Every day Capulus Espresso Owner Daniel Smith walks up Elizabeth St and opens a roller door to reveal a garage. But it’s not a typical space filled with tools or cars, it’s a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop.
Inside, Dan has created an industrial look to fit the garage space, with a timber bench, black walls and cord lights dropping from the ceiling. Capulus Espresso predominately caters to a take-away crowd, with a lot of foot traffic in the area, but Daniel always has a few milk crates out the front for his customers to sit and enjoy their coffee.
“Capulus Espresso is very much a community oriented place. Because the café is literally the width of a roller door, customers get to have a chat and know each other. It’s a very relaxed space,” he says.
Capulus Espresso uses locally roasted Zimmah Coffee for its custom-roast blend. “It’s quite punchy, not very acidic, with notes of chocolate and fruit,” he says. “It’s fairly bold but cuts through milk-based coffees well, and goes great for blacks too.”
For the espresso fans, Capulus Espresso serves its Hobart customers with a variety of rotating single origin coffees from Sensory Lab. A Brazilian coffee from Forquilha do Rio was a past favourite because of its rich, dark chocolate notes.
Daniel established Capulus Espresso in March 2014. He had worked as a chef in Melbourne before moving his family to Hobart five years ago, taking with him a little piece of Melbourne’s coffee culture.
“When I first moved to Hobart the coffee scene was just starting to evolve. Now we’re seeing lots of little boutique roasters and coffee shops opening up all over town,” says Daniel. “I decided to take some inspiration from the Melbourne hole-in-the-wall café scene and bring that to Hobart.”
Daniel may have ditched commercial kitchens for a customised dark grey three-group La Marzocco Linea, which he describes as “an old girl but a good girl”, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love the culture and vibe of working in a café, and the interaction I get with customers each day. It sure beats working in the back of a kitchen,” he says. “The best part is that I get to be involved in people’s lives every day.”