There are not many places that serve coffee and offer BYO lunch, but that’s exactly the philosophy that’s attracting clientele to this small CBD café in Launceston.
“We introduced our BYO lunch policy because we didn’t have the space for a kitchen, and we wanted to encourage people to take a break at lunch, to meet their spouse or have a chat with an office friend or grandmother. It also takes the pressure off buying an expensive lunch,” says Café Owner Amelia Padgett.
Amelia says the idea behind the business was to create a café using local produce in all areas, from they coffee they serve to the food they produce.
“We do more that just coffee, we create a little space for Launceston community to belong,” she says. “People frequently describe us as a sanctuary, a place they can escape.”
The café is situated in the very space where Lance Barnard, former Deputy to then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, once had his office. “Lance and Gough spent half their term here in this very space. It’s soundproofed and retains the original fit-out with original bookshelves and benches. It’s amazing to think that so many important political matters were discussed here,” says Amelia.
The café uses Launceston’s own Ritual Coffee for their Amelia house blend. This blend currently consists of a washed Pacaybal from Guatemala, a washed El Roble from Costa Rica and a natural Gelana Abaya from Ethiopia. Amelia says it has a rich malty sweetness, with hints of chocolate and raspberry.
Ritual Coffee’s seasonal blends are also available, which at the time of print included a Guatemalan, Costa Rican, and Ethiopian blend. Rotating daily single origins are always on the go, and past favourites include beans from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
While Amelia admits the uptake for alternate brew methods in Launceston is a little slow and “a bit foreign”, she says she encourages regulars to try something different; even cold drip which is a refreshing drink in the summer months.
“Our clientele are strong milk-based coffee drinkers, but I have managed to get some customers to reduce the amount of sugars they take in their coffee from three to zero,” she says.
Amelia can be regularly seen busily making coffee on her three-group La Marzocco FB70 machine, which she names Beatrice. “She’s got some old style glam, she’s just beautiful. And the busier we are, the better she runs,” she says. With a background previously working in psychology, Amelia says working in a café is the perfect fit. “I’m a people person and cafés are about building relationships. I’m essentially doing group therapy with 300 people a day.”