Say hello to Pablo & Rusty’s newest addition in Lane Cove. Located in the middle of a pedestrian mall, this store is small, yet distinct and designed to educate and intrigue customers.
Featuring a large communal table designed for cupping, this café has a clear focus on producing the best coffee they can. “We want our customers to come away with what the possibilities are with coffee, rather than just a daily necessity, which is what it becomes,” says Owner and Director Saxon Wright. “We’re turning the café into a unique and interesting experience, rather just a consumer product.”
The new café boasts a high calibre of baristas to match the standard of coffee, including senior baristas Phil Pollen and Brett McLachlan, who can be found working hard behind a Synesso Hydra machine, which Saxon says captures the “optimal flavour expression”.
Running a range of single estate beans and guest espresso blends, the café hosts a brew bar with areo press, cold drip methods and a dedicated specialty tea bar. Regular cupping and tasting lessons are also available to customers, as well as range of take-home beans and equipment.
Pablo & Rusty’s coffee is roasted using a Giesen machine in their nearby warehouse in Ryde. The house blend is a combination of several estate coffees to suit both milk and black coffee. Saxon describes it as “rich and sweet with caramel style notes”.
To maximise the best milk coffee they can produce, saxon conducts pH tests on the milk and changes the blend regularly to ensure it has a balanced profile and synergises well with milk.
As a World Barista Champion (WBC) judge, Saxon says he uses WBC criteria as a platform for the standard of his coffee and competition training among the baristas.
Many single origins are rotated throughout the Pablo & Rusty stores, and particular favourites include the Esmeralda Geisha and El Salvador beans. Showing his commitment to sourcing quality beans, Saxon will travel to Central America for the next harvest. “It’s important to meet the people that are responsible for producing our coffee and makes it a priority to travel to farms and source the beans that will be unique and popular to our customers,” he says.
Pablo & Rusty’s won’t leave the stomach rumbling with a menu of high-end food available for breakfast and lunch. A café favourite is their handmade popsicles, made from seasonal fruit and organic sugar.
After 18 years in the coffee industry, Saxon says his job is as much exploration as it is a journey. “Its discovering new things and people, and it’s just awesome,” he says. “I love it and the market for specialty coffee is just starting to come alive and to be at that forefront of the industry, it’s pretty dynamic.”