Sydney-based travel, film and music writer, www.jasminecrittenden.net
Published January 27th 2016
Where to find the perfect cup
In the endless Melbourne vs. Sydney debate, the Victorian capital often plays its coffee scene as its trump card. But the harbour city has been doing some catching up. Here are ten spots in Sydney where the barista won't fail you.
Image credit: Single Origin website.
Single Origin Roasters
Since opening in 2003, Single Origin Roasters (aka 'Single O') has founded a coffee empire. There are now three dedicated cafes - the original at 60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills; a hole-in-the-wall at 89 York St, CBD; and the headquarters at 28B Cranbrook St, Botany, where roasting takes place. The Single O team continually experiments with blends and introduces a new coffee menu each month.
Image credit: Toby's Estate website
Toby's Estate coffee is sold all over Sydney - and the world. Still, nothing beats a cup at one of the company's signature cafes, in its home town. The first is at 129 Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo and there's another at 32-36 City Rd, Chippendale. The menu offers a selection of dishes from countries where Toby's Estate sources its beans, including Colombia, Brazil, Kenya and Panama.
Image credit: Mecca website
Mecca was founded in 2005, with the opening of its CBD cafe at 67 King St. These days, there are three other venues: at 646 Harris St, Ultimo; 26 Bourke Rd, Alexandria; and 1 Alfred St, Circular Quay. Mecca's coffee beans come from farms and cooperatives all over the world - from Ngariama cooperative in Nyeri, Kenya to Tolima, Colombia. The story of each source is published on Mecca's website.
In Pablo & Rusty's light, airy cafe at 161 Castlereagh St in the CBD, you know where your coffee comes from. Cutting out the 'middle man', the company buys its beans straight from farmers and mills. Roasting happens according to a tight, weekly schedule, ensuring maximum freshness.
Image credit: Little Marionette's Facebook page
Little Marionette's home base, at 18A Trafalgar St, Annandale, is a place to take time over your coffee. There are large, cheery windows; deep-green Chesterfield lounges; and Black Star pastries. That 'bookshelf' isn't a shelf at all, but a doorway into another room.
Image credit: Coffee Alchemy's Facebook page
This is one of the most-awarded operators on this list. Every year, between 2011 and 2014, the Good Food Guide gave Coffee Alchemy a 'Best Coffee Award'. To find out what all the fuss is about, stop by the company's cafe at 24 Addison Rd, Marrickville, or by Gumption coffee bar in the CBD at 11/412-414 George St.
Image credit: Brewtown Newtown website
Brewtown Newtown isn't just a cafe. It's also a micro-roastery, a boutique and the flagship store for Gnome Coffee Merchants, a new coffee company. The menu includes filter coffee, cold drip on tap and an ever-changing variety of beans, from seasonal blends to single origins grown in micro lots. Visit at 6-8 O'Connell St, Newtown.
Image credit: The Reformatory Caffeine Lab's Facebook page
Like the name suggests, this coffee spot, found at Shop 7B, 17-51 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, isn't afraid to experiment. In fact, it's run by a kind of mad professor of coffee, Simon Jaramillo, who spent his childhood on a coffee farm in Colombia. For something different, try the signature cold drip, which is served in a pair of test tubes. Every litre takes 16 hours to make.
Image credit: White Horse Facebook page
White Horse Coffee
White Horse is bringing excellent coffee to Sydney's southernmost suburbs. Located at Shop 2, 137 Flora St, Sutherland, its headquarters are usually crowded with enthusiastic locals. Co-owner Dominic Majdandzic, former runner-up in the Australian Barista Championships, founded the cafe with long-time friend Matt Sprem.
Triple Pick in Bondi Junction!!!! Hands down the best! Hard to find, it's behind Westfields, opposite their loading dock. Next to Pet Barn on the corner of Ann Street. They sell beans and different grinds of coffee too for you to take home. The rustic, industrial atmosphere and coffee beans being roasted in front of you is awesome!