Is it just us, or does coffee not really exist anymore? When it comes to the liquid gold around Sydney everyone seems to be doing specialty coffee. What does this even mean?! Because we were pretty sure you guys were as confused as we were, we did some research (AKA drank all of the specialty coffee) and have come to an informed conclusion that you could probably just swap ‘specialty’ for ‘really, really ridiculously good (looking)’ coffee.
To Sydneysiders, it’s imperative that this infamous ‘specialty’ coffee is local and constantly flowing. We’re talking optimal crema, we’re talking single roast, we’re talking on site roast, and we’re talking Sydney’s very best of the coffee world.
The West have done a really great job representing some of Sydney’s best coffee spots, and here’s a list to prove it.
Made for coffee lovers, by coffee lovers, Little Marionette have got the coffee scene down pat, with their roastery on site, as well as one-on-one intensive barista trainings on the side. They’ve got plans to start a Single Origin or Blend coffee ‘subscription’ to be delivered to your front door fortnightly or monthly. That’s about as convenient as specialty coffee can get.
Darcy St Project
Not only does Darcy St Project serve great coffee, they provide coffee education and barista training for indigenous, youth at risk, recent migrants and non-English speaking background or mature aged workers to expand employment opportunities in their community. This is a good cause done amazingly well, and we couldn’t be happier to report that the coffee is definitely up to scratch as well.
Circa won the 2013 Best Café in SHM Good Café Guide and have since done a pretty good job at pioneering the coffee scene into the West. Not only are they coffee experts, but they also love a tea or two, specializing in the art of morning and afternoon cuppas hand-picked for you.
How many cafes give you an awesome caffeine hit with a view of the Harbour bridge? The Euphoria team are all set to lead the helm here, with the gleaming Synesso machine grinding away some of Sydney’s most notable Mecca coffee. The breakfast menu is for champions, with the brioche French toast topped with ricotta, fresh blueberries, honey and walnuts sounding pretty delish right about now.
With a name like Kafeine, this coffee joint definitely seems to know how to relieve a caffeine addiction. They want you to get your daily fix with a splash of vintage flair, showcasing an eclectic mix of tables, chairs, brick walls and tiles. The menu is looking perfect for a coffee date, with quinoa granola and kale salads, as well as a classic eggs benedict served on potato hash, and the burger and fries. For exceptional coffee in the Balmain area, Darling Street is the place to be.
Coffee hasn’t tasted this sweet in a while, with the perfect coffee accompaniment brewed up on site at Brewtown. Enjoy the ‘brewnut’, a donut crossed with a croissant flavoured with anything you can think of: salted caramel, raspberry and pistachio, and of course, coffee. An ex Toby’s Estate and Single Origin Roaster’s team means that their coffee is roasted onsite, having purchased their coffee beans direct from plantations in Panama, with the highest fair working conditions, (very cool in our books). Their extensive breakfast menu is washed down perfectly with a filtered coffee; try their V60 pour over, or the cold brew coffee served on draft.
A little whole in the wall, Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville has figured that if you’re going to serve one thing, and one thing only, your best bet is great coffee. Unpretentious and small, this coffee joint is owned by well-respected Hazel de los Reyes, coffee extraordinaire, known for her roasting awards and huge range of brewing methods.
Marrickville + Annandale
Cornersmith’s menu is as popular as its coffee, notoriously smooth and creamy with an ever changing menu. A pleasant addition to the Marrickville coffee scene, Cornersmith also makes its own housemade pickles and relishes, which husband and wife duo grab ingredients for from the market each week. As well as serving up Tea Craft teas, Cornersmith have nailed the morning aesthetic, a simple, friendly café with a serious coffee vibe.
Reuben Hills coffee comes to Penrith at Henri Marc, with warehouse-esque, polished concrete, exposed brick décor and freshly baked goodies every day. Get in early as this café is filling up pretty fast on a Saturday with coffee lovers galore.
Botany road was yearning for quality coffee and John Smith has definitely delivered. Set amongst the warehouses, this café has a charm that comes from its pinstriped booths and fresh pastries. With beans supplied from Rebel Roasters, the brews are strong and lasting, and bring a welcome change to the Waterloo coffee scene.
Two Chaps in Marrickville is literally just two chaps delivering specialty coffee and teas, with a produce driven background, making a menu from scratch. The open gallery kitchen was once a former welding shop, and the team have tried to maintain these vibes of back-to-basic interiors and recycled timber. The owner’s roast coffee on site under the name Blind Man, and make spiced-honey-soaked teas known as Sticky Chai. With an all vegetarian menu, this café is ticking so many of our boxes right now.
Once again filling a neighbourhood void for good coffee, Excelsior Jones has reasonable prices for really good coffee in Ashfield. Set amongst a residential area, this café utilizes its large windows to boast sunlight all day and an equally appealing menu. Of note is the hash served with house cured salmon, topped with a perfectly poached egg. 5 Senses house blend coffee makes this café a great spot for a coffee date.
Glacage take specialty coffee to the next level. Serving St Ali Coffee, an orthodox blend of 60% Columbian and 40% Brazilian beans, their tasting notes say that this coffee gives a rich caramel mouth feel with blackberry jam, plum and dark chocolate. And we haven’t even got to the even more edible breakfast menu! Glacage also do a seasonal single origin and blend that changes constantly. Wake up to the morning with their large range of craft teas as well, of particular note is the masala chai, the spiced up Indian tea that makes your heart melt a little more than a macchiato.
Black Brew Espresso
Black Brew welcome all serious coffee drinkers and foodaholics. Soooo, hello here we are! The Black Brew Espresso favourite is the Beef Bacon and Egg burger, that goes perfectly with a creamy cappuccino and their outdoor garden.
High St Depot
Set in the heart of Penrith CBD, High St Depot is high on our radars serving freshly roasted Single Origin coffee and all day breakfast menu. Ex-chefs from Aria, the team at High St Depot wanted to bring all things good quality to Penrith, and they started pretty well with their great tasting, rich coffee.
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Image credit: Christine Dal Tio