Sunday, February 7, 2010

Are these Sydney's 3 best coffee desitnations?

Yet another long-overdue post.
After my short stint in Brisbane I decided to fly home via Sydney, only having a few days I got the heads up on the must visit cafes - but already knew which three i'd be going to.

I got off the plane and took a taxi directly to:
Coffee Alchemy (Flint & Steel)

Not that the coffee in Brisbane wasn't great, it's just that my first coffee at Hazel's was memorable, a piccolo of Brazil Serra do Rola Moça (2008 CoE #20).
As a barista you know sometimes you just cant get everything right, well this was not one of those moments - there are some coffees you just cant forget and this was one of them.

On my first visit there was a 2 group La Marzocco Linea on the bench and a roaster out the back that didn't want to work.
2 days later I did a double take when I walked in, the Linea had grown by 50% and now had paddles and wafting in the air was the aroma from this thing...

Not only did I have my first coffee in Sydney here, I also had my last so for anyone visiting Sydney if you're taking a taxi it's not much of a detour on the way to the airport from the city.
A must visit coffee destination in Sydney, thank you Hazel and Dan.

Next day breakfast was at:
Mecca Espresso

Not a bad spare machine to have sitting around

A 5 minute walk from my hotel, Mecca on King St was the perfect start to the day and again I had one of those memorable coffee experiences here.
The Clover wasn't in service but pourover was available and the Honduras 2009 CoE #11 Otilio Hernández Cáceres - San Jorge ended up being the favourite at home for a few more weeks.

I also visited the Alfred St Mecca in Cirqular Quay, perfectly located if you're doing the ferry thing and need a coffee.
But it was King St that I kept going back to twice a day and even spotted Salvatore from St Ali having a coffee one morning - wonder if the Sydney rumours/plans are true...

Third on the must visit list was:
The Source
The first thing that you notice is how tight the space is with the roaster sitting next to the counter but I was soon distracted by some great coffees.
Interesting to note that the coffee equipment is all made in the US - Clover, Synesso and Renegade.

Again I bumped into some familiar faces including Emily Oak and Kiril and Josefin who were also making their way down from the QLD barista comp.

Had a fantastic clover coffee and lunch at the Source and then made my way back to the ferry.

The whole Melbourne vs Sydney debate still goes on, I believe the three cafes I visited are in the same league as Melbourne's very best but Melbourne has many more on that level and many more getting close, whereas in Sydney even others that were recommended weren't all that great.


  1. as a sydneysider, very much where I'm at, although some of the cafes (eg. Shenkin in Erskinville) pull a rabbit out of a hat with a single blend, and some roasters are in the same league as hazel. For easy access to great coffee everywhere, I'm sure Melbourne has the edge, but Sydney is quietly improving everywhere.

    Which cafes didn't you find so great?


  2. It's not that they weren't great, just not in the same leauge as the 3 above when I visited.
    I wont mention the bad coffees but here's another two I liked:

    Had a good flat white at Single Origin and some great food but didn't get back for a second visit - absolutely loved the coffee sack menus!

    Went to Le Monde and had a good espresso, so much great coffee equipment sitting on the shelves, think I counted 13 atomic coffee makers.
    Would've liked to have a clover but was due for another Coffee Alchemy visit on the way home.

  3. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

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    Coffee Equipment