Gusto on the beach

Parallel to the pristine waters of Curl Curl Beach on New South Wales’ Northern Beaches is a café that’s attracting as much attention for its coffee as the beach does for its surf.

“We want people to come here not just for the location but for the quality of coffee. We want Gusto on the Beach to become a coffee destination,” says Tim Jones, CEO of Belaroma Coffee.

Gusto Coffee is one of Belaroma’s seven coffee brands. Gusto on the Beach is the new Gusto flagship café. The venue opened in November within the South Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club, which has been a key part of the local community since 1915. The site’s kiosk has been a staple to the lifesaving club for years.

“We thought it important to showcase the quality of Gusto coffee, so we launched our first Gusto-branded café,” Tim says.

Head Barista Michael Camiller serves customers Gusto on the Beach’s Mañana blend using a three-group Unic Stella di Caffe and a Nuova Simonelli Mythos grinder. All Gusto beans are roasted on a state-of-the-art Brambati roaster at the Belaroma coffee roasting facility in Manly Vale.

“With beans sourced from Central America, this blend is spicy, intense with a nice sweetness to it,” Tim says. “It has a full body with medium acidity and high aromatics combine to produce a satisfying all round experience. It’s a great blend for milk-based coffees, which is mainly what we serve.”

A range of alternative brew methods are available for filter coffees, and rotating single origin coffees are always on offer.

“Our different coffees and brew methods are still very much an education process, but the main thing is that we’re making it available and accessible to people. Most of our café customers are residents from the local area, but people are keen to come in and try something different – that’s an attitude we’re definitely seeing improve,” Tim says. 

Gusto on the Beach is a point of connection between all types of people who are after a place to unwind and enjoy life on the lower Northern Beaches. The café has already become popular among joggers, people walking their dogs, surfers, and swimmers who love its relaxed atmosphere.

The newly renovated venue with a million-dollar view has transformed the previous dark interior with a “bright and beachy feel”. Plenty of outdoor seats and reclining chairs are scattered around the balcony for customers to soak up the summer sun.

“When it’s sunny the place is chaos, especially on the weekends when 600 nippers and their parents come down to the beach. But even on a grey, cloudy day, it’s nice for people to know they can come down to the beach and enjoy a great coffee.”

Head Chef Chris Blatchford serves a “light, tasty, and uncomplicated menu” that’s fast becoming a hit with local beach-goers looking for something other than a Golden Gaytime or bucket of chips. Favourite items include couscous salad, fresh yogurt with fruit and muesli, healthy sandwiches, and tasty salads.

“I’m really impressed with the café’s progress. We’re already seeing a great response to the Gusto blend,” Tim says. “It’s a completely new coffee experience. We don’t expect customers to compromise on their coffee for the destinations, and they don’t have to. The feedback has been brilliant.”

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