Australia isn’t just proud of its multicultural food options and the untouched white sandy beaches; the art of making rich coffee also brightly shines to everyone visiting the continent.
The coffee culture is especially hard to escape in Sydney; once you’ve tasted an authentic cup, there is no going back to a homemade instant black. The coffee-drinking fever is so high that you might find yourself getting dizzy with all the Aussie lingo — flat white (an espresso with steamed milk and no foam; it’s a more potent latte), piccolo (a mini-latte, but with less milk), short black (a shot of espresso) and long black (a shot of espresso plus hot water) — that pours out from baristas’ lips.
Of course, the only way you can get to the city’s best coffee is by staying far away from the handful of international coffee chains clutching on to intersections in downtown. Instead, follow us on our tour around Sydney’s coffee shops that only brew top-tier cups of this treasured commodity.
They might be a decade into their business, but these guys still serve the meanest cups of coffee in town. The preparers know their game and the waiters understand the handiwork behind every dish on the menu, from banana bread to smoked ocean trout.
As seen in the quinoa porridge made with coconut milk or the tarte tatin with a dollop of goat’s cheese, this corner café in Sydney’s most hipster suburb is very much on trend with its food offerings. But don’t overlook the java: The coffee beans here are of premium grade, sustainably grown and sourced from around the world. Try a piccolo for its fruity prune essence.
This modest espresso bar might not stun with its visual aesthetics (or its industrial surroundings), but its simple brick exterior and tiny space betrays the level of coffee expertise within.
You won’t find a loaf of banana bread or fruit-studded muffins beaming at you over the counter because Coffee Alchemy is all about the joe. Whether you’re looking for the smoothness of Sibila’s Brew, the chocolate-tinged Paracelsus Punch or the sweetness of Holy Hildegard with its fruit and caramel edge, the staff knows how to take care of the unpretentious java enthusiasts who walk into the bar. This secret gem is away from the city’s most busy spots, but a trip here is a must on any coffee connoisseur’s Sydney itinerary.
This cute terrace café offers quirky Japanese art along with almond milk lattes. The art-gallery-cum-café is the best place to park your bike, people-watch from the balcony window seat — and sip coffee, of course. For all health-conscious patrons, this is one of those few treasured spots in Sydney that serves chia puddings (a cold dessert that uses chia seeds in place of tapioca pearls), raw brownies and cacao mousse all day long.
When a café plays Bob Dylan’s soothing tunes on repeat for hours and asks you to sit on milk crates, it could only mean one thing — you’ve hit a coffeehouse jackpot.
There are only a handful of cafés in Sydney forgo exuberant décor, but rather focus on serving quality black gold to their favorite patrons — and this is one of them. This is a place where a cup of simple yet exceptional coffee wins over every other item on the menu, especially when served by beared men wearing cowboy hats. Come here for a nutty, spicy blend from Jamaica — you won’t leave disappointed.
Photos Courtesy of House Specialty, Me & Art and Single Origin