Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40
Saturday: An aimless stroll down Broadway finds me walking into Project 8 Café a randomly located haunt in the USYD – Notre Dame – UTS triangle. A favourite of some DDB employees, I’ve been told that I’ve got to give this coffee a go if I’m in the area, so the stars aligning this fine winters day, here I am! Perhaps one of the oddest cafes around the Glebe area, Project 8 seems a bit of a mix of country western charm meets inner city grunge.
Walking in I felt like I was disturbing some community event, maybe it was the Saturday arvo crowd, but I felt that I walked into some great locals chatting session (sorry guys!). It was just one of those moments that you walk in and everyone just stares at you…
Having broken up this great time (sorry again!) I went to the back and waited for service. The barista soon came around to me and asked what I was looking for, a small latte seemed the go as that’s what everyone else was drinking.
Having settled myself myself in (and the local’s convo back in full swing) I was better able to take in the café. Wood and more wood is the go here (exposed brick too, don’t panic inner city cafe lovers). The cafe has done something really aesthetically pleasing using worn light blue painted timber against the dark wooden benches and floor. Chilled music plays, there is plenty of free wifi (no idea if that is intentional) and you can hear the sound of the buzz of cars as they drive down Broadway/ Paramatta Road. Light also adds to the effect, streaming primarily in from the wide street side windows which, I reckon, adds to the grudge meets country feel well.
The coffee comes out pretty quickly and I was please with the look – a nice bit of latte art with a bit of leaf action. The coffee was also reasonably well portioned, although perhaps a little milk heavy. There was also some solid heat radiating from it. I especially liked the look of the shiny and silky foam.
Aroma wise, I was struggling due to a blocked nose, but I found it to be quite a fruity drink with something quite nutty occasionally coming through. I could not pick the roaster at all. Perhaps judging by the ‘holistic’ nature of the café it’s a local nondescript one?
Tasting wise, the fruity and nutty aroma carried through in the flavours of the drink. The latte had a fruity sweetness to it and a reasonably nutty flavour filled body. Occasionally I found hints of the roaster, which was quite nice. Overall it balanced itself well
Letting it cool, a fruity sweetness came to play a significant role in the taste, but it continued to keep some of the nutty heritage. There was minimal after taste.
As I sat here a while, the café began to feel increasingly empty as the locals left and no one came in to replace them (hey who walks past Broadway at 1:43pm on a Sunday?), which did make sitting here by myself a little uncomfortable. The staff however did not really seem to care, happy chatting to one another whilst cleaning.
Wondering what Project 8 means? So am I. Just thought I would add this here.
Overall, it’s a cool café, although I feel some of its mission is lost as I could leave not having any idea what Project 8 was. I did ask, but as a passer by you’re unlikely to do that (three clues of what it is: 1. it has nothing to do with Tony Hawk; 2. everything you see at Project 8 is handmade 3. it aims to be an opposing force to Gloria Jeans chains). The coffee at Project 8 was pleasing and held its ground well against some of the Glebe giants and the café was nice – I’m sure on a weekday more of a place to come and a hive of activity to than on a Saturday afternoon. If it was my local, I would come again.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
Coffee total: 14/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Country western charm meets inner city grunge
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40