Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40
Sitting beside cured meat and listening to Spanish radio is not the ordinary way I start my mornings. But a coffee shop I walk past every day, Encasa Deli finally lured me in on my way to work. The little bro to the likewise named Encasa on Pitt Street, the deli has novelty factor oozing from it, Spanish and Sydney after all rarely mix.
Found in midtown on Bathurst Street between Hyde Park and Town Hall, it is in an unusual part of the city (at least to me) as, notably, there are a lack of big offices towers making it more of thoroughfare than a destination.
It was about 7:30am when I ventured in, the Deli had a good vibe. There was a mix of construction workers (likely on their first coffee break of the day) and suits starting their day.
I ordered a latte and grabbed a wine barrel table.
While takeaway coffee is preference in ordering here, it did not take too long for the barista to make my drink.
On arrival it looked pretty good. The aroma was sweet, cocoa rich and a little bitter to the nose.
Tasting it, the initial flavour was of a very dark chocolate, both bitter and sweet. The drink itself was quite balanced, full of punch and flavour. They use Calima coffee which is a Colombian blend. A nice choice for a Spanish style place.
Sitting here people watching, I saw a few bocadillos get made at the deli, which seems to be their food thing and I got some serious food envy (muesli at work is about as exciting as my weekday breakfasts get).
The highlight of my stay was the utter amusement and confusion of staff when a lady came in demanding guaranteed gluten free food. While I feel sorry for my gluten free mates, the demand in a deli which specialises in sandwiches was a little odd.
Overall, I’m surprised that I’ve not come here before, given that I walk past it all the time. Encasa Deli is a charming space with very different and delicious food options, and has coffee which in brand, origin and flavour are unique for the city. Oh, if you come, don’t be a loser like me, make it a longer stay and grab some food.
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): Spanish Deli