Swish Coffee Brewers

Swish Coffee Brewers opened its doors in December 2017 and made a strong impression on Perth’s corporate world before the city shut down for the holidays.

The venue is the second endeavour for Owner Christian Salerno, a barista of 15 years.  Read more

Achievable Outback Cafe

It’s been said that Australians happily travel for great coffee. In the case of Achievable Outback Café, that sentiment rings true.

Located 130 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie on the Goldfield’s Highway (just a mere hour and 15 minute drive), the small WA community of Menzies is home to the Achievable Outback Café.

This family-owned and operated business is situated in what was once a derelict hotel and the town’s premier drinking establishment during the early 1900s gold rush.

Over the years, termite damage and extreme environment conditions from the Northern Goldfields took its toll on the building, but thanks to a little TLC from Owners Justin Lee and Anne Sheehan, the establishment got back on its feet in 2013 – this time serving coffee, not beer, to locals and tourists alike.

“The response from many customers is a sense of disbelief when they walk in and are greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, coupled with the rustic charm of the original floorboards and ornate pressed tin panel ceilings,” Anne says.

She says regular traffic with the addition of passing tourists account for their customer base. “Keeping quality and consistency in our product means that our reputation can be carried by word of mouth around the camping and caravanning sites in this region,” Anne says.

Achievable Outback Café serves Mahalia’s Blend No. 2, a full-bodied coffee combining five single origins that is characteristically spicy, with the warmth of clove and coriander seeds.

Justin, who originally resided in Essendon, Victoria, says specialty coffee was the inspiration for opening their business.

“[The café] has been the creation of what can be achieved even when distance and accessibility are both challenges,” he says. “We focus on offering friendly service, quality, and value for money.”

While the mining boom traffic may have lessened, Justin says there are still passing workers and seasonal tourist traffic looking for a quality coffee in the outback – and the odd passing camel as well.

Burns Beach Café

In the mid 1970s, Burns Beach Café operated as a one-stop-shop kiosk, servicing an adjacent caravan park where customers had to transverse kilometres of dirt road just to get there. Read more

Tbsp

Friends Robert Williams, Han-li, and Han-ji are no strangers to the café scene.

For a few years they operated a small city venue called Smuggle Seeds Espresso and would regularly dine at local cafés around Perth, noting what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they would do differently if given the chance.

Eventually the time came to bid their 60-square-metre space goodbye and say hello to a more spacious venue in the epicentre of Perth.

The Bayswater site is now large enough to hold a commercial kitchen to serve an all-day breakfast and lunch menu.

“When customers enjoy our food and drink our coffee they’re enjoying a reflection of things that we personally like and enjoy, as opposed to trends,” Robert says.

With the help of designers Bremick Group, the space was soon transformed into a café oasis with wooden brown tones, elements of green, and dim lighting.

“We presented the interior designers with a folder of the styles of cafés we liked from around the world,  including ideas from Pinterest, mixed with our own flair. They took it all on board and did a terrific job,” Robert says.

As for the name Tbsp (Tablespoon), Robert says it was a light-bulb moment one day baking in the kitchen.

“I was holding a tablespoon measuring device in my hand, and I looked down and thought, ‘why not?’ I wanted people to associate the name with food and the culinary side of our business, and not just another small specialty café,” he says.

“People can get caught up in the intimidation of what it means to be a specialty coffee shop. Our challenge was how can we serve them our coffee and still find a way to show our customers how to appreciate where the coffee comes from without overwhelming them. Our solution is to continue to do the best job with every cup we make, and be transparent to our customers if they have any questions.”

Robert and his team of baristas use a Synesso Hydra Generation 2 paddle machine to keep the artisan approach alive.

Tbsp uses Perth’s Blacklist Coffee Roasters’ Etude for its milk-based coffee. Robert says this blend bring out chocolate notes. It also serves Melbourne’s Small Batch Roasters’ Candyman blend for black coffees, which highlights citrus tones.

Rotating single origins, cold brew, and filter coffees from Small Batch are also available and served with a Marco sp9 manul pour over brewer.

“We’re serving hundreds of filter coffees a week and we can because of the Marco pour over brewer, it’s amazing,” Robert says.

Tbsp attracts an “eclectic mix” of customers each day, including parents and business people, to senior citizens.

“I’m finding the elderly are more keen to drink single origins than the younger demographic. The other day we had a table full of elderly ladies drinking coffee tonics and cold drip, and absolutely loving it,” Robert says.

On the opposite end of the scale, babycinos with melted white chocolate imported from France have every child captivated and asking for more.

As for the big kids, there’s plenty to keep them satisfied too. Robert describes the menu as a “casual eating experience not defined by genre”.

“You might be eating a breakfast congee, and the friend next to you scrambled eggs,” he says.

Favourite items that allow you to “eat with your eyes” includes the brioche French toast, avocado tartine, kim-cheese burger, fried chicken sandwich, brisket benedict, and grilled sandwiches that are as big as the plate they’re served on.

“We want to be an intimidation-free café. Tsbp is a project. It’s an experiment in how we can serve delicious food and coffee together in an approachable and accessible way, and it’s working,” Robert says.

“I’m enjoying the connections with everyone who comes in. One gentleman was nearly in tears as he thanked us for the best breakfast he’s ever had. This experience has taught our customers that it’s OK to not understand every item on our menu. Instead, ask us. We always want to provide the answer.”

Red Cherries Coffee Bar

Karim Decima has ticked off two of his dream coffee goals in the space of five months.

In April 2015 Karim launched Atlas Coffee Roasters, and then came an offer that was too good to refuse.

“Opening a coffee bar was a last minute project. My first priority was to start the roastery. I’m a roaster by trade and I wanted to have greater control over the product we served to customers. But a cute little site in Fremantle popped up and we decided to jump on the opportunity to open our own coffee bar. It was a natural progression of business and friendship to start the café, it just happened a lot quicker than I expected,” Karim says.

Red Cherries is the sister account to Black Cherries’ stall at the Fremantle market, operated by Red Cherries and Atlas Coffee Roasters’ Co-owner Tim Lock.

It became the meeting point for Karim, Tim and Head Barista Whale Hwang. The trio has put their skills to good use and formed Red Cherries Coffee Bar.

The coffee is roasted just 10 minutes down the road in O’Connor, which Karim says is really developing into a niche coffee roasting hub. Karim and Tim roast on a 15-kilogram Toper roaster.

“It has enabled us to have a lot of flexibility in terms of what we roast,” Karim says. “We work one on one with cafés in Fremantle and Perth, creating specific blends to cater to their flavour preferences. We’ve very focused on specialty coffee and roasting for filter coffee. We want to make our coffee approachable to everyone, and a simple beverage for people to sit down and enjoy.”

Karim has been working in the industry for the past 12 years. He says he’s seen a lot of changes in that time, including the quality of beans available in the country, and the quality of equipment and knowledge of baristas.

“Coffee-making used to be more of an art than science, but now it’s become a science more than art. Every sector of the industry has grown and changed in some capacity for the better, now we just need customer service to complement the other changes,” he says. “It’s also thanks to baristas like [Ona Coffee’s] Sasa Sestic who went out and discovered a new way of processing coffee that shows how mature the coffee scene really is.”

Originally from Morocco, Karim says when he first arrived in Australia in 2006 he was immediately impressed with the country’s coffee appreciation. “I was blown away at how advanced the coffee scene was,” he says. “When I go back home the coffee is very different. Moroccan coffee uses lots of Arabica and Robusta beans, but it’s a different experience built on memories more than anything,” he says.

For Atlas Coffee Roasters, Karim buys lots of African and Central American coffees to create the Toubkal blend, named after the highest mountain in Morocco. The coffee is put through a La Marzocco Linea Classic for espresso and milk-based coffees, and a Slayer machine for espresso and filter coffees.

“We like to experiment with our coffee. We taste everything and although we do use tools to measure yield, we rely on our palates to determine a specific profile for every coffee that we use,” Karim says.

Red Cherries’ coffee menu changes weekly, with guest roasters invited for filter and espresso roasts.

Karim says it’s hard to go past his love of Ethiopian coffees, but Costa Rican micro lots, such as La Lia El Dragon comes as a close second favourite.

Red Cherries is located only 20 metres from Perth’s famous cappuccino strip, in a small piazza Karim describes as a “little piece of heaven”.

“It’s an intimate space that’s built using lots of recycled timbers and woodwork by Palletico, and very few bought items. Most of the work has been handmade, with a few Moroccan-inspired touches to the interior as well. It’s a nod to my homeland, but we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.”

May Street Larder

When Australian Olympians Eamon Sullivan, Steve Hooker, and Jamie Dwyer paired up with celebrated Chef Scott Bridger to open May Street Larder in Fremantle, it was bound to draw a crowd. The fact that the group were already pleasing the locals with café Bib and Tucker just across the water in North Fremantle meant Perth residents were even more eager to see what they were up to.

“I think people came in thinking they’d see something similar to Bib and Tucker but really May Street Larder is completely different,” says May Street Larder Head Barista Josh Hathaway. “That bit of expectation from people definitely meant we had to be on our game right from the minute we opened the doors.”

May Street Larder can be found in a residential area, which links the suburbs of Bicton, Palmyra, and North Fremantle.

“We get lots of families coming in,” Josh says. “I think the mums like the fact that we’ll happily make the kids babyccinos, so that they can just relax with a latte.”

Josh says there was never any question what coffee they’d be serving. “When Eamon moved up to Perth from Sydney he was pretty determined to bring Campos Coffee with him,” he says. “He’d been a Campos drinker there for a few years and had become a bit of an advocate.”

Eamon first started serving Campos Coffee at Bib and Tucker, before bringing it along to help build May Street Larder’s reputation. The café serves Campos Coffee’s Superior Blend, in addition to Campos Coffee’s single origins on rotation.

“We’re currently serving the Kenyan Tchakakhan, which is quite currant driven and a little bit citrusy,” Josh says. “It takes people a little bit of getting used to, but when they get it, their eyes light up.”

May Street Larder’s menu is mostly made up of food to suit the health conscious, with a few indulgent deviations.

Josh says the Soul Sandwich, a polenta waffle topped with buttermilk fried chicken, smashed avocado, smoked sour cream, and jalapenos, is a bit of a favourite. “Scott is a bit of a perfectionist and ensures each dish looks absolutely amazing,” Josh says. “Everything is produced in-house. Even the bread is baked here.”

Goanna Bush Café and Gallery

A six-minute drive south of the sleepy seaside town of Dunsborough, set in the dense Australian bush, is Goanna Bush Café and Gallery. With its recycled timbers and rustic design, the café blends into its picturesque, natural surrounds. Read more

Roots Coffee Roasters

Roots Coffee Roasters is a passion-fuelled micro roastery and coffee bar in the serene end of Bangkok’s Soi Ekamai district.

Open to the public on weekends, this roastery was founded in early 2013 by Varatt “Tae” Vichit Vadakan (2014 Thailand Barista Champion), Korn Sanguenkeaw, and Somdej “Ake” Luengtaviboon. Together, their goal was to introduce great coffees to the emerging specialty coffee market in Thailand. “We hope to make specialty coffee easy, accessible, and fun for general consumers,” says Tae.

Roots Coffee Roasters was designed from the ground up as a dedicated space to roast, taste, and develop coffees for its own coffee bar and retail customers. “On weekends, our little roastery is open for people to come experience our freshly roasted coffees, pastries, and bakery products,” says Head Roaster Korn.

Roots Coffee Roasters’ flagship Bruna espresso blend is sweet, balanced, and a little lively at the end. It’s a favourite among espresso lovers. It also offers seasonal single origin espressos that change every two to three weeks. With filter coffees, customers are given three unique sensory adventures with coffees from different origins with distinct characteristics. Lastly, Roots Coffee Roasters has ready-to-drink cold brew that is most suitable under the hot tropical climate.

Tae began roasting coffees four years ago, and founded the highly popular, award-winning Roasts Coffee & Eatery. Roots Coffee Roasters is a natural extension. With the new roastery, Tae and his humble team hope to bring consumers closer to nature by expressing the best flavours in the coffees and through the interior design of his roastery.

“Our philosophy for roasting is to create coffee that is sweet and balanced, while at the same time keeping the inherent characteristics of the different origins. For our filter coffees, we try to avoid toasted flavours, but at the same time we push the roast to the most developed stage. Most people will find our coffee very balanced and easy to drink, with slight acidity to keep things fresh and lively,” Tae says.

Contrary to the latest trend in Thailand, which places the highest priority in creating the most unique and beautiful environment, customers at Roots Coffee Roasters will feel the authenticity in their quality-driven approach. “We focus on sourcing, roasting, and making the most delicious cup of coffee, everything else comes secondary,” Tae says.

Roots Coffee Roasters invites its customers to engage with the baristas while they work at the four-metre-long bar. A talented craftsman is responsible for the beautifully reclaimed wood finish. “We want the consumer-barista barrier to disappear and invite people into our world of specialty coffee,” says Tae.

Roots Coffee Roasterse is equipped with a modest 1999 two-group La Marzocco Linea, two Compak conical grinders, Mahlkoenig Tanzania and EK 43 grinders, and a Giesen W6 roaster. Tae, however, believes that it is important to show his customers that the most important tool in brewing great coffee is “understanding and knowledge, and not just equipment”.

Roots Coffee Roasters is a great place to learn about the latest coffee trends in Thailand. It also works very closely with many farmers and producers in northern Thailand and will be featuring a lot of micro lot coffees from many interesting Thai farms in 2015.

@Panache

Mother and daughter team Jenna and Michele Stummer are changing the lunchtime eating habits of office workers in Perth’s CBD. Through their boutique-style café in the newly renovated Mill Green Plaza, the Stummers are providing fresh, healthy options, which, according to Michele, are unlike anything else in the area.

“I had a café in the plaza prior to its renovations and when I decided to open @Panache, I wanted to offer something a bit different,” says Michele. “Then my daughter came on board and shifted the focus to the vibrant, ever-changing café it is today.”

While best known as a lunchtime drop-in, @Panache was designed to showcase its warm, comfortable and upmarket appeal. Its ample indoor and outdoor seating make it the go-to place for respite for busy corporate folk in need of a meal or a good coffee.

“Since our trade has increased over 100 per cent in the last 12 months, our coffee offering has been a huge area of growth,” says Michele. “Coffee is now a core part of the business.”

Created on a Kees van der Westen three-group machine, @Panache serves Toby’s Estate’s Black Swan blend, which was created for the Western Australia palate. “The Black Swan blend is sweet and clean with the taste of stone fruit when served black,” says Michele. “As a milk-based coffee it gives off notes of butterscotch and dried apricots.”

While Michele gets busy behind the coffee machine and front of house, Jenna runs the kitchen. “Before we re-opened we consulted a nutritionist who talked us through our menu options,” says Michele. “We’ve come up with a ‘living menu’ that changes daily. Everything is prepared in store each day with lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.”

Michele says one of the café’s signature dishes is the almond bircher muesli, made fresh daily on-site. It contains traditional oats, nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, and vanilla bean, soaked in fresh almond milk.

“Perth is definitely on board the healthy eating trend,” says Michele. “I love the café, I enjoy getting in everyday and seeing the business grow. It’s especially nice to know that we’re making a change to people’s eating habits.”

Sprolo

Perth is welcoming a new coffee shop to its shores – and it’s got some star power behind it.

Sprolo Owners Gabriel Tan and Darren Woon, along with Barista Rie Moustakas – 2014 Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Australian Latte Art Champion and 2014 fourth place World Latte Art Champion – make up the star-studded team.

“Sprolo can best be described as a coffee nerd’s fantasy,” says Gabriel. “We’ve taken our love of coffee, experimentation, music, and barista talent and established our dream café.”

Gabriel is no stranger to the competition scene either. A licensed Q grader, he placed third in the 2011 ASCA Barista Championship and second in the 2012 ASCA Western Australia competition. 

“Competition was a great experience but now I know what I want to focus on, and that’s roasting,” says Gabriel. “I still enjoy getting behind the coffee machine because I like the fact I can interact with my customers, but roasting is my time to ‘geek out’.”

Darren, an engineer by trade, and Gabriel, a long-time barista, have been friends for years. Gabriel says the timing was simply right to combine their love of food and coffee. “We had an initial discussion, and three months later the result was Sprolo,” Gabriel says.

The coffee bar opened in September 2014 and the team have pledged their dedication to not only serving great tasting coffee, but roasting as well.

“We wanted complete control of our business, from sourcing the green beans, to blending, roasting, brewing, customer service, and managing our own accounts,” says Gabriel. “To manage all this we set up Blacklist Coffee Roasters on the same site and roast on a 10-kilogram Turkish Has Garanti roaster.”

Customers can watch the roasting process unfold with the machine set up in the same space as the café, in addition to hessian bags and beans scattered around the place for added authenticity.

The design of the café is an ode to Darren and Gabriel’s love of music. Guitars are placed on the walls and beats blare through electric guitar speakers to create the perfect ambiance. “I used to be a professional musician in Singapore, so I thought ‘why not make it a feature of the café?’” says Gabriel.

Barista Rie uses a custom-painted La Marzocco Linea PB three-group to serve Blacklist Coffee Roaster’s signature blends. These include Étude (a French word meaning difficult musical piece), which is designed to cut through milk with chocolaty notes; and Forte, a more bold, earthy coffee with spice notes. A selection of single origin coffees are also available.

“We’ve had some standout single origins, including an Ethiopian Sidamo Chire. It’s a very natural, very clean, fruity, and super sweet coffee. A washed Ethiopian Yiracheffe Konga is also a great complex coffee that continues to blow me away,” says Gabriel.

What’s more, Gabriel and Darren have fun experimenting with their Mahlkonig EK43 grinder (which he waited three months for) and offer pour over, aeropress, clever coffee dripper, and chemex brewing methods.

Gabriel and Darren’s attention to detail extends to a custom-made concrete bench top weighing 1.4 tonnes, and a five-metre long communal table which doubles as a cupping table (made to Specialty Coffee Association of America standards) for regular cupping events.

To accompany the coffee a range of food items are available, including gourmet toasted sandwiches and bagels. The pièce de résistance is Sprolo’s traditional Singaporean breakfast, made with house-made Kaya (caramelised coconut jam) and sous vide eggs.

“We’re already getting a loyal following from customers. The local major came in for her coffee the other day too,” says Gabriel. “I love the vibe of the place.We want to make sure we go above and beyond for our customers. It’s my hope that one day people will come from far and wide to visit Sprolo.”

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