Santos Cafe – Sydney International Airport

Coffee: 9/20
Total experience score: 20/40
bean: Santos

Thursday (17th November): Oh 7am flights how I love you. The airport in Sydney is a funny place before 7am. For starters, it has a huge captive audience, and for another, there are very few coffee shops open before 6am, when my plane should have started boarding.

Having gone though the whole immigration and customs thing I wanted desperately to get a coffee, any coffee (well maybe not maccas). Anyway having walked though what it seems like a km of duty free, I finally find a cafe which is open Santos. Santos, which to me is a better known oil and gas exploration company seems to have opened up a cafe (sure it’s not related…), is a pretty looking cafe found if you turn left as you exit duty free hell towards gates 8 and 9. Also it’s the only place open at 530am, which is nice.

I went up to the counter in a daze and ask for a flat white, which the barista quickly pulls together. There is no sit in here, for some reason and everything comes in thin paper cups. odd. While I am waiting I have a look around. this cafe looks cool, it’s all wood, leather and glass, far better then many non-airport cafes in sydney!

Once my coffee is done, I take a seat on one of the long benches and in a tried state attempt to analyse this coffee. The coffee was quite hot (which is great) but the cup was terribly thin so this made for an interesting balance. It was clear the barista was as tired as I was when you took off the lid, no effort had gone into the coffee, it was more a wham-bam affair. I should comment here on the price (something I so rarely do) it cost $3.50, which really was not too bad for a captive audience.

The coffee itself was quite interesting, it had a hazelnut flavour to it, which was really pleasantly surprising. Upon drinking it this nutty flavour became quite pronounced and a hint of spicy cinnamon could also be detected (or at least I thought so at the time!). The coffee was a little acidic, but I did not find this a issue at all and had no strong after taste, which is a good thing considering those around you for the next few hours.

Over all, Santos coffee was a bit of a nothing experience, however drink has led me to think it may be an interesting bean, it’s not too often you find a spicy nutty coffee in Sydney. While the coffee I had was OK, I would be interested to see how it would work in the hands of someone who had not woken up at 3am. Black Tonic, another coffee shop (6am) seems to also run off the Santos bean and may be a better option (they seem to do sit-in as well).

Coffee: 5/10
presentation: 4/10
coffee: 9/20

cafe style: Aussie outback/modern bar
cool?: 7/10
service: 4/10
overall (coffee 20/40

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