its smallest cafes
Paper Cup is one of the Inner West's hidden gems, nestling as it does in what I like to affectionately refer to as "Stanmore's backside." You know what I mean - the OTHER side of the train station.
This diminutive coffee spot certainly supports the old adage that good things come in small packages, or in this case, tiny packages. You see, it has been converted from the storeroom of the bottle-o next door into a funky little cafe, which just happens to serve what is arguably one of the Sydney's best coffees. Yes, the decor is trendily shabby, complete with graffiti preserved behind glass, exposed bricks, concrete floors and ceiling lamps artfully suspended by red wiring draped in jaunty loops; but what I like the most about Paper Cup is the focus on the coffee.
Very good coffee indeed, supplied by Coffee Alchemy, in neighbouring Marrickville. Should you choose to chase your coffee down with some non-liquid sustenance, you'll find that the menu, though brief, contains enough choice to satisfy most tastes, and effectively banish those hunger pangs.
One of the high points of the menu is the chocolate chip cookie which should probably be renamed chocolate sandwich. They contain chocolate chips so big that they form a solid slab of chocolate all the way through the middle of the cookie - 100% toddler approved. Then there are the tangy spiced baked beans, which have a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour. Kinda healthy, and oh-so tasty.
The piece de resistance though, is the banana bread, so rich and buttery, and melt-in-the-mouthy. It probably doesn't need the pat of butter that comes with it, but smothering it across the lightly toasted surface and watching it seep in as it melts just adds to the fun (and the calories of course - shhh). Wash it down with one of the largest cups of coffee that I have ever seen, and you've got my idea of heaven.
Prices are reasonable and the service is efficient and friendly, without being intrusive, so for a place so small, Paper Cup really packs a punch. My one gripe, if there were one would be that it's not a very pram friendly space and there are no high-chairs provided, so if you're looking for somewhere to relax comfortably with a brood of kids, then this isn't it. I get around this by pushing our pram into the corner (thus unfortunately blocking the staff in behind the counter) and letting the toddler roam free – probably not the best from an OH&S perspective, but it works for me. My only other word to the wise (and weak of bladder) is that there's no loo on site, something to consider before diving in to that swimming pool sized café latte.
Why do so many writers rave about how good their coffee shop is? For a start, coffee is a very individual thing. What you love others may dislike. My wife has a local place and won't go anywhere else. I can't stand their coffee.
As for this place, I hope they don't sell much more than coffee as its illegal to sell eat-in food without providing access to a loo. Plus Mimi, to your "you know what I mean", no don't know what you mean. Wouldn't visit Stanmore for my annual holidays. Anything over that side of the bridge is far too plebian for my tastes.
It's a shame when good coffee shops seem to be tucked away on the other side of the tracks. I guess as long as there is a loo nearby, there shop isn't doing anything wrong. I used to work at a coffee shop which didn't have a toilet, but there was one a two minute walk away that we directed people to. Is there a loo nearby?
Having Papercup Cafe in my street is the best experience I have every day before I drive to my office at Greenwich. The coffee is made with love, care and absolutely delicious! Every week there is an additional special dish on the menu which is prepared with an amazing enthusiasm. The wonderful staff knows each customers coffee wish and even at 6am we receive a hello and smile. Each dish is prepared with the same care.
Thank you Papercup.