Bean: Toby’s Estate
Like a marker to the Inner West, Toby’s Estate in Chippendale has long been a go to for coffee lovers all across Sydney. It’s beans today can be found well beyond the branded stores, and this really tells something about the coffee shop itself. It’s a cafe this coffee blog had to stop at.
Saturday: It’s a hot Saturday afternoon and the inner west is suffering. Looking for a non-library place to go to study for an exam on Supply Chain management, I decided that perhaps it’s time to go to this coffee giant.
Toby’s Estate for most is in the middle of nowhere, located at the start of City Road, it’s not quite at Broadway nor is it in Newtown. Toby’s however constantly draws in a crowd, even on hot days.
I walk in a see that the only spot open is on a long bench at the back of their shop. I take a seat and spread myself out (few were willing to risk the hot bench seat). A grumpy serving guy comes over and stares at me, asking me “what-do-you-want?”, amused I reply “hi mate, bit hot in here today huh?”, he continues to stare at me till I say “flat white”. Oh well!
The flat white comes out quickly. However there is enough time to scope the place out. Sitting here you have got to admire all the coffee (and tea, hi Kat!) on the walls, it looks fantastic. Also check out the real mix of customers, who are from all over the shop – everything from couples to students, to writers attempting the ‘great Australian novel’ to fifty year old guys who are reliving their 20s.
As the coffee was placed in fount of me it’s hard to fault its presentation. It looked fantastic (although not as impressive in the picture!). Time and skills had gone into this drink and I am not sure it could have looked any better.
A quick scope out of the coffee sees it has been proportioned to perfection and you can smell its fantastic aroma from a mile away. Drinking it the coffee (house espresso blend) you could quickly taste it was a full body and had a nice floating aftertaste to it.
People love this coffee shop and coffee (and so do I) however; it deserves some level of criticism. The coffee, in my opinion, was exactly PH balanced. This balance means that the coffee tasted neither too sweet nor acidic. Such a balance I reckon feels strangely unbalanced to my taste.
Anyway, back to the review, half way though my drink, the coffee shop emptied out and I decided to move tables, laptop, huge book and all. A girl who works there saw this and came to help me out. This was a really nice act and she was incredibly chatty and friendly. This experience makes me feel that if you were a regular here, the service would be amazing (so it’s seems a bit of a luck of the draw).
Overall, Toby’s Estate is a fanatic coffee shop, their coffee art is the best I have reviewed and house blend a fantastic, it’s a bold drink that cuts though the milk well. Service is all over the place in terms of being friendly, but then that’s not always what we look for in search of the best coffee.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
Coffee total: 16/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): coffee warehouse
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 30/40