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.”

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.”