Crave Specialty Coffee

Crave Specialty Coffee

The green, artsy, old heritage area of Croydon is home to a bevy of coffee shops and roasters that make up a supportive, welcoming community. One of them is Crave Specialty Coffee.

Natural, earthy tones draw people into a high-ceilinged, open space with beautiful local artwork adorning the walls. Tiled white with handmade wooden aspects (built by Owner Dion Timpano and his father), customers are greeted by a seated bar where they can strike up a conversation with the staff and discover what they like. Or for more experienced sippers who know what they like, there is a reserve menu full of goodies.

Dion was a chef for 13 years before a family member’s specialty coffee shop sparked his interest in a new world of tastes and techniques. His hungry pursuit to learn more led him to work with several roasters, including Toby’s Estate, which fuelled an obsession for great coffee.

“At one point, my entire freezer was packed to the brim full of coffee and I thought, ‘I might as well open a coffee shop so I can do this for a living!’” Dion confesses. “I figured, if I’m going to be drinking these coffees every day, why not share them with others? Because good coffee is meant to be shared.”

There are a variety of local and international roasts to choose from at Crave, but Toby’s Estate is Dion’s predominant choice. While this is partially a homage to his ongoing connection with the roaster, he also has a genuine love of their blends – particularly Toby’s Estate’s house blend, Woolloomooloo (a.k.a. Woolly).

“It’s got such an earthy undertone to it that I find delicious. It’s not difficult to use, it’s great to teach people with, and it covers a broad spectrum of milk blends,” he says.

Woolly is also infused in Dion’s favourite dish on Crave’s brunch menu: the Chasu pork rice bowl. The pork is braised with the coffee and five spice, and combines vegan kimchi mayonnaise, cucumber, pickled carrot, avocado and fresh herbs with a miso and soy dressing.

On his relationship with Toby’s Estate, Dion says “It’s great to work with them. They supported me in my coffee journey and spent time training me on the equipment as well. If there’s a process that comes out that baffles me, I have a direct line to help me learn and grow.”

For Dion, the most rewarding part of his adventure at Crave is opening people’s eyes to the realm of specialty coffee as something that is new and exciting, and that there is more to coffee than their usual short black.

“A few times I’ve come across someone who’s read ‘pour over’ on the menu. You can tell they see an $8 coffee and they’re not interested in it,” he says. “When I explain what a pour over is, why we serve them and what I recommend, you see their attitude change. Then I see them try it for the first time and it completely blows them away, because it’s something they didn’t expect.”

Crave Specialty Coffee

15A Elizabeth St, Croydon, South Australia, 5008

Open Monday to Friday 7am – 3pm, weekends 8am – 3pm

This article appears in the February 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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