Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 33/40
Bean: Peace (Pace) Maker – Mecca
Tuesday: After the pace of Reuben, I thought a walk home was on the cards. Walking in a strange zigzag route I came across one of the coolest hole-in-the walls cafes I’ve seen in Sydney and thought I should give it a go.
On the same street as some of the more impressive roasters in Sydney, Sample (I assume reasonably new to the scene) is looking great for that inner coffee nerd.
You can instantly tell that this place has been inspired by Mecca – Sample’s roaster aside, the exposed brick wall, the worn wood counter, the total passion from the staff, the rejected school furniture and the struggling coffee tree outside, it all just links the two.
I walked in and almost pushed over the counter (note don’t lean on the counter) and ordered a flat white, expecting to pay a fortune; I was pleasantly surprised when the total came 3 bucks. Win. When is coffee 3 bucks these days? I found finding a seat bit of a challenge (as there are only about 8). But if you score one, hold onto it with your life and enjoy.
Luckily, one opened up soon after my arrival and I grabbed it (water came instantly to me). I then went about staring about the café for 2 mins looking like a bit of a weirdo.
The feel of the place is a clean industrial workshop, meets living room. When you’re here do take a second to have a look gawk, there are just so many small cool things thrown about, I spotted a small owl near the till and three monkeys in a broken brick cavity.
The coffee came out at a fast pace and its style was up there – black cup, solid coffee art leaf and great proportion. I reckon they did a better job here then at Reuben down the road.
You can tell that coffee is the lifeblood of this place. They have Mecca as the roaster and put their Peacemaker to the grind, however they also have some great showcase beans on display (local, interstate and overseas) that you can give a go on the slayer or cold drip.
The patrons were an interesting mix young and old, the connecting fact was that they seemed to know their shit – almost as much as the barista. They all talked shop – beans and machine. You know you’re on a good thing when you find a place like this in Surry given the choice within one block. Moreover, the barista (who I picked as the owner) knew every regular’s coffee as they walked in and was as much a patron as the barista (if that makes sense? [note – many people do not think this makes sense]) chatting away and coming to tables to see how people were.
Aroma wise, I found my coffee to be super fruity and had a bit of a floral undertone on the day, a winning combo. Tasting wise, it hit the mark and more. My coffee was very fruity (as you would pick from the aroma), and had a floral undertone to it. The coffee, I reckon, was from El Salvador and this South American element to this blend just took over – in a good way. Interesting to note on this blend, throughout my experience is that it had a very interesting tone to it that at times, to my taste, lent the drink to taste a little olive like. Perhaps I am reading (tasting) this all wrong, but that has gotta be one of the most interesting (and I guess mysterious / cool) milk based coffees I have ever had.
Overall, I am really impressed. The flat white was perhaps one of the most interesting milk based drinks I’ve had (I would be interested to go back and see if I really could taste an olive thing to the flavours). The space whist not as friendly to sit as Reuben or others in the area (you can feel that people are standing right over you) is just cool, its hole in the wall price, quality taste, connection to the community (coffee and local) and amazing style makes this another must stop place in a nerd’s roaming of Surry’s coffee houses.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 9/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
Coffee total: 18/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Mum’s living room meets dad’s shed
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 33/40
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