Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 29/40
Bean: Vella Nero

Saturday morning found me out and about walking with my mate Lachlan to grab a coffee, we decided not to go where we knew the coffee would be good – the Campos or Luxe of the Newtown coffee world and instead try somewhere different, making that risky move of walking away from King rather then towards it we walked down Carillion and came to Cordial Cafe.

Cordial is a coffee shop I’ve actually walked past a multitude of times. Formally living in Camperdown I have always thought I should go in there, I think I even flirted with the idea of working there for a while, but just never did go in and now having sat down at the place, somewhat regret I’ve not done this before (had a coffee not work!).

The café occupies a random space at the dead end of O’Connell Street.  Lachlan and I grabbed a seat outside, in the wonderful sun, and a staff member came over quickly and gave us menus. Having looked over the menu, I decided that a second breakfast would be stupidly indulgent, so just went for the coffee. Lachlan went the macchiato, I went long black ( far more suffocated person than I!).

 In the time between ordering and the coffees arrival I had both become both involved in a religious debate and scoped out the café patrons. The café hosted a range of Inner West stereotypes: the studying student, the college kids still wearing their pyjamas, the elderly (possibly) Greek couple and about 2 young families with their kids flying about everywhere.

The coffee came out reasonably quickly, especially given the cafe was at about full and upon first inspection both drinks (long black and mac) I reckon looked great. The crema, on the long black had an amazing viscous with good colouring whist the mac had that great look an espresso gets as it slowly mixes with milk, foam to a nice proportion, ratios spot on.

The aroma of the coffee was both fruity and rich; you could smell a level of acidity wafting of this drink. Lachlan reported that likewise the mac had a nice complex aroma of fruity sweatiness to it.

Taste wise, the flavours of the blend came through well. It’s a really fresh drink, you can tell that both café and roaster manage their beans well.  I found the drink to be both smooth and clean, there was quite a distinct sweet fruit flavour which was nicely kept in check with a balanced level of acidity.

Having left the drink for a while, indulging myself with questions around religious history against a debating pro, with I found my long black’s flavours had come together and found a taste which somewhat resembled a grapefruit’s complex flavour pallet, which really was a nice collaboration of the two often opposing forces of sweet and acidity. 

Overall what great coffee. It’s hard to believe that basically on the same block as Campos a small nondescript cafe can really come out swinging. While not the most appealing place to sit if the weather is poor, on a nice sunny morning, like it was today, it’s outside appeal is welcomed, while a little off many King street drinkers radar, this true local is worth checking out.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 15/20

2. Cafe score 
Style (what’s it feel like): waiting for a bus
Cool?: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Cafe: 14/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 29/40

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