Opening day of Ona Coffee Marrickville was a celebration of the Canberra-based roaster’s foray into the Sydney market, or any market outside of the Australian Capital Territory for that matter.
The doors to the newly developed space were wide open and guests flooding through the door were a combination of the industry’s top influences, baristas, roasters, locals who had heard about ‘the new kid on the block’, and some four-legged friends bathing in the morning sun while eyeing off a tray of donuts on the bench.
Inside, the room is airy and spacious with lots of natural light. On the feature wall are shelves containing a collection of Ona retail coffees and barista tools, and in the middle is a gigantic espresso bar that extends the entire length of the room and seats customers on one side, baristas on the other. The communal space is cleverly designed to watch baristas produce coffee before your eyes, and leaves nowhere for them to hide. The Sanremo Racer coffee machine is lowered into the benchtop to optimise consumer interaction, and the line of equipment extends to the Juggler, five Anfim grinders, two Mahlkönig EK43 grinders, and three pour over stations.
The coffee menu is divided into milk, espresso, filter, and batch brew coffees. For milk-based options, Ona Coffee’s staple Hitman, Founder, and Raspberry blends have pride of place, as does its new Unico seasonal blend, showcasing a mix of Project Origin-sourced Geisha, Catuai, and Heirloom coffees from Brazil, Ethiopia, Panama, and Honduras – all scoring over 90+ and blended together.
“Unlike our current blends, this concept blend has the room to evolve in flavour and change into something new with each new release,” says Sam Corra, Ona Coffee Head Roaster. “Sometimes it will be a blend specifically made to be prepared as espresso and sometimes for milk-based beverages. It really depends on what green [beans] we mix and how best it will work for each beverage.”
For espresso, barista Angus Mackie recommended a Colombia Guandinbas Washed, and for filter, the Colombia Lomitas Washed and El Salvador La Laguna Honey at the time of print.
Batch brew is also available, but for a real treat, ask for the Reserve List, much like asking a wine sommelier for their top-of-the-range vintages. On this day, Angus returned with a printed menu of frozen coffees, all previously packed and stored in chest freezers at -19°C. Angus’ face exuded excitement at the impressive list of coffees we could start working through: an unusual Striped Bourbon washed processed coffee from La Palma as espresso followed by a Morgan Estate Panama Geisha Peaberry natural processed coffee from producer Jamison Savage. Since then, even Agnieszka Rojewska’s World Barista Championship coffee has made an appearance.
Each coffee is packed with flavour and is guaranteed to have tastebuds dancing for the next hour. The profiles they present, given they were frozen for the past three months, were impressive.
Also on offer the opening day was an orange Bourbon from Colombia as espresso, an Ethiopian Heirloom whole cherry carbonic maceration coffee from Project Origin, and a Honduras Pacas from Los Primos. The only limitation to surfing the menu is your gradual caffeine intolerance.
“By freezing our doses we can preserve a coffee at its peak when the rate of carbon dioxide release has slowed down from the roasted beans,” says Isaac Kim, Head Barista and Manager of Ona Coffee Marrickville. “A customer can walk in and enjoy a coffee that was roasted a year ago, but tastes like it was roasted two weeks ago.”
To celebrate the launch weekend of Ona Coffee Marrickville in May, all coffees from the main menu were free. However, following up with the team the Monday after, they sold more of the reserve range coffees than they gave away.
There’s also a food menu to accompany the extensive array of coffees on offer, but as one customer sipping their filter coffee perhaps said best, “this really is something special for Australia, not just Marrickville”.
Ona Coffee Marrickville
140 Marrickville Road,
Marrickville, New South Wales, 2204
Open Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, weekends 8am to 3pm
(02) 6162 3321