Palomino Espresso

Coffee: 16/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 32/40
Bean: Morgans

Thursday: Character is not something which can be typically said for an inner city cafe, a Wynyard cafe more so. I think we have all come to expect super sleek, clean surfaces, a grumpy barista and a recycling of Campos, Toby’s or if we are lucky Mecca beans, which often leads you pondering the question if you’re on York Street, why did I just not go to Mecca?

Blink and you’ll trip over the chair and table outside, which I would not recommend, Palomino Espresso seeks to break this inner city monotony with a cafe that is oozing with character – it also helps that the staff are friendly and it runs its own bean. What’s the catch I hear you say? No tables? Pop up cafe? Rubbish bean? Happily I can say no to all.

Walking in you can enjoy the Surry Hills feeling instantly. It’s a little after 10 as I walk in and luckily for me time is on my side as it’s in between rush periods. There is a chilled vibe all around. I order a latte with the friendly girl behind the counter and jump on a seat near by which has just freed it self up.

The coffee seems to just fly over too me and clearly far to much in a holiday mode (had the week off work), I ask the busy cafe-worker how’s she is going, what’s the cafe like, how long it has been open, etc. She was nice enough to indulge me in quick banter before she rushed off to help out some other customers.

The coffee in front of me looked good. Looking at it you can appreciate the effort which has gone into the latte. There is a nice heat to the drink, spot on milk proportions and a pretty bit of latte art on top.

A suit brushing by me reminds me that it’s the usual clientele for the city – busy suits and more busy suits. However, the cafe had a good effect on people with everyone, more or less, seeming far more chilled then I would have expected for the location – some people were even taking their time asking to have their drink ‘for here’ and sit and talk to one another.

Going back to the coffee, the latte had a bit of an unusual aroma, it was clearly a cocoa smell, but there was some other (non-traditional) flavours to it. A non-milk based espresso would likely shed light this in future.

The coffee had quite a distinctive flavour, it’s quite a sweet drink and that cocoa aroma was far more of a dark-ish chocolate taste, there was also an additional fruity flavor to it, perhaps some sort of stone fruit?  It had quite medium a body body and overall hit the right spots.

Letting it cool, I found the dark chocolate taste took on a bit of a caramel tinge. This flavour change had the unfortunate effect of altering the after taste to be a little bitter, but really it’s not that much of a big deal, as the flavour change was more than satisfactory!

At some point water arrived at my table, which was a nice addition. I thought, they thought I was here reviewing them for a second, because of this instant unasked water request, but a scout around showed this is the effort they were putting for everyone.

Overall, I think the small quirky touches really make Palomino stand out – the toy horse which has been put into their espresso machine, the  pavement flowers flowers on every table, the scrabble pieces and milk label things on the wall – just make it a bit of fun. And, let’s not forget the place also has a solid coffee, nice staff, good service and great looking muffins all of which make a wonderful feel. If this was in Newtown I would happily make it a regular. 

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 16/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Cafe: 16/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 32/40

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