Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 27/40
A cold and early start brings my trail to St Malo Bakery in Crows Nest. Having picked Nerd 2 up from the airport (welcome home!), I got into the Lower North Shore far too early for any sane human, so being the coffee nerd I am went in search of a good 7am cafe.
Malo, even at 7:09 seems a popular destination with locals, particularly mothers (watch the prams), business people heading into work (and looking busy) and randoms such as myself. This is a great thing as often in areas such as Crows Nest it’s hard to find a cafe to settle down in within feeling the need to order some huge meal.
I walk in order a latte, as that is what the three women in front got. The guy behind the till asked me ‘hows it going?’, I remember mumbling something, I get given a number, which is amusing as I am really the only other group ordering, and I take a seat (not always a great small talker in the morning).
The coffee comes out quickly and looks nice with a bit of a heart art pour on top. It seems reasonably well layered (little milk heavy perhaps) and of a good heat for most drinkers.
The aroma is quite rich and fruity, with smoky roasted aromas mixing it with some seeded fruit flavours (maybe a plum?). I found it to be quite a nice smell and I think goes well with the huge range of fruit based pastries they pump out (which look amazing).
On tasting it, like the aroma, I found the flavours to be quite fruity and a little spicy. It’s evident early in drinking this coffee that it is a medium to well bodied drink, leaning, just a little, on the acidic side. I found it to be reasonably balanced especially with the addition of milk. Whilst not initially evident, the flavour tends to linger some time in the mouth.
Halfway through my coffee my table almost got toppled by three mothers with prams. Do watch where you are sitting here, it seems bread, early mornings and coffee can be a deadly mix!
Overall, St Malo Bakery seems quite a refreshing cafe for Crows Nest. Far more sophisticated then you may expect. St Malo’s huge range of bread and quality coffee will be pleasing to most. While it’s not an inner west cafe or bakery, it clearly has more going for it than your regular cafe in the area, proving a point of difference in a sea of same-same. In saying this, if place was in Marrickville I reckon far more people would be talking about it.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 14/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Your grandma’s kitchen with heaps of angry mothers
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 27/40