Set amidst an industrial area in the inner west suburb of sydney, The Grounds is an enjoyable escape from a busy urban background. Opened in April, the café is housed in a former Four ‘n’ Twenty pie warehouse and is a showcase of design, food, coffee and garden.
The pergola-topped outdoor area comprises an organic vegetable and herb allotment that supplies the kitchen. Rustic wrought-iron chairs and tables are settled in underneath hanging plants and colourful blooms. Inside, the enormous space harbors a kitchen, in-house bakery and a research facility – a coffee roasting and testing area set behind a glass window.“The concept for the entire place is basically to expose – we want people to experience every aspect of our company and see the internal workings and the whole process,” says co-owner Jack Hanna.
Co-owners Ramzey Choker, entrepreneur and Jack, 2007 World Latte Art Champion, have a clear the focus on coffee and design. A large blackboard on the wall illustrates the coffee production and diagrams in the menu assist in their aim to ‘de-mystify’ coffee. Perched behind this glass wall is the re-conditioned 1970’s Gs2 4-group La Marzocco, one of the first of its kind with the dual boiler technology.
The house blend is a combination of seven beans, including two Brazils, three Africans, a Colombia and an Indian robust. Jack describes the coffee as full-bodied and chocolaty, with a “thick-mouth and buttery feel”.
Aeropress, filter, pour-over and clover available at the filter bar.
Homemade menu items served up by Chef Lily fasan include a slow-roasted lamb sandwich and a confit ocean trout salad with pearl barley and garden herbs.
A rare find in these parts of town, The Grounds hold bucolic charm and is a nice haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life.