Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 30/40
With rain falling heavily and winter upon us, an afternoon coffee was on the agenda. A spot that I’ve walked past multiple times over the last 6 months is Coffee Tea and Me (same owners of the likewise named cafe in Redfern) was there at just the right time as the next shower hit so I went in.
It seemed some luck was with me as I hit a point in the day where there was a lull in the cafe foot traffic and scored a table, #win. A girl walked about one step in my direction from the coffee machine (the space is tiny) and took my order. I followed suit from the table next to me and got a latte.
The store feels about as big as it looks from the outside. It is really not much more than two tables and random resting spots, well to be honest 6 tables if you count the old primary school chair-tables outside. It must be said the cafe is cute – bike seats as seats, solid wood furniture housing food stuff and the coffee machine and magazines strapped together with old belts to make seats. Clearly what I also mean by cute is also uncomfortable… oh the price we pay for cool and quirky.
The coffee was quickly made. Mine was one of three made in quick succession and when placed in front of me it was not just settling like we saw at Gypsy around the corner, but as close to that as possible. Like the store itself the coffee was not picture perfect in its pour/art but it worked well.
The aroma established the coffee as being Campos. It was a rich and fruity aroma, as nerds know very well by now.
Tasting wise, like the aroma, it was hitting all the right notes. It was sweet, like toffee with some lingering fruitiness to it (like you’d hope from Campos house), I have to say though it was missing some of the follow through, perhaps the body was just not as strong? To be honest, maybe the humidity was letting it down ( it was bucketing down with rain, and rain does mess a grinder up like crazy). It was still a killer drop though.
Letting the coffee sit, I began to daydream and when I woke up the cafe filled up and I was asked to share my table by a fellow customer. No biggy. I was feeling table guilt anyway. The final flavours of the steeping coffee didn’t carry through as well as I would have hoped, leaving me to think the drink was missing that final coffee punch, to bring it up there with the branded stores who actually own the bean. It was a good attempt though and without the weather maybe they would hit that spot? (worth another trip!).
Overall, Coffee Tea and Me is a great space, with solid coffee being pumped out night and day. While table space is tight, so long was you don’t mind sharing it should not be a problem. Locals are welcomed with open arms by the barista, which is nice sign from a local cafe. Finally, while the coffee was not Campos Newtown, it’s better than most in Sydney and the late hours of the shop and unusual space will definitely win you over. Oh one side note, judging by the number of people ordering bagels I’d do that if I was you.
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): Hipsters paradise
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 30/40