Humblebee Coffee

When Zach Huynh was thinking of the right name for his coffee bar and roastery, he stumbled across the word Humblebee.

“Prior to WWI Charles Darwin wrote about the male Humblebee and how its pollination was dependent for the existence of foods and nuts. Even in coffee fields the Humblebee’s pollination enhances the quality of yield in Arabica beans,” says Zach. “Imagine what would happen if the male Humblebee disappeared?

As such, Zach appropriately named his business after the agricultural pollinator, and opened Humblebee Coffee in 2013. “I was a barista and owner of a successful café in Subiaco, but I wanted to get into roasting. I took some courses, including Q Grading, and practised roasting at home for three years before I finally took the plunge. Now I focus on serving quality coffee on a Giesen W1 roaster and UG 15-kilogram Probat,” says Zach.

At the time of print, Zach had received single origin micro lots from Colombia La Palma and El Tucán, Mexican Terruño Nayarita and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Wote. These coffees are used as single origins for espresso and filter options. Zach serves its Coogee House blend on a La Marzocco GB5. It currently contains beans from Brazil Sertaozinho, a red bourbon pulped-natural, and El Salvador’s Finca El Manzano Bourbon Natural processed.

“This blend is heightened by flavours including sweet bread pastry, milk chocolate and dark plum,” says Zach.

Humblebee Coffee also serves pour over with Kalita, and Aeropress. “We’re trying to push our filter coffee offerings to open people’s eyes about the different brew methods. “We’re hearing lots of positive feedback from customers,” says Zach. “I love seeing people’s reactions when they try a great coffee and say ‘I wasn’t aware coffee could taste so good.’”

The café design is inspired from Zach’s travels to micro roasters in San Francisco and Scandinavia. “I went overseas for inspiration and came back motivated to continue my coffee career,” says Zach. “What I love about the industry is that I’m continually learning. The more you get involved, the more there is to learn.”

Tuck Shop Café

Three years ago when Tuck Shop Café Co-owners Vanessa Hondros and husband and wife team Iva and Paul Cherry began discussing décor for their soon-to-be-opened Perth café, they looked to their menu for inspiration. Read more

Mugshot Espresso Bar

Just as its name suggests, Mugshot Espresso Bar gets its character from the wonderful collection of portrait shots featured on its walls.

Courtney Sains started Mugshot Espresso Bar in December 2013. Taking over from previous owners, Courtney made her own mark on the café with changes to the menu and interior, which included adding a large menu board made from window frames.

“It’s an old fashioned, retro style café with lots of personality, a funky vibe, and a relaxed atmosphere,” says Courtney.

Adding to its character, Mugshot Espresso Bar uses Mocopan Coffee’s Roast 54 on its three-group Nuova Simonelli machine.

“I went through a few different coffees until I settled on this one. A lot of cafés in Fremantle use weak blends, but I prefer stronger blends that have well balanced dark chocolate notes. So far I’m the only coffee shop in Fremantle using Mocopan’s Roast 54,” says Courtney. “It’s got dark, rich, earthy tones with a delicious smoky finish.”

Roast 54 combines beans from Indonesia, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, and Ethiopia. “Our customers really like it. It cuts through milk-based coffees as well as black,” says Courtney.

Mugshot Espresso Bar also serves a single origin from Mocopan Coffee through cold drip. On the menu customers will find a tempting all-day breakfast with a focus on gluten-free products and health food options. Everything on the menu can be made as a vegetarian option. Café favourites includes a three-egg omelette, homemade roasted muesli, yoghurt and mixed berry coulis. For lunch, it’s hard to go past the range of fresh rolls and salads, while sweets and desserts are a great accompaniment to any coffee.

Courtney made her entry into the hospitality scene when she was 15, and has worked in the industry ever since. “I’ve pretty much worked in every café and restaurant business in Fremantle over the years, but I particularly like café settings because they are that bit more relaxed,” she says. “I love going to work knowing I’m my own boss, and if I have an idea I can execute it the way I like.”

A young team of wait staff and baristas are at the heart of the café that make it tick each day. “We’re all under 25 years of age and we enjoy working in such a fun and fresh environment,” Courtney says. “We may be young, but we all have extensive hospitality experience.”

The Painted Bird Bar and kitchen


The Painted Bird has nested in Perth’s CBD. Co-Owner Kat Milton says the inspiration for the café name came from two references: a 1970s children book that Chef and Business Partner Ben Toye was reading to his son, and their signature dish.

“Ben’s trademark dish is a duck leg confit ‘painted’ with mustard and orange, and wrapped in puff pastry,” Kat says. “It’s delicious.”

The café-cum-restaurant opened late October. Kat was working as a restaurant manager at the time when she saw the block opposite their venue become vacant.

“It seemed an opportunity to good to refuse, so we moved in,” she says. “I’ve always been involved in food and hospitality, working in Europe and America, and the timing was right to start this place.”

The Painted Bird features dark furnishings with lots of lighting, high ceilings and a modern, clean finish. “A few people have come in and said that it seems very Melbourne driven,” adds Kat.

The Painted Bird serves Lavazza’s Grand Espresso blend, which Kat describes as “earthy, robust, and intense”. She says this is a popular blend for their business clientele who come in each morning for their caffeine fix and morning meetings.

“Coffee is such an important part of our business. We understand that in this state, and this country there’s such big emphasis on quality of coffee so we have to get that right,” says Kat. “Lavazza’s coffee had been recommended to us and we are really happy with their profile of coffee.”

With so much growing competition, Kat says it’s important to keep focused on what they do best. “In WA there’s a lot of smaller artisan businesses merging through, so our success comes down to serving an overall package – great food, coffee, and service,” she says.

Chef Ben cooks up modern Australian dishes with European influences. The Painted Bird Bar and Kitchen is open for coffee at 7.30am, lunch from 11.30am and dinner from 5.30pm. Must-try items include homemade gnocchi with beef, veal and lamb ragu.

“We want people know we’re here and ready to go. We’ve already built-up a regular fan base and we’re hoping to add to that each week,” says Kat. “I have always loved the buzz of a restaurant and café environment and I’m loving this place.”

The Hardware Store Cafe and Eatery

Don’t be mistaken if you visit the newly opened Hardware Store Café for a few nuts and bolts, and instead leave with a delicious coffee or breakfast.

“Lots of older patrons come in and tell me they use to buy all their tools from here,” says Owner Sean McCann. “The former hardware store was in this location for 60 years, it played an important role in the community’s history, and we like to think we’ve kept that community concept and added some character to the place. It’s like walking into your old grandpa’s shed that just happens to serve amazing coffee.”

Sean opened The Hardware Store Café on Friday 13 February to a few curious customers, but come the Saturday he says lines were out the door. “We’re in an exciting location, an area that had been screaming out for a venue like ours,” says Sean.

The café displays a big old wheelbarrow hanging on the wall, and tools hang in aisles similar to that of a hardware store; divided into electrical, plumbing, paint and nursery. The walls are stripped back to expose old bricks and the original timber floorboards add some old charm. “I went to family farms and raided their barns for all the hardware paraphernalia I could get, everything from rusty tools to old paint tins,” says Sean.

Sean’s had his fair share of hospitality experience over the past five years, working in bars, clubs, pubs, breweries, even private yachts on the Caribbean. But The Hardware Store Café is the first business Sean has had ownership of, with business partner Guy Hodgson. “We put our heads together and took the opportunity to start something new. We couldn’t be happier with the café’s progress or our partnership,” he says.

When the time was right to select their coffee supplier, Sean says Campos Coffee was the first call he made. “Their after sales service is one of the best I’ve seen. Their team has been supportive every step of the way,” says Sean. “We’re only the fourth café in WA to serve Campos Coffee. We want to give our customers the chance to try and appreciate their great product too.”

The Hardware Store Café serves Campos Coffee’s Superior Blend on their Synesso Sabre three-group machine. This coffee has a toffee base with slight fruity highlights, a rich body and butterscotch finish. For peckish patrons, Head Chef Luke Pursell serves a full breakfast and lunch menu, including their Toolbox breakfast, the Hardware Hotdog, beef burger, and a fresh range of salads.

“I enjoy getting up at 5am and serving our customers each day, it’s very rewarding,” says Sean. “Come and listen to some classic rock beats and try some modern food and delicious coffee.”

Nineteen hundred and five

In the heart of Northbridge, Perth, is a new social enterprise café changing lives one coffee at a time.

Operating out of the refurbished Schruth’s heritage-listed building, 1905 provides employment and hospitality training for employees with a mental illness or disability. The staff work as baristas, kitchen hands and cooks.

Established by Workpower, 1905 combines commercial activity with a social purpose. “We hope that by providing people with employment opportunities in our café, we can equip them with the skills, confidence and experience that will further their careers in the hospitality industry,” says Julie Burnett, 1905 Café Manager.

Future training being planned includes a Certificate I Hospitality course. This will include an offsite training component and onsite industry exposure model.

1905 will act as a pilot model for potential expansion to two other cafés over the next three years.

The café’s espresso bar serves Fiori Coffee’s house blend, that Julie describes as “quite rich with a nice chocolate flavour and aroma”.

In addition to their coffee offerings, 1905 serves breakfast and light lunches with a variety ranging from gourmet baguettes, BLTs, quiches, burgers and a popular corn frittata.

Julie says the café has adopted a modern feel in its interior. It features vibrant colours against the rich dark floors, funky furniture, exposed brick, timber features and a courtyard for customers to enjoy.

“We have a great dedicated team working hard to make this business a success,” says Julie. “I hope this café can continue to offer more jobs for those who need it and make a difference to people’s lives.”

Moore & Moore

Image: Roel Loopers

The walls of Moore & Moore have many a tale to tell. Located in the Moores Building, one of Western Australia’s most historical sites in Fremantle, this charming building was once home to an old cartway. It has since been subject to a royal visit, and today is a haven for coffee and art lovers alike.

“I love that this building brings together beautiful things that already have so much character,” says Café Owner Simon Naber.

Everywhere you look, from the floorboards to the limestone walls and 1860s building facade, it’s easy to imagine the life that once existed inside these walls in 1844.

Simon opened Moore & Moore in 2008 after working on an Australian cruise boat as a chef.

“I love the idea of being able to get to know a local community and create a hub for them,” says Simon. “I appreciate a good coffee and I know we’re doing something right when customers say, ‘I know I can get a good coffee here any time.’”

Moore & Moore serve Karvan Coffee’s blend #4, which is described as Karvan’s “boldest espresso blend”, meaning it is designed to cut through milk to deliver buckets of flavour. It also features Karvan Coffee’s single origins, which change regularly depending on the season’s best beans.

To accompany the locally roasted coffee, Simon says the café’s food offerings are also a focus. The popular Pot of Moore consists of a Tuscan-type breakfast with fresh tomato salsa, caramelised onion, roasted capsicum and a cracked egg on top. “We offer fresh wholesome food people would find straight from the garden,” says Simon.

A drawcard for visitors is the adjoining Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, a council-run exhibition of artwork from local artists. “We see some of Western Australia’s best artists exhibit here as well as local students,” says Simon. “The gallery space changes every two weeks and it’s consistently a blank canvas waiting to showcase new artists.”

Whether you take a walk through the gallery, hang-out in the courtyard or relax over a coffee, Simon says a visit to Moore & Moore Café makes for an interesting experience.

“I love seeing people’s reaction to this place, that’s what’s amazing,” he says.

Sayer’s Sister

Mark and Steph Sayers have a new little sister in the heart of Northbridge in WA.

After the couple opened Sayers Food Leederville in 2006, they waited for the right time and location before opening Sayers Sister in August 2012.
“Sayers Sister has gone off with a time bomb,” says Owner Mark. “Six years ago I didn’t realise [coffee] would turn into something so huge. [This industry] is about trying to incorporate completeness and an understanding of coffee as well.”

Mark and his wife Steph have taken an involved approach to their coffee business, travelling around the world to coffee origins, going direct to farmers for their produce and even planting coffee trees in Bali.

“We are very passionate about what we do and there’s a passion in us delivering that as well,” says Mark.

The café is driven towards a mixed crowd and teaching the next generation to appreciate coffee. “We think cafés are a modern-day community centre and a good meeting place that supplies good coffee and food,” says Mark. “We’re trying to inspire young people to be more passionate about coffee – and many already are and that’s full of encouragement.”

The café interior takes a recycled approach with reused timbers and images of Mark’s coffee travels displayed on the walls. “We want people to see what we do and why we do it,” Mark says.

Sayer's Sister aims to push unique and one- off coffee offerings to its WA customers using Five Senses Coffee. The houseblend is a combination of Brazil Santo Antonio, Balinese Kintamani and Indian Attikan Estate.

Single origins are also available and change frequently.

“Coffee brings a whole sense of well- being. You build a product, and sell it to the best of your ability,” says Mark.

Food is also important to accompany good quality coffee at Sayers Sister. Gnocchi with sweet corn, zucchini and preserved lemon is a house favourite.

The Daily Café Espresso Bar

Located in a 160-year-old building, The Daily Café is making headlines. Named appropriately as an ode to its origins as a former newsagency, owner Laurence Greenfield says the coffee bar resembles a “Melbourne city style café, but with a Perth touch”. Read more

Standing Room Only

Just as the name suggests, Standing Room Only in WA is a take-away, Italian-inspired coffee bar that’s big on coffee education and exciting brew methods.

“We’ve created a cool hang-out spot where people can relax and see coffee in a new way,” says barista Michael Munroe, son of owner Jamie Munroe. “We’re making it obvious and taking specialty coffee and throwing it in people’s faces, so to speak.”

Located in a shopping district, Michael says customers will know they’ve walked into a serious coffee outlet when they read the black board menu full of single origin descriptions and see no food items on offer.
Opened in april, Michael says the café has already received a warm response from the Perth community. “Perth is very underrated, not as big as the coffee scene in Melbourne or Sydney, but in terms of quality, we’re on the same level,” he says.

Customers can take a front-row seat, or rather, a close viewing position as Michael and his team of baristas work in their element, using an über boiler, pour overs, siphon, cold drip and multiple filters in an effort to educate the Perth customers about different brewing methods.

“We want Perth to see we’re different,” Michael says. “Perth is notorious for playing it safe, a lot of places don’t show what they love, they cater to the majority. But, we decided to stick to what we believe in and love, and people have come on board and are starting to appreciate our passion for coffee.”

Michael started his coffee career at a suburban café his parents operated when he was 16. After he finished school, he moved to Melbourne and worked at sensory Lab where he says coffee went from being “a job to a passion”. Ten months later, he went back to his home state of Perth to open his dream café.

Standing Room Only uses Five Senses coffee. Their house blend is called The Rock n Roller, a combination of Brazilian, Colombian and Ethiopian beans, with chocolate and citrus flavours.

The café uses a Vespa green synesso Hydra, a custom made four- group machine with wooden handles that blends with the 50s decor and checkered floor. The café supplies single origins from five senses and guest roasters to give their customers variety, including beans sourced from Proud Mary, Market Lane and sensory Lab.

“I love coming to work, especially when customers come in for the first time and experience something new,” Michael says.“I want to show people what they’ve been missing out on all these years.”

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