Single Origin Roasters

Single Origin Roasters on Reservoir street, Surry Hills, is not what you’d call a big space. Inside the café, coffee jostles for elbow room with the food, while the customers cosy-up with the baristas, chefs and floor staff.
However, Single Origin Roasters recently gained a few more much needed square metres to bring to life a coffee vision it had been harbouring for some time.

The Single Origin team notes that they’ve have always taken the view that good hospitality begins with the sharing of the things that you love and so from its earliest beginnings has been exploring the world of coffee, food and service.

The focus is on creating a hub for locals and visitors alike to gather in a convivial environment, somewhere that people know your name and how you like your coffee as the neighbourhood grew, so too did the demands on the tiny space. The need for more room and new tools to help express their desire to explore became apparent. “Sideshow” was born.

The new Sideshow Bar is not only the result of a need to deliver fast, made to order, top quality espresso to its takeaway customers. It also serves as a dedicated space to lift the veil on slow brew extraction methods, to educate without preaching. (The single Origin Roasters crew like to have some fun with it).

The space itself, design led in-house by Ross Nicholls, has been finished in concrete, steel girders and rust, and is a reflection of the heritage of the streetscape. Takeaway espressos are dispensed from the right, while syphon and pour-overs are tended to on the left. In the centre, the Oji cold drip filter is slowly, drop by drop, producing two distinct extractions. Six Mazzer Major grinders line the back wall, sitting atop their industrial pedestals patiently waiting to dispense their beans. along with their “House Origins” blend as a staple, at any given time you’ll find on offer four single origins that change on a monthly basis.

These single origins include reserve coffees such as micro-lots, cup of excellence and specialty-process beans. Coffee is roasted lighter than espresso for these low-pressure extraction methods, casting the spotlight on the flavour nuances of each single origin coffee.
Further inspection reveals still more evidence that this is a hole in the wall punching well above its’ weight. On one hand there’s the glassware, hand blown in-house by Eliot Brand in an attempt to explore the effects of form over taste, (think Reidel and the wine market). Then there’s the milk pump, again designed in-house by Ross Nicholls. It’s a stainless steel font that automatically fills the baristas’ jugs, saving on workload, but this is only part of the appeal. The rest occurs behind the scene where the group eliminated the wastage of approximately ten thousand plastic bottles per annum by enlisting the support of their dairy farmer, country Valley, to deliver the milk in barrels, which are recycled back to the dairy. The guys say the system is working so well, it may have applications in the wider café community.

The baristas also say that Sideshow has been a great platform from which to share their coffee discoveries. Whether it’s a visit from one of their wholesale accounts like cronulla’s “Grind”, Palm Beach’s “Boathouse” or Haymarket’s “Coffee Trails”. Or, with their peers in the industry like “Le Monde” or the “Shenken” boys. Here, it seems the overall philosophy is one of inclusivity and that an open coffee forum is the order of the day, (and it’s not just the coffee elite that are invited).

Caffe Migliore

Caffe Migliore moved to new premises in North Strathfield in January, incorporating their services under one roof, including their roasting operations, a retail outlet and a café open to the public.

The company launched the opening in March with a party that brought in over 200 people, including the mayor of Canada Bay council, Angelo Tsirekas. The move comes after the company outgrew their former premises in Five Dock. The company has been around since 2003, founded by Tony Nicotra, who has over 20 years experience in the industry.

The coffee roasters supply cafés around Sydney CBD, Canberra CBD and greater metropolitan regions. They roast origins from Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba and Ethiopia.

The Australian palate has moved from Italian only coffees to artisan, organic, fair trade coffee which is more earthy than the crisp traditional Italian style coffee,” notes Tony.

The café supplies blends which include Linguaglossa (well rounded, chocolatey), Biancavilla (very smooth, great with milk), Piedmonte (complex, wild, exotic), Corto (short and punchy), Argento (tall, dark and handsome) and Fair trade (refined
and fruity).

Juju Espresso

After just opening last December, JuJu espresso is already establishing a reputation for itself in Sydney’s specialty coffee scene.

The café is the brainchild of James Kotselas and George Anastasopoulos, who have a combined 15 years of hospitality experience.

“We were looking to create a flavour that captures the taste of different brewing methods from all around the world,” says James of their goal in starting the café.

situated in a heritage building in Sydney’s busy financial district, the café takes on a European feel. George and James have carried on with this theme, with an old-school feel to the café, along with a French-inspired menu.

Juju has Pain de Boule on offer, a type of french sandwich where the inside of a bun is removed and filled, leaving just the crust to house the sandwich. They also serve a french-style open tart.

In addition to the corporate crowd from the neighboring offices, the café also regularly attracts coffee connoisseurs who are exploring some unique brewing methods. Drawing from their experience abroad, the JuJu team discovered some unique and exciting techniques that they further developed in Australia. To make best use of these new brewing methods, they sought out advice from industry experts such as master roaster sam of Di Gabriel, whose coffee they primarily stock. They also took some tips from barista champions Matt Perger, scottie callaghan and Gwilym Davies.

“We’ve still come up with our own style,” says George about taking in all this coffee knowledge. The result has become one where syphons, pour overs and cold drips are consumed with “eyes closed and a short trip to heaven”.
More recently, JuJu has begun experimenting with specialty coffee and micro lots to deliver seasonal espresso blends using the 2010/11 Gold Medal winner of the Best espresso in Australia at the CSR Golden Bean awards.

Pony Express O

The first slayer coffee machine in Perth can be found at Pony express O, a unique coffee outlet hidden down a laneway in West Perth in a hundred-year-old stable. “Pony express O is experiential coffee where the customer actually stands in the barista’s space while their coffee is being made,” explains owner, Garrett Walsh. Two machines sit back to back in the shop. The first is a Wega Vela Vintage, with its own blend from local roaster crema. The Wega is used to make all the traditional types of coffee.

The second machine is the eye- catching slayer, which recently made headlines as Pony express O is the first café to bring a slayer machine to Western australia. The move, Garrett notes, is a growing sign that it may be time to pay attention to what’s happening out West. “We’re trying to get Perth in touch with the east coast,” Garrett says about why he purchased the machine.

Garrett comes from a cooking background, and says that with the slayer he gets a better chance to “play around”with coffee like he could with food in the kitchen. The $30,000 machines are handmade in seattle, Washington and custom ordered.“All I do is coffee, and this is just an amazing way to do that.”

He says that while Perth is catching up to Australia’s leading coffee cities, many people still drink a lot of milk in their coffee. To encourage them not to, Garrett will only serve single origin beans from the slayer machine, and only as short or long macs, and short or long blacks.
“We are trying to get customers to drink their coffee with less milk and be involved in watching their coffee being made, which is a beautiful process with the slayer, “ says Garrett. “It is a testament to the slayer that people are being easily converted in their coffee habits, which makes it money well spent.”
As a coffee focused café, Pony espress O does not serve any food, however customers are welcome to bring their food in. Photos courtesy Dave Hutson,

Babble Bar & Café

As the self-proclaimed “worst kept secret” in Prahran, Babble café has become somewhat of an institution for the stylish suburb – and with good reason. With a menu that impresses even the most passionate foodie, an extensive cocktail and wine list and of course, great coffee to boot, Babble manages to straddle the line between laid-back and stylish, in the kind of place where you just want to hang out and spend your whole afternoon. Read more

Bills Beans

The regional town of Orange NSW, population 39,000, is not where you would expect to find a quirky espresso bar serving in-house roasted coffee. But, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Bills Beans on McLaghlan street.

When Bill Parianos and his wife, Lisa, decided on a tree change from Sydney and moved their business to Orange three years ago, coffee culture in the regional area was in its infancy. Knowledge of different roasts and coffee strands was minimal, as were advanced barista skills.

“The first time we poured rosettas in front of people, they thought it was witchcraft,” laughs Bill, as he remembers starting off the business. as a self-confessed passionate coffee advocate, he says that training was a key part of setting up shop in Orange. They included a training and cupping room in the floor plans. Three years on, business is booming with 34 single origin coffees in stock and nine staff on the payroll who serve between 500 and 600 coffees a day.

The baristas choose daily which coffee they want to serve and the house coffee, Byng street, is a popular seller, heavily driven by chocolaty notes with a smooth fruit finish.
On the roasting side of the business, the move to the regional area also proved highly beneficial. compared to the city, Bill notes that the altitude of where he roasts in Orange lends itself well to quality coffee. at 860 metres above sea level there is less gas pressure required and a natural cold air induction, which really makes a difference in the flavor profile. Bill notes that although the changes are quite subtle, it certainly carries through to the cup for a great finish.

The couple supplies beans to businesses as far as Sydney and Melbourne and are a strong supplier to regional cafés in surrounding areas. In this respect, Bill works to educate his wholesale customers not only on his product, but also on the industry and the art of creating the finest tasting coffee.

Compared to the competitive nature of doing business in Sydney, Bill says he enjoys the camaraderie that comes with living in a regional area, where coffee businesses can work together to help boost the industry as a whole.

“In the city, the race is on and everyone’s always trying to outdo each other,” he comments. “It’s why I got out of Sydney. I have a passion for coffee and I believe in letting your product and your service speak for itself. It’s an approach that has been successful so far.”
In addition to coffee, Bills Beans offers a limited menu of pastries baked in-house, including Simmone Logue pies, fresh tarts and quiches.

Stuzzi Café Bar Lounge

For those who regularly cruise the quaint bars and tiny cafés that decorate Melbourne’s northern suburbs, the sheer size of Café Stuzzi will warrant a double take. With a full menu and perfectly prepared Ducale coffee, groups large and small alike will undoubtedly enjoy a visit to this historic venue. Read more

Foxy Brown

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As Melbourne’s cafés spread their wings, so do I in search of café suburbia. In my early trek days I came across a brilliant roaster, Joshua Bailey. Curious to find his dedicated followers, I ran into Patrick Sloan. Read more

Twelve Apostles visitor centre kiosk

They are instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s scenic icons. The Twelve Apostles are giant rock stacks formed 10 to 20 million years ago that were created by the Southern Ocean’s gradual erosion of the soft limestone coast. Read more

Tidal river general store

Wilsons Promontory National Park is a three hour drive southeast of Melbourne, on the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland and the last stop before Tasmania. Read more

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