Pablo & Rusty’s (161 Castlereagh)

Coffee: 14/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 29/40

After a longer hiatus from writing (but not drinking) it’s nice to get back in the groove and get through some of the backlog of adventures

A busy spring urban morning finds me sitting at the chain-not-chain and clear fan of terrariums, Pablo & Rusty’s on Castlereagh Street. It’s 8am the place is packed and there is some idiot, namely me, trying to use an extra high bench for typing, I look a bit of a fool. However, I hardly look out of place, with at least ¼ of all other patrons on their laptops, expect perhaps not on the highest table with the low stools.

A word of advice here, you’re sensitive, don’t just grab a table, the staff give you an evil glare. Just nod to one of them upon selecting a table /space.

A lawyer, a banker, another banker and perhaps a lawyer (wearing sports gear) are all sitting around the table with me. We all arrived more or less at once so ordered as a group. The orders themselves were interesting as they were not in line with the traditional Surry Hill’s Sunday crowd – espressos, batch brews, macs and long blacks.

I followed the guy beside me (perhaps embarrassing him?) as he gave a sigh post my order, which perhaps changed the order to the lady to my left who also seemed annoyed with me. I went a macchiato.

The coffee did not take long and came in a white cup, the size that flat whites and long blacks come in. It was about half full. While the cup is oh so fashionably Melbourne the quantity of milk got to me. While I may not have specified a long macchiato (another Melbourne thing) its surprising it came to me like this. no?

While the drink that I got was a bit of an oddity (to this clearly suburban coffee nerd) the aroma was not. Smokey, rough and with a sharp kick in the nose, it’s a milky drink that clearly was being pushed in by the roaster and bean.

Tasting was a pleasant surprise, the coffee on initial impression was soft, not sharp, with florally and flowerlike notes with an even stronger sweet berry like taste to it. A really quite pleasant drink.

Letting it sit brought through some of the more rough floral notes. It’s the sort of coffee that has a strong is after taste which you can just feel floating at the back of your mouth. Swish/slurp it to the side of your mouth and you’ll really feel it.

Interestingly, speaking to the sorts of patrons who rock up here. As one young lawyer or banker left another took his place, who oddly looked near identical to the first both carrying with them an AFR both with the new iPhone for personal and old Blackberry for work… I’m amused.

Overall, it’s a great active experience. The staff are everywhere, which is good. The coffee shop an amazing space and the coffee interesting and complex for an inner city dig. My only advise is don’t sit at the corner of the round table towards the front of the store like I did.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10 (just not the mac I was expecting, a little too much milk to espresso)
Coffee total: 14/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Cool?: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Cafe: 15/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 29/40

Pablo & Rusty's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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