It’s places like Tulip that make us want to open our own little bijou espresso bar. Nothing fancy. Just a pink hole-in-the-wall, some cute branding, a crew of caffeinated regulars who stop by and have a chinwag. It’s such a simple concept, but barista-owner Sam Hall-Haydon has absolutely nailed it here.
You might recognise Sam if you’ve spent any time searching for coffee in the CBD. He used to own Bon on Hardware lane. Tulip is his new venture: a specialty coffee bar decked out in Wes Anderson pink.
“I didn’t know what I wanted out of the business,” Sam says. “I just knew I liked making coffee. It’s kind of selfish really. I just wanted to keep it really simple.
Simple is right. There aren’t too many moving parts to Tulip. It’s a vehicle for getting excellent coffee inside you as quickly as possible. In the mornings the front window opens up, and there’s an iPad where you can place your order. Sam then pours you the greatest cup of specialty coffee you’ve ever had in your life: that’s house blend with a Q Grade over 85, roasted out of Bureaux Collective in Cremorne.
For snacks? It’s grab and go at its best: maybe a cheeky pastry from Noisette (the cherry Danish is the way to go), or giant cookies from Windsor Deli.
“With specialty coffee, you often find people get intimidated by it,” Sam says. “There’s a stigma there. I wanted to create something really accessible.”
If you’re after a high-grade cup, try the El Progreso roast. It’s got fantastic chocolaty notes. Post-grad coffee drinkers should pick the Que Jina blend: a bit more complex with dark fruity overtones.
There’s something else you should know about Sam. He might just be the nicest human on the planet. And it helps that he looks like a more handsome version of Superman. Put it this way: Bon used to do a very good trade, and only half the people were coming to check out the food.
The plan is to start selling retail coffees in the near future. They’re all gonna have Wes Anderson-themed names like Bottle Rocket, Moonrise and The Royal. It goes with the overall Tulip aesthetic: whimsy and warmth in equal measure.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis