Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 32/40
A wonderful Saturday morning finds me out for a stroll around Potts Point. Winter is slowly blowing into our city, which means the pressure on coffee shops for their caffeine and indulgent food and, in turn, the inside seat, the pressure and rivalry in café world is beginning to heat up.
Walking down Maclay, I note that a coffee shop I’ve wanted to try is in a temporary lull so I walk on in and order a latte. Gypsy Espresso, sitting in the site of the old Toby’s Estate space has been a bit of a inner east revolution. Far removed from Inner West giants of Mecca, Alchemy and Double Roasters. And a bit of a walk from the ever-popular Surry Hills digs of Rueben Hills and Joe Black, Gypsy has been carving up the coffee market with its interesting and boutique blends marked with its ever skilled baristas.
Dodging the prams, I walked in, ordered a latte and took a seat. The coffee shop is everything you think of in an inner east cafe. Polished cement floors, dark walls, tiny tables, it is very industrial chic. A very cool space.
My coffee was quickly brought over before it had settled, you could see it layering as it was placed in front of me. A great sign! Once I had let it settle it layered very well. The latte art was clean and very well presented all done with what looked to be an effortless cool free pour. It was presented on a red saucer, which went with the whole look of the place well.
The aroma was rather caramel sweet with a bit of a bitter hint to it, kind of like a really dark chocolate. Taste wise, the initial flavour was very in keeping with the aroma. It was creamy, sweet and with a silky frothiness to it. The after taste again felt a little punchy, again maybe like caramel dusted in super dark chocolate.
It’s a high pressure cafe, and as I sat in for over 15 minutes or so, the cafe was either at bursting point or very chilled. The staff remained cool, calm and collected often signing along with the music; “my girl” was quite a popular song choice. Given this customer pressure. Staff members were like hawks, once your coffee is done you’ll have a dauntingly clear table in front of you and as a solo drinker you may feel the need to order more or move on. Bit of a Mexican standoff of mental wits.
Letting the drink cool the strong caramel like flavours really do shine and a slight sour aftertaste starts to hit in to balance it very, very well. Bloody brilliant.
It’s super clear this is a drink that you should go black from the start. If you’re a flexible coffee drinker, espresso is the go. However the milk version of the coffee remains full of flavour and creamy till the end, you’ll not be disappointed.
Overall, Gypsy Espresso is the super chilla cafe I’m sure you’re searching for. Any Surry hills hipster, or Melbourne lane way obsessed tourist will love the place. The coffee is top notch, although if you go milk it will only start hitting strides as it cools, be brave and have an espresso or long black – when in Rome do as the Romans do (or better yet go some of the single origins). Table space is tough, but if you can grab a table (inside in winter, outside in summer) you’re onto a winner for sure.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 9/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
Coffee total: 17/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): warehouse
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 32/40