Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 32/40
Fragrance Coffee Lab is the local café you wish you had around the corner. Otherwise known as that tiny corner café on Crown Street, it’s likely likely the most charming café you’ll visit this week.
Found on the corner of Crown and Liverpool streets, you’ll spot the café by the people sitting on the tiny tables on the footpath scattered on both streets. Walking in, Fragrance is a bit of an inner city oasis, jazz is often the music on the go, the sandwiches is made fresh and coffee smell floating about dark but charming interior.
Charming as it may be, most of its patrons (myself included) stop in for the coffee. Reading a host of reviews and talking to other locals, it’s the consistency of the bean’s caramel (Allpress) flavour mixed with the consistency of the barista behind the La Marzocco coffee machine makes it a standout.
The coffee is best had black (and better short), where you can fully enjoy the full bodied, slightly acidic , very caramel like flavours. The aroma of the coffee is smoky and sweet. It’s easy to see how this bean by Allpress is clashing with Campos and Toby’s Estate as one of the classic Sydney roasts of the coffee world.
The service on this late summer morning was as normal – efficient, charming and polite. From order to sitting down the coffee was with me within a few minutes. I grabbed on this occasion grabbed a late breakfast sandwich and this was made bespoke, from fresh ingredients (some growing in the store) rather than pre made crap.
Overall, it’s a wonderful spot and well worth the visit if you’re having an explore around Darlinghurst. The café is, as I said above is a wonderful escape and really fits into what you’d expect from a Darlinghurst café experience. The coffee is the best execution of Allpress Carmelo I’ve had to date.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
Coffee total: 15/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Inner-east Korean hipster’s cafe
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 32/40