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.”

Brother Café

The youngest of four boys, Darren Pedler, 26, appropriately named his café Brother Café, a suburban coffee shop that’s cemented Darren’s passion for the coffee industry. Read more

Bean To Heaven

Bean to Heaven is putting suburban coffee roasters on the map. Located in Armadale, South-East of Perth in Western Australia, husband and wife team Siobhan and Simon Tucci opened their dream roastery and café in 2011, and are making quite an impression on the local coffee scene.

A far cry from the days of roasting in their backyard and selling their beans to local farmers markets, today the couple have their own dedicated roasting space.
Simon, a former engineer, and siobhan, a graphic designer, left their day jobs behind when their hobby and passion for coffee took over.

Visiting the Bean to Heaven roastery is like stepping onto an 1800s film set. The café is situated on the old Pioneer World theme park, which no longer exists, but the café still retains the historic façade and old charm.
Siobhan says their roastery is all about educating their customers, many of whom have never really considered where or how the coffee comes to be in their cup.

With a viewing bar positioned near the roaster, customers can watch Simon roasting the beans first-hand on their 15-kilogram Ghibli roaster, thought to be one of the first of its kind in Western Australia.
Bean to Heaven’s signature offering is the Village Blend, which Siobhan says is “smooth, has an all-round broad appeal to cater for different customer tastes and is great for any time of the day”.

A small range of single origin beans are also available and at the time of writing, included beans from Sumatra, Peru and Brazil.

Siobhan says Perth cafés have limited local coffee suppliers, but now Bean to Heaven has stepped into the market and is offering customers something different.

“Coffee lovers are now starting to see there’s an alternative coffee to the one they’re used to,” she says. “We’re injecting some new life into the WA coffee scene.”

Bean to Heaven sell their coffees locally to clients, WA wholesale and to cafés around the Fremantle and Subiaco area. Siobhan says their loyal customer base is largely comprised of the parents of the nearby school kids.

“It’s great to find something that we both enjoy doing everyday and we get to meet great people – we’re living the dream.”


Giving Perth a taste of freshly roasted beans each day, Rocketfuel is a one-stop shop for coffee needs.

Aiming to raise the bar and do something out of the ordinary, Owner and Manager Brett Titchener has established a unique complex that consists of a drive-thru coffee outlet, front shop and roastery.

Conveniently located on the stirling Highway, the shop has been open since 2003 and is pumping out coffees as fast as traffic flies by. “What makes us unique is we produce convenient, quick service with a quality experience – and it’s made with love,” Brett says.

Catering for 140 kilograms of coffee a week, Rocketfuel uses 35 South Coffee Roasters coffee, “We have in the past sold freshly roasted beans straight from the cooling bin on the roaster to the customer waiting in their car in the drive thru. You don’t get fresher than that.”

Offering 12 different single origins, the Rocketfuel house blend is a ‘secret combination of three origins’, that Brett says is “fairly sweet but designed to have a little kick at the end”. This coffee stands out as an espresso but Brett says it’s exactly what customers are looking for in milk-based coffees aswell. A variety of single origins are available and rotated constantly, including a fairtrade, organic from Nepal, which Brett describes as having a “nicely balanced flavour with caramel notes” and a fully washed Indian Attikhan. “A lot of roasters don’t think the Indian beans brew well, and that may be true, but in milk it shines,” Brett says.

There’s no time for dine-in food at Rocketfuel but simple offerings such as muffins are a winning treat with this café.

Brett says they might always be busy, but the buzzing vibe is what he loves about the place. “The industry is always changing and challenging,” he says. “Coffee is such a fragile little thing and it’s hard to get it right all the time, but I love working with the team to raise the bar and always taking it to another level.”

Elixir Coffee Specialists

Elixir Coffee Specialists is putting coffee on the map in Perth. Only 15 minutes out of the CBD, this café is situated on a highway. although slightly out of the way, Owner and Roaster, Justin Kenny, says his café is a destination in itself.

“Visitors can expect a cracking coffee and good service,” he says. After 20 years in the café industry, Justin knows what it takes to impress customers and along with business partner and Head Barista, Johnny Nease, the pair are confident they are onto a winner.
Elixir Coffee Specialists roasts its own coffee on a 6 kilogram Giesen roaster, uses a Synesso Hydra machine, V60 pour overs, siphons and Hario cold towers. Justin says it gives him a real injection of enthusiasm to roast his own coffee.

“This way, I can’t blame a contract roaster if the beans aren’t roasted the way we want them,” he says, “I still love making coffee… I love what I do.”

The house blend is a mix of Brazil Machado, Guatemalan Santa Clara Antigua and an El Salvador El Carmen. Justin describes it as having “big cocoa notes with a creamy mouthfeel”. Justin says the focus is to buy coffee that’s in season. A number of single origin beans are available and rotated frequently, such as the Finca La Perla.

At the time of writing an El Salvador Miravalle was available on filter, along with four different choices of cold press. As the summer months roll in, Justin says cold press is increasingly a popular choice with Perth clientele.
Justin says elixir Coffee specialists is one of the only boutique green bean retail operators in Perth.

“Cities like Melbourne are going gangbusters in terms of producing specialty coffee cafés, and we’re in the game,” Justin says. “Come and let your palate experience different tastes.”

A fresh breakfast and lunch menu is also available including signature items such as a sweet potato galette and an organic salad; a fine steak sandwhich with an argentine chimi churri marinade and an open chicken sandwich with poached chicken with lemon mayonnaise.

Breakfast includes a BLT with seed mustard aioli, granola with berry compote, a toasted almond muesli with poached pear and a pesto, avocado and bocconcini bruschetta.

Cheeky Sparrow

Something cheeky is hiding down the laneway in Wolf Lane, central Perth.

Cheeky sparrow has only been open a few months, but owners Peter Bell from the fremantle football Club and Tony Tricarico have established something they say is quite unique. This small venue offers morning coffee and late night liquor, encompassing the best of both worlds and enticing customers to stay from morning til night.

Incorporating a retro feel with an orange, brown and white interior, this two-level café seats 80 people. Mikko Vassi, Head Barista at Cheeky sparrow, says the aim of the café is to leave customers more educated about coffee.“There’s a lot of coffee places in the area, but Perth is lifting its game,” he says. “We find that interstate customers have a different experience with coffee but now we’re meeting their expectations.”

Cheeky espresso uses a fully manual Synesso coffee machine. The house blend is Toby’s Estate Woolloomooloo blend, which Manager Chris Littler says is “sweet enough to impress any coffee date, yet ballsy enough to get you through the morning grind”. Mikko says this blend has a bit of “gusto” and really stands up in milk coffees.

Single origin coffees are also available and rotated every few weeks, including the current sumatra blend; a citric coffee with fruit notes, suited to an espresso style. Perth is known for its great climate and blue skies, even in the middle of winter but when the summer heat comes, cold press coffee is also available to cool down customers.

Those looking for a late night kick can benefit from great coffee and alcohol in an espresso martini. Combining a double espresso shaken over Jameson’s 12-year- old Irish Whiskey, Galliano Ristretto and Massenez Creme de Cassis, as the sun down goes down, this is a crowd favourite and served in a cappuccino cup – just for a twist. Changing pace from barista to bartender, Mikko says he develops friendships during the day and becomes an listening ear at night.

For the hungry sparrow, Head Chef Bekk Bontempo cooks up the breakfast and lunch menu, encompassing quality food in a rustic, simple way. A must-try is the spanish bacon and eggs, homemade muesli, as well as the salads, spanish ham and paninis for lunch.