Campos Newtown

Coffee: 18/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 33/40
Bean: Campos Superior Blend

If dutch and slayer mean something other then a crazy killing North Western European, you know you’re in experimental coffee heaven as soon as you walk in the doors of Campos Newtown. While not the young son, or outright champion of the Sydney coffee scene anymore, the who’s who of coffee love this place to death (dutch coffee is a fanatic slow drip set of glass pipes and a slayer is, more-or-less a type of espresso machine where almost everything can be controlled on the spot for those not in the nerdy know).

Found on Missenden Road in Newtown, it’s hard not to spot the tiny, almost hole-in-the-wall coffeehouse. With a long line, which pumps weekday or weekend and its simply intoxicating smell, Campos will win over most coffee hearts.

While its beans are seen all over the city (and well beyond) and seem to signal to most coffee lovers the possibility of a good espresso, this Campos is indeed the ‘flag-ship store’.

Monday: I’m meeting up with my mate Chris and he suggests I should finally go to Campos (bit of a elephant in the blog/room). I finally cave in (not that hard) and set a brisk walk from the university to Campos.

I was lucky, on my arrival, to find both Chris there already and, moreover, only a short line. I quickly found myself weaving my way to the back of the store, walking on the well worn floor boards, taking in that brilliant smell, and marvelling at all the coffee memorabilia (in any other location, you would think this was the home of some mad hatter).

We found a seat and I quickly went up to the counter to order two flat whites. Ordering here is often a pleasure and a pain. While the staff are often (in times of a huge rush) quite rude (maybe more arrogant) at times (not today though!) their table service system is something to be marvelled at. Even with times with two espresso machines working at full tilt and no standing room left, a sit-in coffee (with no names or number) will always make it to your table in a good amount of time.

As expected two perfect looking coffees arrive within minutes of ordering. Looking much like the cafes symbol they both have that exact fan shape making for two great looking drinks.

The coffee had a fantastic aroma, which I think may be my favourite part of it. With milk it’s still quite a bold smell, but yet has some sweet undertones. It’s the kind of drink you can smell quite a bit and not get sick of.

As expected it is very well layered, and to be honest I can’t really fault it in its presentation. While not dramatic, or bold it is ‘just-right’ and just what you hope for when you come here

Taste is where it gets interesting. For such a bold smell, the coffee has a surprising creamy taste to it (which some people do dislike [shocked face]). But it certainly does work well it’s a very layered drink and not at all ‘clean’ but I think that is in its charm. Slurping on it, you can taste fruity smell, which in the mouth is on the acidic side but also you can taste that cocoa which certainly prominently features in this bean

As mentioned above, this place is a coffee lovers paradise, you have options here well beyond the traditional espresso coffee. A coffee on the slayer is great (they use their Obama blend, rather then Campos Superior on the espresso machine) and likewise is the dutch coffee experience, which is a must for those wanting something very different in the Sydney coffee experience (this is a different blend as well).

All up what can I say about Campos? It’s the old school (new school) of the Sydney coffee scene all in one place, while it’s gone mainstream (sorry coffee hipsters) and you can find its blend and bean well beyond the inner west, this café has stayed true to what it does well

Sydney’s best coffee? Maybe, and many would agree with that statement, and on some days so would I (although it should rank top or equal top by the time I end up tallying up my notes) but on others different coffee and beans call to me.

Sydney’s best coffee shop? Maybe again, but less so. It’s not a place to come to relax, nor is it that friendly at times. It does however experiment like no other and for this alone it wins my praise (and high score).

Overall, if you have never come here, you should, enough said.

1. Coffee score

Style (look and feel): 10/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 18/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): a cramped, hot coffee lovers paradise
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 8/10 (judged off today’s service @ 3pm)
Cafe: 15/20

Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 33/40

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