Charlotte’s Little Sister

Charlotte’s family just keeps expanding. It has sisters in Pennant Hills, Manly, and Birchgrove, a younger sibling in Mosman, and a half sister in Boronia Park. Now there’s a new addition to the ever-growing family. Read more


Cnr58 Head Barista Nathan Dobbs grew up on coffee. At the age of 14 his father bought a coffee machine from eBay and Nathan fell in love with the “concept of making coffee”.

Then a few years later he fell in love with the drink itself. “I wanted to know how far I could take coffee as a career. I love the style of work, how creative it is, and that it’s relationship-driven rather than a nine to five desk job,” Nathan says.
Father and son team Daniel and Chris Kim are Co-Owners of Cnr58. The venue opened in November 2015, and Nathan has been there since the space was nothing more than a construction site.

Cnr58 offer a variety of coffee options and diverse flavours to suit a range of different palates.

“We have a great range of rotating coffees and brew methods available to expand people’s views and understanding of coffee,” Nathan says. “We use Zest Specialty Coffee. Their coffees are amazing. They offer a phenomenal taste in the cup – that was the first thing we got right when setting up the café.”

Zest Specialty Roaster James Craig is responsible for providing the team with seasonal micro lots, which Nathan puts through filter options such as V60, cold drip and AeroPress. Favourites at time of print included Indonesian beans from Sumatra and the Sulawesi Island. “The Indonesian through filter gives great mandarin, citrus tones and almost brown sugar sweetness and a caramel finish,” Nathan says.

Two Mythos grinders, a Mahlkönig Ek43, and a La Marzocco FB80 take pride of place on the counter bench. For milk based coffees Cnr58 serves Zest’s Supremo Bold, and for black coffee the Bahia blend is a treat. Single origins are also available and rotated weekly.

Cnr58 serves a breakfast and lunch menu. It takes a fine-dining approach to its modern Australian menu, with classic dishes such as Caesar salad “up-scaled’ to include cured eggs grated over the top of different lettuce varietals.

When it comes to latte art, Nathan is an old pro. He was pouring hearts at the age of 14. Nathan’s had mentoring from some of the industry’s best, including Tyler Walsh, Jibbi Little, and a two-time barista champion from The Netherlands. These days, however, Nathan is proud to be working alongside Craig to learn the secrets to brewing and roasting.

“People tell me that when I’m excited I get a certain look in my eye. I must be excited then all the time because I’m working with coffee, which I love.”

Where The Monster Sat

A big broken chair hanging from the ceiling is one way of making children think that a monster lives at this Stanmore café.

But for those who prefer a more logical explanation, Head Barista Alfie Fuller has a more believable tale.

“The story goes that [Co-Owner] Ralph Monserrat’s aunt was teased at school because the kids couldn’t say her surname Monserrat, so instead they would say: ‘Where the monster sat.’ It’s ended up being a great café name.”

The family-operated venue is situated in the West of Sydney, in a booming area right next to the café hub of Newtown.

“Stanmore is growing at a really fast pace. When we started there were fewer cafés compared to what’s popped up now,” Alfie says. “We’re different to the others because we’re quite quirky, we serve great coffee and food, and have fun along the way.”

The café’s refurbishment has seen the shop transformed into a “home away from home”, with the use of wooden crates and old recycled timber turned into functional tables and seats.

“We don’t have a particular style, but our regular customers tell us it reminds them of going to the family home. It’s a very relaxed space that has plenty of comfy couches to recline in,” Alfie says.

Customers can also sit in the summer sun and relax in one of the 30 outdoor seats – a perfect way to enjoy one of the Monster’s favourite iced coffees.

Where the Monster Sat was one of the first cafés in Sydney to use Zest Specialty Coffee. Zest now roasts nearby in Marrickville, but Alfie says it was quite exciting to launch the brand to its customers. It serves Zest Specialty Coffee’s Forte Blend on its shiny red La Marzocco machine.

“This blend is really smooth but still quite strong. It’s delicious as an espresso but also great in milk-based coffees or in our iced coffee,” Alfie says.

As espresso, this blend from three continents exudes dark cocoa and orange marmalade, with hints of peanut brittle. 

After working his whole career as a chef, Ralph has put a slight twist on the all-day breakfast and lunch menu. “Right from 8am on a Saturday we have people lining up to enjoy our Monsters’ breakfast nachos, which are really popular, as are our potato kale balls,” Alfie says.

The café makes its own pies on site. Alfie recommends the pulled pork and apple pie, and for something indulgent, the Monster cheeseburger.

“When you’re surrounded by all the things you love, this job doesn’t feel like work at all,” Alfie says. “I love talking to people, working hard, but also having fun. I hope this place continues to thrive.”
Judging by the ‘monster’ crowds this café attracts on the weekends, it already is.

Burwood Bench

Newly opened Burwood Bench is a family affair combining a passion for baking and coffee making.

Co-Owner Kellie Francis operates Burwood Bench with husband Josh Francis, her sister Jodie Blatchford, and her partner Deb Thompson.

“We all work together really well. I’m a passionate home cook so I do the baking, my sister Jodie is the café manager and along with Deb, they make all the tasty salads,” she says.

Since the café opened in October 2015, Kellie says the reaction from customers has been extremely positive.

“They love the variety of choice we offer. We want our customers to feel refreshed after their visit, enjoy the range of healthy food, and fresh coffee,” she says.

That diversity includes a range of coffees supplied from Australian International Coffee Awards winner MFC Roasters. Both its Capital Roast and Organic Roast are served from the café’s white La Marzocco FB70.

“The Capital blend has a really nice caramel-fruit flavour along with an edgy acidity that provides great milk cut-through. And we love the Organic Blend for its chocolate tones and smoothness,” she says.

Burwood Bench is the first NSW-based café to serve MFC Roasters’ blends.

“MFC’s rise in the industry has been really impressive. Justin Mellors’ coffees are at the forefront of the specialty industry at the moment, and I’m learning a great deal from working with him,” Kellie says. “The city has really leaped forward in terms of its coffee quality in the past 12 months so we want to be at the top of the pack in terms of our coffee offering, and with MFC coffee I think we are.”

To cater to the surrounding business district, Burwood Bench also encourages batch-brewed coffee, which can be ordered for corporate meetings.

Kellie says it’s been a real hit with neighbouring offices keen to offer something a bit more special than an instant mix of coffee granules.

“Customers can take the coffee airpot at 11am, return it six hours later, and it will have barely dropped in temperature. It’s quite remarkable,” Kellie says.

Fresh food items are prepared and served daily, with a mix of sandwiches and savoury treats on offer.

Previously working as a former print manager, Kellie says the welcome sea change has been really motivating.

“I’m happy to get up at 4.30am each morning to turn the oven on to start baking,” she says.

Charlotte’s Café

Café Owner Jason Ghebar has one cardinal rule when it comes to hospitality: customer service is everything.

“All people want is to be acknowledged when they walk into a shop. Not enough places do that,” Jason says. “I want my customers to enjoy a fun and hospitable environment, and leave with a smile on their face.” Read more

Haven Café

When three passionate baristas joined forces to open their own specialty coffee café in Sydney, they had one distinct goal in mind. Read more

Campos Coffee Dulwich Hill

In the inner western Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill, residents and coffee enthusiasts have good reason to be excited. In late November 2014, Campos Coffee opened the doors to its newest company store.

To officially open its third flagship store in Sydney, Campos Coffee hosted a special media launch event where Campos Coffee President Will Young introduced the newest addition to the thriving specialty coffee scene. 

“Everyone is asking: ‘what makes this new shop so different? What makes this shop special?’” Will says. “Clearly, the space itself is a new level in design for us. It is a fresh, new-look space, which maintains the professionalism of our brand.”

Will says there was no stone left unturned in the installation of the new store. “We looked at everything. The lighting is stunning and varied. The wood mosaic on the bench took many painstaking days to create and assemble. We have even addressed sound with acoustic panelling throughout the store. It was a lot of work by our whole team and we are thrilled by the final result.”

Will is adamant, however, that the new-look flagship store is not only special because it looks different, but because it retains the same values and qualities of the current flagship stores.

“The Dulwich Hill store has the same baristas, the same exciting coffees, the same commitment to consistency and service, the same handmade croissants from our own Rosetta Stone Bakery… the list goes on,” says Will. “We have a core formula across the whole country, which has always been committed to quality, and we never want to change anything about it.”

What’s unique is that many of the original Campos Coffee regular customers from their first store in Newton, NSW have moved to Dulwich Hill as their circumstances changed.

“The originals who used to come to Newtown in 2002 with their puppies and babies are showing up to the Dulwich Hill store with their old dogs and teenagers,” says Will. “They’ve moved to the area as their families have grown and they need more space. These customers mean the world to us. They’ve grown with us, and to be able to see them on an everyday basis again is very special indeed.”

The Dulwich Hill flagship store house blend is Campos Coffee’s Superior blend, which is served from a four-group La Marzocco Linea PB, and a two-group La Marzocco Strada. Campos Coffee has been serving this same award-winning blend since its inception 13 years ago.

“Our company cumulatively spends over 365 days at origin each year working with our producing partners and sourcing much of the finest coffees in the world,” says Will.

The new Dulwich Hill operation also boasts a selection of single origins. There is always a Cup of Excellence-winning coffee available. In February, the lucky locals will be able to taste the overall winner of the 100th Cup of Excellence competition from Brazil –  Fazenda Ouro Verde. This is a coffee that was awarded a clear 100 score from the Head Judge of the competition, Silvio Liete. This coffee will be prepared through the Strada for a very limited time.

“This new venue is all about delighting and surprising our regulars,” says Will. “We have come a long way over the years, but we would be nothing without our loyal customers.”

The Grumpy Barista

Opening its doors in December last year, this little café in Petersham, Sydney is making quite a big name for itself.

Called The Grumpy Barista – after Head Barista and Owner Carlo Ianni – the café is a recent edition to one of Sydney hipsters’ favourite suburbs and is quickly becoming a local favourite.

Carlo, alongside business partner, girlfriend and Chef Sarah Intili, carefully constructed each nook and cranny of the café to make the most of the limited space.

“The two of us designed and personalised every little detail,” says Sarah. “What we have created is a cosy and friendly little corner café, which offers great coffee and quirky modern dishes with an Italian twist.”

With a vintage, industrial feel, the 30 square metre space is filled with a handful of tables and occasional jazz sounds, or according to Sarah, house music when they need a bit of a boost.

“We might not have a full kitchen set up, but that hasn’t stopped us creating carefully presented meals alongside our quality coffee, and gaining a great group of regulars as a result,” says Sarah. “When it comes to the coffee, customers love that Carlo remembers their orders I’ll often hear at the counter, ‘Carlo knows’.”

For their house blend, Carlo and Sarah serve Toby’s Estate’s Woolloomooloo blend on a Kees van der Westen machine, which Sarah describes as “spicy, smooth, with lots of attitude”.

“We also offer Toby’s Estate Single Origins, which our hard core coffee enthusiasts love,” says Sarah. “Our most popular and favourite to date has been a Costa Rican, which is a bit fruity with soft end notes.”

The Grumpy Barista’s rustic food, which is inspired by Sarah’s Italian background, is served up on wooden boards or vintage plates to match the decor.

Its most popular breakfast dish is the Italian Hotpot, which is served with Sonoma sourdough toast. The dish of two baked eggs in a spicy tomato sugo comes with grilled mushrooms and has the option of adding spicy pork salami, ricotta cheese, or chorizo sausage.

“For something sweet, try our own interpretation of the famous cronut, which is filled with delicious goods like custard, Nutella, and Oreo,” says Sarah. “The enthusiasm for these little desserts, actually for the whole café, has completely blown us away.”

Bacino Bar

On the corner of The Corso, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with surf shops, bars, and ice-creameries in Sydney’s Manly, is Bacino Bar. The little hole-in-the-wall café or “little Italy,” as its owners Marcelo Vieira and Lido Russo call it, is a popular drop in for both beach-dwellers and those on their way to work.

“The café is located on Manly corso between the wharf and the ocean. Many of our customers come by to sit and watch the passing parade of tourists as they sip on a wonderful coffee,”says Marcelo.

Opened in August 2000, Marcelo says the café’s Italian feel is a reflection of Lido and his brother’s heritage. However, its enviable position in the trendy Sydney suburb gives it a distinctly Manly feel. “Most of our customers are locals that come back twice, maybe three times a day,” says Marcelo. “They live down here on the beach and that kind of lifestyle means we get lots of laid-back, easy-going coffee lovers stopping in throughout the day.”

Marcelo says that the café has a reputation for having a good atmosphere and good service, but what sets it apart is its coffee.

Part of a network of seven Bacino cafés, Bacino Bar in Manly serves the company’s own Little Italy coffee. The seven cafés, which are located in various spots across New South Wales, each use the house blend for their espresso based drinks – which the public can take home for themselves as whole beans, ground beans, and in a decaf variety.

The Manly café serves up its namesake coffee on a Sanremo Verona TCS four-group machine, which is designed to produce high quantities of coffee – something Marcelo says Bacino Bar does almost every day.

“We’ve closed the doors two days of every year since we opened in 2000. During that time the coffee community has grown considerably down here, and also undergone a number of changes,” says Marcelo.

Marcelo says Bacino Bar is currently experiencing a similar trend to that increasingly reported by Australian cafés, which is the changing milk preference of its customers.

“Over the past five years especially we’ve seen a lot more demand for alternatives to dairy milk, and soy consumption in particular has gone up considerably,” he says. “Whereas a few years ago we might have gone through one litre of soy a day, these days we are going through up to 10 litres.”

Bacino Manly has been using Vitasoy for a number of years now, which Marcelo describes as a consistent performer in the coffee making process.

“Because we want to maintain the reputation we have for exceptional coffee, we need milk that will produce the same result each time,” he says. “With Vitasoy we find that’s what we get, which keeps both the baristas and our customers happy.”

In the business of satisfying customers, Marcelo says Bacino Bar has one breakfast dish on the menu that they’ve agreed to continue serving all day, despite the fact that the rest of the breakfast options finish at lunch.

“Our Italian scrambled eggs are definitely a standout favourite dish for almost everyone who has had the chance to sample our menu,” he says. “We’ve been serving them up for the breakfast crowd since we opened the doors, but as was the request of many Bacino Bar regulars, we’re now cooking scrambled eggs in the afternoons too.”

The Italian scrambled eggs are cooked with tomato, pancetta, parmigiano cheese, and fresh basil. It is served on a slice of fresh ciabatta loaf with Bacino Bar’s special hollandaise sauce.

As the weather warms up and Sydney beaches see an influx of visitors flock to its shores, Marcelo says he expects to be dishing out even more eggs and coffee to the holiday crowd.

“I look forward to our busiest months as it just means more people to talk to,” he says. “So many of us these days spend more time at work than at home. Fortunately at this café the customers and staff have become our own big family. I don’t call this a job – this is the place I go to socialise.”

Single Origin Roasters Botany

The Mothership has landed in Botany, New South Wales.

Single Origin Roasters’ new coffee bar opened its doors on 25 July at its Roast Works roastery.

“The residents of Botany are blown away at having a new dedicated specialty coffee shop in the area,” says Owner Emma Cohen. “We felt this was a great way for people to see our roast works and the bigger picture of our technical operations, in addition to enjoying one of our deliciously prepared brews.”

It is the second site from Single Origin Roasters; their flagship coffee shop is the 10-year established Reservoir Street Surry Hills café. The new coffee bar has a view into the Roast Works, connecting customers to the roasting process with a view to the restored 1965 UG22 Probat named Eugene. “Our Botany space is centred around coffee theatre along an eight-metre concrete bar, slender seating and an all day food menu prepared at the bar,” says Head Barista Sean McManus.

The new venue is dubbed The Mothership, as it’s the company’s headquarters where regular training sessions, tastings and educational classes are held for clients and industry members.

The cupping lab is Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) certified to host Q Grader courses. Single Origin Roasters also hosts Cup of Excellence cuppings and offers brewing advice, demonstrations and tastings for the home coffee enthusiasts. “The Mothership embraces all things coffee about our business, from the green beans coming in from the port, to our roasters who produce the blends, to our baristas who serve our customers, and the barista training and coffee tastings we offer at this site,” says Emma.

True to its name, the company serves a wide variety of single origin coffees through its three-group La Marzocco PB, served as espresso, as well as specialty filter methods including clever coffee dripper, cold drip, and pour over.
“We offer access to all the best coffees at your fingertips. We’ve received lots of beautiful Kenyan and Burundi coffees of late. We’re big on featuring lots of superior micro lots and showcasing the work of small growers,” says Sean.

The popular Reservoir Blend that also features at the Surry Hills location will remain the house offering for milk-based coffees. “It really embodies our love for structured, bright, sophisticated coffees,” says Sean.

A feature blend of the month, which highlights the other three blends in Single Origins’ array of coffees, is also available. This venue has a home coffee focus with a wide range of fresh-roasted packs, tastings and brewing equipment available to encourage residents to try their own coffee brewing at home.

“We want to show everyone that it’s possible to make better tasting coffee at home,” says Sean. “There are so many options to do that, whether it’s through trying a filter or taking our Reservoir Blend home and experimenting with that on a machine.”
It’s also pretty handy to know the new coffee bar is just seven minutes from the domestic terminal at Sydney airport.

For the busy travellers, Single Origin Roasters has developed The Tarmac Pack, comprising of a coffee and the house-cured bacon and egg roll to go. An all-day menu is prepared in front of customers at the bar with the opportunity to engage with the staff. Botany’s Head Chef Gaspar Tse prepares a great banana bread with espresso butter, the signature Mothership breakfast featuring house-made lamb merguez sausages, and slow-cooked eggs at 62.5°C. There’s also the Roast Works Burger with grain fed beef, iceberg lettuce, smoked chili mayo and spiced pineapple chutney.

“Trust me, pineapple haters will be converted,” says Emma. “The mastery we have for our coffee is also brought into our food.” 

With so much to offer Emma invites everyone to come visit the new venue so the team can offer a “big hello – Single O style”.