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The Coffee Lounge - cafe culture => Cafe reviews => Topic started by: askthe coffeeguy on 03/11/2007, 05:39 PM

Title: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 03/11/2007, 05:39 PM
Please place your opinions here!

For the record, my money goes to Single Origin Roasters, 60-64 Reservoir St Surry Hills

These guys are fanatically crazy about coffee, and yet approachable enough to share their enthusiasm with anyone who's interested.

In a word, superb!

Too bad I live in Melbourne and can't go there whenever I want :'(

I've actually thought about flying up there, just to experience their coffee again - bit hard to explain that one to the Mrs, but.

What's your favourite?

P
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: psaigh on 03/11/2007, 06:53 PM
Single origin definately!

Then campos, then mecca
Title: Sydney's best cafes
Post by: donnas650 on 26/06/2007, 10:14 PM
Hi All,
I know this sort of thing gets covered on a regularish basis, but just wanting a list of some of Sydney's top cafes.  Will be over in Sydney from this Saturday until the Wednesday, but really will be limited to the CBD in relation to choosing cafes, so would like a nice little list to go with.  
Thanks a lot,
Matt
Title: Re: Sydney's best cafes
Post by: fattylateplease on 27/06/2007, 08:25 AM
Quote
Hi All,
I know this sort of thing gets covered on a regularish basis, but just wanting a list of some of Sydney's top cafes.
Title: Re: Sydney's best cafes
Post by: Lovey on 28/06/2007, 06:16 PM
G'day Matt,
if you're limited to the Sydney CBD try Mecca on the corner of King and York streets (King street side) under the Grace hotel, and Elixir in the Strand arcade.
Enjoy your trip.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 08/11/2007, 05:13 AM
I also enjoyed Campos and Toby's Estate very much, didn't make Mecca this time around, but will definitely check it out next time around.

P
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: over_extracted on 08/11/2007, 10:33 AM
I used to enjoy going to Paddington Grind.
Bar zeppa in Double Bay as well.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: mattyj on 08/11/2007, 01:11 PM
Single Origin is an interesting place ... I love their roasts. My personal favourite Sydney cafe (Grind in Cronulla) uses beans from Single Origin, BUT, I don't rate the actual cafe as highly.

I think their (in-house) coffee is all about mouthfeel, and less about taste. Their shots are super-short, and kinda fluffy/buttery. Like whipped butter. It's all an amazing mouthfeel, that's really quite impressive.

BUT, my own personal opinion is that the pursuit of an amazing mouthfeel has somewhat sacrificed a depth of flavour. I remember cocoa/chocolatey notes, but that's about it.

That said, I reckon they're still up there, in my top four or five cafes. And as a roaster, they ROCK!

For me, it's
1. Grind
2. Campos (so consistent though ... really deserves #1)
3. Mecca
4. Single Origin
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 08/11/2007, 05:41 PM
good line-up matty - where's grind?  I'll have to check it out next time I am up sydney way

cheers,

pat
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 09/11/2007, 06:43 PM
Quote
My personal favourite Sydney cafe is (Grind in Cronulla)

guess you'd have to assume it's in Cronulla  ;)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: mattyj on 10/11/2007, 02:55 PM
Quote
Quote
My personal favourite Sydney cafe is (Grind in Cronulla)

guess you'd have to assume it's in Cronulla
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 11/11/2007, 12:45 AM
damn... it must be good coz that's a long way to travel or a good coffee!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Ben on 20/11/2007, 10:06 AM
Pablo and Rusty's in Gordon-beautiful coffee!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: ohbillygreat on 04/01/2008, 01:01 AM
Toby's Estate in Woolloomooloo and Campos do it for me.

Toby's has a wonderful decor - suited to coffee dates, business meetings, breakfast with friends... it has a very nice, funky vibe about it. Most importantly it feels very relaxed - leaving you to have your coffee in peace.
I have been here for training on several occasions and for coffee on several others - the coffee is consistently fantastic (including my girlfriend's soy decaf, perhaps finer than most full-cream regular coffees I've had in Sydney). There is a lot of passion behind the people at Toby's, and they have a very friendly vibe (except for that one Barista.. you can't miss him..).
Toby's is 129 Cathedral Street, a ten minute walk from St. James station or Kings' Cross. I haven't been to the Chippendale cafe (opposite Broadway), but I've heard it isn't as good as this main branch.

Campos, on the other side of the CBD, doesn't have the same vibe of relaxed, easy drinking - it has more of a frenetic, obsessive-compulsive buzz to it. The coffee here is taken more seriously than food at most fine-dining restaurants (indeed, it was ranked above Tetsuya's at one point on eatability). As a Barista, this is an attitude I greatly admire and so I have nothing but respect for Campos by default.
The Baristas have a no-talk policy (I think) here but that's irrelevant, I find that when I am in Newtown, I am often on my way somewhere. I normally order take-away, but sometimes I sit down at the bar to slam down a coffee. Either way, I'm out within minutes with a very pleasant aftertaste guiding my back down King Street.
Campos is about a 15 minute walk from Newtown station, on Missenden Rd. just off King street.

... hello, by the way C:
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: The Coffee Gang on 20/01/2008, 12:15 PM
For my money it's The Penny Royal @ Mosman and boy have i missed those guys, they've been closed since xmas and re-opening soon, can't wait! :P
Also when i'm in the city i would also have to say Single Origin Roasters, they're great, nice local too!
The Coffee Gang
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Scotty on 21/01/2008, 10:04 PM
Quote
For my money it's The Penny Royal @ Mosman and boy have i missed those guys, they've been closed since xmas and re-opening soon, can't wait! :P
Also when i'm in the city i would also have to say Single Origin Roasters, they're great, nice local too!
The Coffee Gang

I have to back you up on that one The Penny Royal is one of my little favourite gems, please don't tell too many people on me.

Scottie
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: 30in30 on 18/04/2008, 11:18 PM
Campos and Toby's Estate get my vote.

And if I had to pick one of the chains, I'll have to say Chrysler.

I get my roasted beans from Campos atm, until I decide to roast my own  8-)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: fattylateplease on 19/04/2008, 07:11 PM
In the melbourne coffee festival, I thought Toby's estate craped all over the rest.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: ohbillygreat on 19/04/2008, 09:53 PM
Toby's has now expanded to Melbourne, our head roaster has gone over there.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 20/04/2008, 01:50 AM
where abouts?  I wasn't a fan of the espresso coffee that I drank at toby's in sydney as i felt that the naked portafilter collapsed the crema, which killed the mouth-feel for me - but the piccolo was among the best i've ever had
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: ohbillygreat on 20/04/2008, 02:44 PM
I don't like using our naked for the same reason. I also find that I never get a consistent tamp on it...

I'm not sure where in Melbourne. I think the place over there is going to open sometime mid-May.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: 30in30 on 20/04/2008, 04:28 PM
I read awhile ago Toby Smith was intending to expand not only in Melbourne but also Brisbane and Perth... http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-8-14/58746.html

Probably worthy in a separate thread, but haven't really seen the benefit in taste of a naked extraction... but found it more of a useful tool for training and experimenting with tamp/distribution/dosing/etc... been using it for a short while.... use a lot more ground coffee too!

Good article by Emily on naked coffee in Crema Magazine Winter 2007 Edition... there's a plug for the mag.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 01/06/2008, 06:34 PM
According to the Sun-Herald [Sunday 1 June]:

Headlines Coffee Shop [Circular Quay]; Barefoot Coffee Traders [Manly]; Buzz Espresso [City]; Cockle Bay Kiosk [Pyrmont Bridge]; Da Piccolo [East Sydney] & Martin Place Food Parlour [City] - they did add the rider that they're recommending places that can serve something up in a hurry, but still the title heading was 'best places for your daily fix' - scary!!

-A ;D
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: psaigh on 01/06/2008, 08:35 PM
Quote
Headlines Coffee Shop [Circular Quay]; Barefoot Coffee Traders [Manly]; Buzz Espresso [City]; Cockle Bay Kiosk [Pyrmont Bridge]; Da Piccolo [East Sydney] & Martin Place Food Parlour [City]

Who~? :-?
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 02/06/2008, 12:14 AM
Mod Note: Overtly commercial postings and comments relating to same have been removed.  For interested parties please feel free to inquire about our commercial posting policy and / or feel free to advertise with us subject to approval
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 02/06/2008, 09:23 AM
Hi Ian - my point exactly - seems like when it comes to a coffee feature, every newspaper puts on a junior reporter with the instructions to 'go out and try a few cafes' - and then end up with a feature supposedly telling readers what's best, based on their supposedly authoritative research.

-A 8-)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: taz on 02/06/2008, 07:17 PM
Does the MOS cafe still make great coffee. I like Sydney's cafe culture better than Melbourne due the great locations they have.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 09/09/2008, 12:08 PM
The SMH's Good Food Guide has just come out. Interesting that they don't mention Campos or Mecca [in the city], but they do mention Single Origin.

The don't call it 'best cafes' tho - seems just a random listing of cafes.

dR
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: YeeZa on 10/09/2008, 03:14 PM
One that I didn't read previously regarding coffee in Sydney is [glow]The Source in Mosman[/glow]. It's probably in my top 2 at the moment. Super passionate about coffee, using St Ali's and a few other single origins, pulled through a Synesso Sabre. Just recently invested in a little roaster. Had some of the Rawandan roasted out of it at a recent cupping event and it was delish.

The other one is Cordial in Newtown. I'd go there most days of the week before Campos (up the road). They serve up The Golden Cobra coffee.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: lars on 14/09/2008, 11:06 AM
Had a look at the SMH's guide, and it's interesting that it only mentions two brands of coffee - Single Origin and Toby's Estate - otherwise they don't mention the coffee brand that the cafe sells.

L :o
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 12/10/2008, 05:40 PM
Hi guys - we're now doing our research into making up a shortlist of best cafes of Sydney for the next issue. We know most of the ones mentioned here [of course], but it's always good to look at fresh talent.

Any new cafes, or ones that you think should be on the list, please add here over the next couple of weeks!

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: omotesando on 14/10/2008, 01:32 AM
I've heard so much about Sydney's coffees and how bad Melbourne's coffee is. So last 2 weeks I visited almost all of better known coffee places in Sydney and must say I came away slightly confused as the milk based coffees in Sydney are very weak and the Espressos are more about chocolate or malty flavours than any fruitiness. Anyway, here's a list of what I visited, some of them I visited more than once. I gave them my personal rating out of 25 as consistent with the Sydney Coffee Guide and some small comments:

Mecca Espresso (City) - Mecca's own Blend.
Very good espresso shot. For me however, their milk based coffees were not really suitable for this coffee, it just didn't come through even if you order it stronger. Not much lingering aftertaste.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: omotesando on 14/10/2008, 01:42 AM
Cafe Ish (Surry Hills) - Numero Uno
This place is really good for both food as well as coffee. The operators have a keen eye to attention and from what I heard, they'll be improving even more pretty soon with plans to become bigger.  Talking about the coffee - its one of those milder but sophisticated coffees that is pleasant to drink, without overpowering everything else. Perhaps for some people's palates it might be too weak but personally it was just right for me. The Baristas make the perfect latte arts and the milk they use is I believe an organic one which is creamy and sweetish, complementing the coffees. Ristretto was probably one of the most lively and fruity ones I've tried in Sydney, not based on Single dimensional boldness but based on sophisticated complexity.  Coffee Guide: 23/25   My Score: 23/25


I have probably tried a few more coffees here and there in Sydney but they were worth reviewing.  In case you were wondering, the best coffees I had which impressed me were Sonoma Bakery and Grind 2. Followed by Cafe Ish. All these 3 had top notch baristas.  I think Campos impressed me in a way too but it was missing something somehow, in fact Sonoma Bakery had a similar style of coffee without the ragged edges.  

Overall I have to say that Melbourne generally has better coffee than Sydney though.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 15/10/2008, 08:25 AM
Hi Omotesando - thanks for your very thoughtful comments here - most welcome!

Agree with most of your comments, although just one point - with respect to Coffee Guide - we take their ratings with a grain of salt for the simple reason that [at least until recently] many of their reviews were paid - and I wouldn't expect them to give a truly objective rating to a cafe that had paid them!

Also, they write nicely, but I have no idea as to the experience or quality of their reviewers from a professional coffee point-of-view.

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: tommy on 15/10/2008, 11:32 PM
Omotesando, what a breath of fresh air! So good to see some new names and locations for me to google and include on my coffee shop radar. Kudos on reviewing the coffees both as a milk based & as a sb/rist. I typically steer clear of 'best coffee' topics, mainly attributable to a fear of excruciating monotony, but your insights proved to be worth the read.

:)

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: omotesando on 16/10/2008, 06:17 PM
Quote
Hi Omotesando - thanks for your very thoughtful comments here - most welcome!

Agree with most of your comments, although just one point - with respect to Coffee Guide - we take their ratings with a grain of salt for the simple reason that [at least until recently] many of their reviews were paid - and I wouldn't expect them to give a truly objective rating to a cafe that had paid them!

Also, they write nicely, but I have no idea as to the experience or quality of their reviewers from a professional coffee point-of-view.

-A

Yes, with regards to that so called Coffee Guide I found the Sydney version to be lightly unprofessional and off the mark to be honest, as you can see with my massive scoring differences with them?  Not sure if its 'paid reviews' related or just because they were not professional enough. I actually find the Melbourne version for their book to be slightly more relatable but still objectively speaking, not consistent enough.  Just reading some older threads since I'm new here and realised some of what you and others mentioned are similar to what I think.  For example you mentioned that Mecca Espresso worked well as a D.Ristretto but not for Double Flatwhite.  I had virtually the same experience, now that's independent judgment.  ;)

I actually believe different people develop their coffee senses from a different base and most pertinently it develops over time. I must admit there was a time when I began with Starbucks and Gloria Jeans and did think their coffee was okay. Then there were times that I enjoyed Coffex or Vittoria or Genovese, etc. Took time to build it up. So when I review coffees, I try to review it both for myself (and stick to the good ones!) but also consider the fact that not everyone else have developed palates or knowledge as the experts or aficianados.

With Sydney's coffee, one trend I noticed is that out of the Top 5 or 10 coffee places, barely a few roast their own coffee (except Single Origin and Campos). In fact the coffees I liked the best were not roasted in-house. Furthermore none of the ones I visited offered single-origin beans to the customers as an experience.  Both these things were very different to the Melbourne coffee scene, where most shops offered both or even if not self-roasted, still offer various beans from various regions for trying.  I also feel the Sydney coffees are overly sweet, caramelly or nutty and fail-safe in approach in general.  If customers up there are happy with it then I must assume they are in a learning phase of knoing coffee as I once have gone down that path.


Additional review that I forgot to add previously:

In the Cafe, Chatswood - Jack and the Bean
This smallish coffee shop has some basic food and the coffee bean they used is roasted by Jack Henna, the 2007 World Latte Art Champion. He wasn't there on my day of visit but apparently he surfaces sometimes on the weekends to do your coffee. I tried his espresso as well as a Cap. No latte art by the way, although not a bad coffee by the girl barista there by any measure. Reddish crema, slightly acidic, pleasant mouthfeel but not overly impressive aftertaste. Cappucino was slightly better, in fact I quite liked it, reminded me of a berry and chocolate character. Its another odd one out in Sydney for me. Someone mentioned to me they didn't enjoy this coffee at all, whereas I thought it pleasant in a way even if unimpressive. Heading in the right direction?

My Rating:  18/25.


Also tried some unknown shop selling a blend of Dane's coffee (a roaster in Sydney I believe). Was actually quite pleasant as well, very thick and very rich, poured like syrup, long aftertaste but not much sophistication, mostly chocolate.



 

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 18/10/2008, 07:36 PM
Quick question on methodology: as you know, we're currently doing our research for Sydney's Best Cafes feature, to be published in the Summer issue of Crema.

for those who don't know, we have in past done Top 5 cafes, ranked from one to five. One of the things I'm wondering about is whether we should rank them [ie 1-5]?

The other option would be just to have Top 5, but no ranking. The reason I'm thinnking about doing it this way, is that we all know that coffee can vary during the day, or during the week, depending on barista, etc. Also that all reviewers have slightly different criteria and opinions. Therefore saying that this cafe is no.1 and that cafe is no.2 [with that rating lasting a full year] is fraught with danger.

On the other hand, the danger of doing this -ie Top 5 but no ranking, is that we're leaving ourselves open to the charge of 'not putting our money where our mouth is'. Would be interested to know your thoughts.

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: psaigh on 18/10/2008, 07:57 PM
IMO, I really think this is a case by case (or state by state) situation.  I think if there is really a clear winner, then they should be rewarded/congratulated for their hard work.  And the same for places 2 through 5.  But in some situations, for the reasons mentioned above, I really beleive its just impossible to say X cafe is better than Y.  And so, I personally don't think there's anything wrong with listing a top 3 or 5 in no particular order, when the situation calls for it.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: YeeZa on 18/10/2008, 10:01 PM
Yeah I agree with you there Ian.

Great write up omotesando!

In regards to the Coffee Guide, I didn't know that there was money changing hands with the reviews. Kinda makes sense though with some of the outrageous reviews some super crap joints got. And some that deserved better with their efforts in providing top notch coffee only got average remarks.

One thing I do like is that they rate both the coffee and the ambience seperately (is adding them fair to come to one scale? I'm not so sure about that). There are some cafe's that are great places to sit and eat, but the coffee blows; then there are some espresso bars whose coffee excels, but you don't really want to hang around and soak up the 2mx2m walls surrounding you, and standing room only.

Just a thought anyway. If the Melbourne "Best Cafe's" is anything to go by, you guys did a great job. I personally had the pleasure of visiting Melbourne last week, for a week while attending the Palate Training course at the Coffee Academy, and visited all the cafe's in that issue. All fabulous, bar one, which I had just and average coffee. It wasn't top 5 though FWIW.

Personally too, I'd rather sit on a milk crate while drinking fabulous coffee rather than have a well designed, schmick lookin joint, with below par coffee. Although having both is a luxury.
My 2.2c.

Dan
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: omotesando on 19/10/2008, 03:39 AM
Dan, I do wonder which Cafe/Coffee place in Melbourne you visited that didn't satisfy your coffee demands?  ;)  

I'm half way in between going pro rating the Top 5 coffees in Melbourne or anywhere for that matter, or just giving a Top 5 list. My concerns are as follows:

1) From my point of view, I find that the Top 5's in both Melb and Sydney had enough differences to warrant having them separated by a ranking or score. Clearly, some were better than the others. Although each day or each visit might produce variances in performances, not to mention sometimes a particular gun barista might have a day off (or training for championships), I'm sure the majority of us coffee freaks visit the venues enough times, during a particular period, to be able to judge them on an overall basis. Afterall it ain't a once off experience... or... judgment. A top notch coffee venue should be consistent enough to take into consideration the discrepancies?

2) I actually find that overall, on this forum, the level of expertise of forumers are so high that most coffees are rated and slightly biasedly based on the Espresso/Ristretto experiences - If I'm not incorrect? Relative to say some other people or books who might review them in a slightly different light.  I think if I were to review coffees as SB/Rist or Milk based coffees, I might rank the venues slightly differently. Besides, a lot of readers/customers do enjoy and order milk coffees too. It depends on the audience.

3) I sincerely feel that only a Top 5 coffees rating might not be enough. In Melbourne for example, there are certainly more than 5 cafes that offer a near-perfect experience at any one time. I could count 7-8 and it is still growing. This is probably slightly contradictory to no.(1) mentioned above.  In reality if a score was given to each venue say out of 100 (Robert Parker Jr style... arr hemm), then its possible a few of them will score equally or some might be better than others. The top scorers will be within the Top 5 finalists but not necessarily mean being ranked no.3 is better than no.4, as long as their scores are equal, whereas no.1 coffee will almost definitely have a higher score?

Gets too confusing somehow.  :-?

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 21/10/2008, 10:06 AM
Quote
just one point - with respect to Coffee Guide - we take their ratings with a grain of salt for the simple reason that [at least until recently] many of their reviews were paid

that's a shame - it really is disappointing.

dR
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: tommy on 21/10/2008, 11:23 AM
Quote
Quote
just one point - with respect to Coffee Guide - we take their ratings with a grain of salt for the simple reason that [at least until recently] many of their reviews were paid

that's a shame - it really is disappointing.

dR

Yes but wouldn't they be paid by the Coffee Guide? ie not the cafe.
If they are paid by the Coffee Guide then thats fine, but if they are paid by the cafes then you have some ostensible bias.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 21/10/2008, 02:48 PM
Tommy - paid by some of the cafes was my understanding.

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: AndreasM on 21/10/2008, 09:21 PM
Who told you that the cafes are paying for reviews in the coffee guide?
I certainly didn't pay for the review of my cafe nor have any of the other cafes I work with or recommended for the Melbourne guide.

Cafes can pay to have an editorial and photo but not all of them are paid, I have no knowledge of cafes paying for favourable reviews though.


The only reason I see that there are such variances in reviews is due to reviewers having different palettes and expectations from a cafe.

That's why I dont agree with reviews, scores etc because who knows what the reviewer is looking for, what they consider a great coffee might be undrinkable for others.
And it's not right to judge any cafe on a single coffee or visit.
There are so many things that can go wrong, equipment issues, roasting problems, training new staff, weather, time of day, age of coffee, grinders overheating etc etc
It's too easy to ruin the reputation or build an undeserving reputation of a cafe based on a review from someone you dont know.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: omotesando on 22/10/2008, 01:23 AM
Quote
Who told you that the cafes are paying for reviews in the coffee guide?
I certainly didn't pay for the review of my cafe nor have any of the other cafes I work with or recommended for the Melbourne guide.

Cafes can pay to have an editorial and photo but not all of them are paid, I have no knowledge of cafes paying for favourable reviews though.


The only reason I see that there are such variances in reviews is due to reviewers having different palettes and expectations from a cafe.

That's why I dont agree with reviews, scores etc because who knows what the reviewer is looking for, what they consider a great coffee might be undrinkable for others.
And it's not right to judge any cafe on a single coffee or visit.
There are so many things that can go wrong, equipment issues, roasting problems, training new staff, weather, time of day, age of coffee, grinders overheating etc etc
It's too easy to ruin the reputation or build an undeserving reputation of a cafe based on a review from someone you dont know.

Sorry is it possible to reveal which cafe or affiliations you have in Melbourne (may be offline)? Just out of fairness and curiosity.  I think 'paid' editorials is a big no-no as a general standard. The audience cannot tell which one was or wasn't paying for a spot, however much fair or accurate the resulting review is. Great to hear yours isn't involved in that sort of way.

Anyway I agree that different reviewers might have different preferences, it goes with almost any sort of review books from movies to music to food to wine. Its all about trusting the reviewing teams and their tolerances or accurate descriptions. I did find that in Melbourne the general consensus is pretty good on what's hot and what's not, in fact I find it mostly agreeable.  The Sydney experience even with multiple visits to some places, left me dumbfounded as it was off the mark compared to the Melbourne scene.  Some that were 'scored' the same or similar were nowhere near one another, so much so that I found it a waste of my time to go out of my way to try them out.





Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 22/10/2008, 04:23 PM
Hi Andreas - Mark Scandura [head of the Coffee Guide] told me that at the launch of the 2008 Guide in Sydney.
 
We were invited because they were hoping we would promote the guide - unfortunately after he admitted some of the reviews were paid for, we didn't feel we could honestly promote it for them.
 
-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 22/10/2008, 09:50 PM
Hi Andreas - which cafe are you from? Maybe you should have done a paid review - you might have got a better score!!

-dR 8-)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: AndreasM on 22/10/2008, 10:39 PM
Quote
Sorry is it possible to reveal which cafe or affiliations you have in Melbourne (may be offline)? Just out of fairness and curiosity.


Barista at The Maling Room

Trainer/delivery guy etc for Atomica Coffee
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 25/10/2008, 01:11 PM
Hi guys - we've been doing our research for a couple of months now - consider this the last call for any Sydney cafes we should be considering for our Sydney's best cafes feature in the upcoming Summer issue.

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 03/11/2008, 08:52 AM
Please note: please can we go back to the original purpose of this topic, which was suggestions as to Best cafes of Sydney.
 
I have moved a couple of posts & started a new topic on The Coffee Guide integrity issues under the Have your say thread. Please continue any discussion on that subject there.
 
thanks
 
Admin
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Luca on 03/11/2008, 01:17 PM
Quote
Quote
Sorry is it possible to reveal which cafe or affiliations you have in Melbourne (may be offline)? Just out of fairness and curiosity.


Barista at The Maling Room

Trainer/delivery guy etc for Atomica Coffee

Similarly, 'omotesando,' could you reveal who you are?  (Not to imply anything; it's just driving me nuts trying to work out if we have met or not ;P)

Cheers,

Luca
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 03/11/2008, 04:56 PM
At the end of the day it all comes down to what's in the cup - I had a coffee somewhere recently that was absolute shit, I didn't bother sending it back as my expectation was that I would just be served more of the same.  You know the story, pimplly teenager takes 20mins to make a coffee, even though it's not that busy, and when it comes, it's undrinkable

That was at the back of the store, on their 2nd espresso machine. However, at the front of the store was a totally different story: 2 on-to-it chicks pumping out what looked and smelled like very good consistent coffee

"Why didn't I get a coffee like that?" I asked as I paid the bill

And they actually handled the situation well and professionally

Having said that I didn't end up having coffee there as it was time to go

But I thought to myself afterwards, what a different story it would've been if somebody who knew what they were doing had made my coffee with passion

For me it was a make or break experience

Will I be back? Maybe, but not in a hurry, especially when I know I;ve got fresh beans at home

Could easily be the same story elsewhere.

I've had good coffee and crap coffee from Melbourne's finest.  But what set's the top enders apart is that even a crap coffee from a truly remarkable coffee establishment is miles better than the undrinkable swill that passes for coffee in many places

Pat
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 03/11/2008, 04:57 PM
Oh and Luca - welcome to the forum, you must surely win the record for the longest recorded time between registering and actually posting!!!

PAt
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: YeeZa on 04/11/2008, 01:02 PM
Quote
Oh and Luca - welcome to the forum, you must surely win the record for the longest recorded time between registering and actually posting!!!

And that you've changed sexes between now and a few weeks ago. ;D
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Koffee Kosmo on 04/11/2008, 03:03 PM
Quote
Quote
Oh and Luca - welcome to the forum, you must surely win the record for the longest recorded time between registering and actually posting!!!

And that you've changed sexes between now and a few weeks ago. ;D

I suppose in this computer age that anything is possible  :o
But Luca I will assume that this gender bender is a typo    :D

KK
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: psaigh on 05/11/2008, 07:48 AM
or just wishiful thinking ;)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 05/11/2008, 06:26 PM
inside every one of us is an other who wishes that they could make better coffee (even if their coffee is AMAZING to start off with~!)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 10/11/2008, 07:26 PM
HI guys -just keen to see if there are any final opinions on the way we do our 'best cafe' reviews... main thing is whether we rank cafes one-to-five, or whether we simply announce our choice of Top 5 for that city?

We already check our shortlist of cafes 4-5 times over three-four months; the argument for simply listing Top 5 is that all cafes have their good days and bad days - depending on barista, time of day, etc.

The argument the other way, is that if we don't rank 1-5, then we're not putting our 'balls on the line'.

Just interested in any final opinions either way.

best

-A

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Luca on 11/11/2008, 04:40 PM
Quote
HI guys -just keen to see if there are any final opinions on the way we do our 'best cafe' reviews... main thing is whether we rank cafes one-to-five, or whether we simply announce our choice of Top 5 for that city?

We already check our shortlist of cafes 4-5 times over three-four months; the argument for simply listing Top 5 is that all cafes have their good days and bad days - depending on barista, time of day, etc.

The argument the other way, is that if we don't rank 1-5, then we're not putting our 'balls on the line'.

Just interested in any final opinions either way.

best

-A


You can have your cake and eat it, too.  Rank the cafes, don't rank them; whatever, but explain in the beginning that on any given day the order might change.  You can always say that the rankings reflect your experience and that, though they might vary on a given day, you are confident that anyone going to these cafes will be experiencing the best that the city has to offer.  Better still, you could give a top 5 in no particular order and just pick out one as the best based on your visits.  You could also mention the cafes that you thought were good, but didn't quite make the cut.

Seems to me that you are focussing on the outcome of your review as the important part.  As a reader of reviews, I'm more interested in the process.  Your comments on the coffee review books seem to indicate that you are, too.  I think that you need to set out in your review who the reviewers were and why we should care what they think, how many times they went to the cafes, how many cafes were reviewed, how many drinks of each type were had at each place and how everything was scored.  Seems that every man and his dog has a top five list of cafes in each city; you need to put a case forward as to why anyone should care what yours is.

Cheers,

Luca
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 11/11/2008, 06:47 PM
I agree that whilst every effort can be made to ensure that cafes are frequented numerous times by multiple reviewers, its such a  subjective process that at the end of the day a clear set of criteria needs to be identified to determine rankings, and it should be noted how these guidelines are to be enforced

Sometimes but not often there is a clear favourite among reviewers based upon the available criteria and if this is the case I don't have a problem ranking a certain cafe as 'numero uno' - and ranking the others as included in the top five category, with, as Luca says, honourable mentions given to those who nearly made the grade

Cheers,

ACG
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 13/11/2008, 09:14 AM
Hi Luca - thanks for your input and welcome to the forum.

Quote
outcome of your review as the important part. As a reader of reviews, I'm more interested in the process.

I personally agree that process should be more important in reviews, but actually would respectfully submit that you are probably unlike most readers, who definitely do want to see the results - in fact for some readers, that is the only thing they want to see [rightly or wrongly]!

With respect to wanting to know more about the reviewers, respect the sentiment, but there is one practical hitch - most of our reviewers are either World Barista Judge or Australian Barista Finalist level, or above. However, many of these would be reluctant to have their name published.

You would appreciate that most of these people now make their living as consultants to the industry. There are a number of scenarios where this could create a problem for them personally, for example if one of them left out a cafe for consideration in a Top 5 for a particular city, when a roaster strongly believed that cafe should be included. i would like to say that the industry is more enlightened than this, but in practice a situation like this could be a problem for that person's livelihood.

This is just one potential example, but I'm sure you can see how this could put them in an extremely difficult position.

What I can assure you of is that we take this process extremely seriously, unlike many newspapers, where the attitude seems to be [to a junior journalist] 'John, do you like coffee - go and try some cafes and do an article on sydney's top five for me'... or similar!


-A

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 13/11/2008, 02:43 PM
PS - in terms of process, just thought I should mention a couple of further things:

1) each reviewer compares like with like in terms of the espresso drinks that review - ie one person will only look at short blacks; another will only look at flat whites, etc
2) in addition to the industry professionals, we have several 'prosumer' people on the panel [depending on city] - to give a consumer perspective, including myself as editor.

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 14/11/2008, 12:08 AM
I see that Luca has had a sex change overnight
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 03/12/2008, 04:29 PM
Went to Velluto Nero in the Sydney [city] the other day - apparently rated top cafe in Sydney by Sydney Morning Herald recently... nothing special - the coffees we had did have a nice rosetta, but very little body or character - basically an OK milky flat white.

Will go back to check on espresso shots next time, otherwise can't quite work out what the fuss was about - has anyone else tried this place?

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 19/12/2008, 03:15 PM
Hi guys - will be posting our Sydney's Best Cafes 2009 here on Monday, to co-incide with the release of the Summer issue in newsagents!

best
-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: psaigh on 19/12/2008, 05:53 PM
I feel the tension mounting!!

..Can't wait to see the results
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 22/12/2008, 01:12 PM
Hi guys - the delay was because we wanted to advise the cafes before we released the list! - congratulations to the following cafes:
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: over_extracted on 23/12/2008, 08:33 AM
That's quite an impressive list there Admin.
Congratulations to all listed. ;)

OE
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: JohnB on 28/05/2009, 10:11 AM
Could I ask a question which might seem odd to some, but is vitally important to me?:

Are any of these great cafes open late?

I can tell you Mecca and Campos aren't (snuck into one by minutes, and was shut out of the other by the same), I can't imagine Toby's (City rd) would be open late in its location.

One of the great things about Melbourne was being able to get top-grade coffee relatively (Buba's) or quite (Degraves) late, and in some districts very late (Brunswick st) - even if not the best in town - most nights of the week.  The only place I've come across which looks like it might work is Citrus (?) Newtown - still haven't tried the coffee, though.

Any other late-night caf addicts out there?
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 29/05/2009, 08:21 AM
Hi John - that's a really good point - it would be very interesting to know which [if any] cafes are open late.

Actually, until a few years ago, the only ones I knew of were in the 'Italian precincts' - eg Leichhardt or Stanley St, City; however, you weren't always guaranteed the best coffee!

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 12/08/2009, 05:41 PM
just had a perfect picolo latte earlier this week from Toby's at Camperdown - Aniken made it for me on the Idrocompresso - thanks mate, that was the best shot I've had in a long time!

-A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: mrblack on 21/11/2009, 12:42 PM
My current faves:

Workshop Espresso beautiful [newish] hole-in-the-wall on George St CBD [own blend from Tobys + regular rotation of SOs].

The Little Marionette in Balmain makes me smile. Great coffee, [own beans] vibe & sense of community.

Single Origin in Surry Hills just keeps crankin' along
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 23/11/2009, 10:17 AM
Hey mrB - thanks for the feedback - hadn't heard of Workshop - always good to get updates on great new spots!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 17/07/2010, 11:39 AM
this thread has been quiet for a while, so here's my two cents ....

Not mentioned yet -

Coffee Alchemy/Flint and Steel Addison Rd Marrickville - Flat out the BEST espresso bar in Sydney & one of the best in the country. Hazel de los Reyes is a passionate and dare I say magical roaster. Her skills as a barista, along with offsider Dan are of the highest quality. Every day you can expect at least 1 espresso blend, 3 Single Estate espressos and 4 or more single estate pour over offerings. This outlet is really all about Hazel's passion for the quality green coffee she is able to source and wanting to serve it in the best way she possibly can. Small space, no food offerings but it doesn't matter. Open Tuesday - Saturday 8am - 3pm. If you're coming from interstate its minutes from the airport so can be the first thing you do in Sydney after collecting your bag!

Beandrinking Ernest Place Crows Nest - While not a new cafe, 2010 has seen some big changes for the team at Beandrinking. Sydney's only Slayer (if that matters to you), Syphon and Pourover bar, cold drip offerings. Always plenty of choices for different beans and blends. They have also invested in a roaster but I'm not sure if its in action yet - please correct me if I'm wrong. Nice choices of sandwiches and hearty soups in winter. I'm having a brain snap on names of the whole team, but the owner, Keith's passion for coffee is shared by the whole team. Good selection of Hario products for sale too!

Coffeetrails Lee St Sydney - Location is on the upper left of Henry Deane Plaza as you walk down to the Devonshire St Pedestrian tunnel. Coffee from Single Origin Roasters, Jonno and his team are young, passionate (noticing a theme?) and heavily involved in the local coffee scene. Always offering tasty brews, like the other places I like to frequent they are more than happy to talk about what's on offer that day and what is coming up. Serving espresso based drinks at the moment, I think the Syphon is there to tease but maybe we all just need to goad Jonno into offering some brewed options as well. Nice selection of pies, sandwiches, salads and delicious stuff from Brasserie Bread.

Le Monde Foveaux St Surry Hills - Coffee from 5 Senses and is one of the few places in Sydney I can think of that are sourcing from them. Anthony and his sister Renee have transformed a catering business into a thriving cafe over several years. Offering espresso and Clover brewed coffee the team at Le Monde are always seeking innovation in their food and coffee offerings. With a seasonal, changing menu they are always offering great specials and also have a breakfast degustation on offer Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings, paired with coffees. My feeling is that their menu will continue to evolve as the chef looks for ways to innovate cafe food service along with Anthony & his lead Barista Brad's constant seeking of better coffee.

All these places have something in common - they are run and owned by passionate, friendly people who love to talk and share what they know about coffee. Its an absolute pleasure to be able to frequent these establishments around Sydney.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 28/09/2010, 09:03 PM
just out of interest - did a google search for sydney's best cafes' just to see what came up - one was a SMH article from a couple of year's ago [yes, the one that rated Velluto nero no. 1  :-\] and it was amusing to see some of the 'blog' comments that followed, including the following:

"I always look for the Segafredo sign when I am after a good coffee. Our local Barista at 'Ogilvies' in Denman (NSW) makes the best."

... just about pissed myself laughing... sorry, but just thought i'd share that with you.

A ;D
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 15/11/2010, 02:48 PM
hi guys - we're getting to that time of year again, where we're looking for your input on Sydney's Best Cafes. Am currently working on a shortlist and will be heading up to Sydney mid-week to catch up on some old contacts... if you've got any suggestions, please post here!!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 15/11/2010, 10:04 PM
hi guys - we're getting to that time of year again, where we're looking for your input on Sydney's Best Cafes. Am currently working on a shortlist and will be heading up to Sydney mid-week to catch up on some old contacts... if you've got any suggestions, please post here!!

if you'd like to make a new contact (who probably knows some of your old ones ...) I'd be keen to meet up for a brew. Especially if you're going to head to my local Coffee Alchemy  ;D

aside from the recent additions I made to this thread a few months back we have some new contenders with Klink in the CBD, Room 10 in Potts Point. Possibly 2kF & Sureshot Espresso on the Northern Beaches; I've heard good things but haven't been to either myself.

I'll let you know if anything else comes to mind.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: scoundrel on 29/11/2010, 12:11 AM
come into The Rocks and give the locals a spin. We're here and all love our craft, but get disregarded as a tourist haunt... there's a french pattiserie, toby's, campos and two local roasters. I for one would br happy to give any 'top' cafe a run for their $...
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: cafelawyer on 09/12/2010, 03:32 PM
True Religion Espresso - Darling St, Balmain

Coffee Alchemy - Addison Rd, Marrickville

thats my 2cents
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 13/12/2010, 07:57 AM
what's happened to Campos in Newtown? - people used to rave about them a few years ago
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 13/12/2010, 09:55 AM
what's happened to Campos in Newtown? - people used to rave about them a few years ago

everyone else got better
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Double Ristretto on 17/12/2010, 10:42 PM
Hey A - just wondered how you're going with best cafes of Sydney - are you aiming to do that for the summer issue?
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 21/12/2010, 12:01 AM
just got back from Sydney; some great cafes... hard to choose!

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 21/12/2010, 04:48 PM
will be putting up a poll tonight for 'peoples' choice voting - see Bestcafes.com.au home page from around 7.00pm
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 22/12/2010, 07:58 AM
so many great places to choose from! my vote has been cast ...
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 07/01/2011, 03:30 PM
... the poll has been up for a couple of weeks now [with a shortlist of Sydney top cafes] -just a final reminder to vote by midnight tonight!

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 09/01/2011, 01:40 PM
Ok this is how the 'popular choice' went:

Pablo & Rusty in Gordon came 1st with 41% of the popular vote, followed closely by Been Drinking in Crows Nest [35%]. Thanks for all your votes and congrats to those two cafes in particular!

cheers
A
PS if you want to see full list with respective votes: http://www.bestcafes.com.au/review/libs/poll/?results=poll_sydney_cafes
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 20/01/2011, 03:27 PM
hi guys - it's been a while coming, but have been through an exhaustive process on this... Sydney's Top Five coming mid-next week, and I think there will be a couple of surprises!

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 28/01/2011, 09:59 AM
hi guys - it's been a while coming, but have been through an exhaustive process on this... Sydney's Top Five coming mid-next week, and I think there will be a couple of surprises!

A

is it ready yet, is it ready yet?  ;D  ;)
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 28/01/2011, 04:32 PM
Hi guys - apologies for the delay, as we like to advise cafes in person first; here it is: Crema's Top Sydney Cafes for 2011 .

Firstly, a couple of notes; this was extremely tight and our panel of judges agonised over this for some time. Secondly, we go to a huge effort to ensure our methodology is as seemless a way of evaluating this [to ensure no personal interest by judges & also to take account of cafe 'off days'] as possible.

Thirdly, it's interesting to note that our No. 1 cafe is not your typically trendy CBD cafe where image is as important as the product... which brings us to the final point to remember - this is not about the food, or the ambience, purely the coffee!!

Sydney's Top Cafes for 2011
1. Coffee Alchemy [Marrickville]
2. Mecca [CBD]
3. The Source [Mosman]
4. White Horse [Sutherland]
5. Le Monde [City]

Thanks again to the judges, who were of the highest calibre: Emily Oak - WBC Board Member and coffee judge, Scottie Callaghan - 2010 Australian Barista Champ and past World Latte Art Champion, Paul Golding - Operations & coffee bean procurement Manager at Toby's Estate Coffee and Aaron Lucas - Coffeegeek [representing the consumer view].

A

PS congrats also to Gnome in Surry Hills, which received the highly respected 'Best up-and-coming' award.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 29/01/2011, 04:10 PM
congratulations to everyone who made the top 5, all these cafes are doing a great job. Sydney coffee is growing rapidly and I suspect its going to be even harder to decide next time around.

I'd also like to say a huge thanks to Crema Magazine for inviting me to take part in the panel this year. I was surprised to be asked, and honoured to be a part of this process. A lot of fun! Thanks again.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 31/01/2011, 05:53 PM
Hi mate - great to have you on board; also found this exercise useful in developing the methodology - am now confident that we have the methodology to say we have the best judging process possible, and dare I say it, the most accurate judging process in the country!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 01/02/2011, 08:59 AM
HI AM -  actually we have been doing Sydney with the Summer issue and Melbourne with the Winter issue and were going to start doing one city per quarter - ie adding Adelaide for the Spring [Oct '10] issue and Brisbane for the upcoming Autumn issue... however we commenced a pretty exhaustive search through Adelaide and I hate to admit it, we couldn't find 5 cafes which produced coffee of what we considered sufficient standard - ie we could have done the best 5 cafes, but only 2-3 produced coffee which we felt were up to the standard required - ie we couldn't do a Top 5 that we would be proud of recommending anyone should visit - hence we canned the feature.

I haven't been up to Brissy for a couple of years, but happy to start the process for Brisbane for the Autumn [April '11] issue, if you think that Brisbane has 5 [or more] cafes of truly excellent standard.

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 03/02/2011, 05:09 PM
PS full story [along with pics] up now on Crema website...
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: over_extracted on 04/02/2011, 07:45 PM
Hi

A big congratulations to all the nominated finalists, all the hard work and professionalism shines through!

OE ;)

Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 05/02/2011, 04:03 PM
Fare 'nuff AM, but what did you think off Matty's suggestions under 'Brisbane's Best Coffee'?
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 07/03/2011, 01:15 PM
Hi guys - usually we get feedback [both good & bad] from our Best cafes feature [of any city] - obviously we recently did Sydney in the Summer issue - any comments?

Also, we always start with a pretty wide-ranging shortlist, but it's always possible that we've missed someone good - keep those suggestions coming as we're already looking at candidates for next year's feature!

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 19/03/2011, 04:10 PM
hi guys - a quick question for members in Sydney; have you been to Hazel's now that we voted it no. 1? She was concerned about the size of their space and said that she was planning to expand a bit...

A
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 23/03/2011, 07:48 PM
hi guys - a quick question for members in Sydney; have you been to Hazel's now that we voted it no. 1? She was concerned about the size of their space and said that she was planning to expand a bit...

A

A, it'll come as no surprise I'm sure that I've been in many times since the article was published and have also spent one day there working on the bar. As I understand it, the plans you mention are still in place but have not yet been executed

I have also noticed a sharp increase in new customers coming the Alchemy & saying things to the effect of "I've heard/read you have the best coffee in Sydney so I had to come here & try it"
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: hazchem on 20/05/2011, 10:25 AM
as a further update to the planned changes at Coffee Alchemy ...

(http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg615/scaled.php?tn=0&server=615&filename=zxmui.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640)

As I understand it roasting & packing operations are being expanded & moved next door, with the current space being renovated and expanded to provide a LOT more seating space. Will post photos once it's all done.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 11/11/2011, 06:04 PM
Hi guys - we will be looking at refining our list of best cafes in Sydney over the next month or two for our annual feature in Crema magazine; as many of you know, judges are [impartial] industry professionals and usually one or two Crema forum senior members and we take this extremely seriously...  process starts with me drawing up a shortlist from recommendations from various sources, including judges [obviously] but one very useful source is the forum; bottom line is, now is the time to give your input, if you know any great sydney cafes that you think should be on the list.

A

Unlike other reviews, our Best Cafes is strictly based on the quality of the coffee!
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Kelsey on 13/11/2011, 08:09 PM
My palate's probably not refined enough to even make this recommendation, but I was seriously impressed with Ruby's Cafe in Charing Cross this morning. An SO as well as a blend on offer, tasting notes for all the SO's they rotate through and options of cold drip, aeropress and siphon, in addition to the usual suspects.

And the coffee was very good, at least to my taste, and made by the owner.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: admin on 23/11/2011, 09:18 AM
can't believe the measures some people take to get included in the Crema Best Cafes of Sydney shortlist - see: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/1-million-left-behind-in-suitcase-in-cafe-20111122-1nt0m.html

A ???
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Brett H on 23/11/2011, 10:40 AM
can't believe the measures some people take to get included in the Crema Best Cafes of Sydney shortlist - see: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/1-million-left-behind-in-suitcase-in-cafe-20111122-1nt0m.html

A ???

And why wouldn't they... only problem is that you've obviously missed the 'drop.'  We will know if they are more successful in future if they are featured on the front page that is gilded in gold.
Title: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: Kelsey on 12/05/2012, 04:30 PM
This week I spends couple of days in Sydney and had done excellent espresso.

First up was Mecca in the CBD and a past 'best cafe'. They made me an excellent double ristretto on their KVDW Spirit that was just about as perfect as could be. Big mouthfeel, strong flavour and lively without being overly bright.

Bertoni's in Balmain was almost as good. Served by an older gentleman, when I asked for a ristretto he replied 'No sugar?' - but it really wasn't a question and he very much approved at my response in the negative.

Di Bartoli were roasting in-store when I visited. Had a good old chat and really liked their passionate but not-at-all-snobby approach. I went with the Barista's suggestion of an SO from Daterra estate at 86 degrees. It was very nice, but a bit green and I commented that it tasted less than a week old and thought it might need a longer rest.

The barista agreed, but apparently their stock frequently is run down by bean sales before it can be fully rested.

Bought a bag of their house blend - bang in target. Exactly my type of roast. Also bought a keep cup for my wife and took the opportunity to enjoy the machine porn.

All in a lot of fun.

On a side note I stayed at the Menzies hotel - avoid their super auto at the breakfast restaurant. I watched as it performed a self cleaning cycle and then dripped soapy suds in the cup of the hapless next recipient.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: UNM on 28/06/2012, 09:27 PM
Off to Sydney for a few days next week.
Will peruse this thread for ideas of cafes to try (we are staying in Surry Hills). If any places listed in the thread have gone downhill, or anywhere new you think I should try, please let me know.

Also happy to meet any local cremarians for a coffee, time permitting
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: WotB on 28/06/2012, 11:58 PM
Reuben Hills, Sample, Joe Black, Single Origin just to name a few.  If you're keen on Vietnamese, you can pop by my work for dinner (Red Lantern on Riley).
Title: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: borat123 on 05/07/2012, 05:08 PM
Had a couple of days in syd, so after organizing some coffee bags and a knock box, I went to check out Mecca.

I tried a ristretto of their Kenya vuga (spelling?).  Quite enjoyed it even though suffering from a winter cold and taste buds a bit out of whack. Smooth, lightly acidic and nice body.

After some quick last minute shopping / delivery, I also picked up a nice tamp stand; thanks Alex..  Also from Qld came some bling Coffeebags, and a knock box from barista basics - just nearby in George street. 

They had a Urania out the front but such a shame it was only used as display....   

Now heading back home later tonight.
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: derrilex on 05/07/2012, 08:54 PM
Glad it arrived in time. Need a photo with your gold tamper  :thumb:
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: balibuyog on 10/02/2015, 09:43 PM
Hi Guys does anyone have any good cafe suggestions in Sydney south west????
I normally have to travel 20-30 mins to inner west somewhere to get good coffee

Regards
Ben :coffee2: :coffee:
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: lukemc on 26/03/2015, 04:34 PM
Hi Guys does anyone have any good cafe suggestions in Sydney south west????
I normally have to travel 20-30 mins to inner west somewhere to get good coffee

Regards
Ben :coffee2: :coffee:

RCoffeeCo Camden or Picton are great. Really depends on where you are in the south west
Title: Re: Sydney's Best Coffee...
Post by: West Village on 27/02/2017, 08:06 PM
The new Barangaroo financial precinct area has some pretty amazing coffee to choose from all close to each other.

Coffee alchemy @ micro
Campos Pop up
Toby's estate x2
A cafe dishing up Market lane
Mecca (our personal work cafe only)
Five senses had a presence in another cafe

They were the ones I could remember but there were more!

I was spoilt for choice everyday and it almost bankrupted me!

The winner for me was coffee alchemy. It took my coffee obsession and pursuit to perfection to another level.

As a side note, is there anywhere in Sydney that use lever machines in any cafes? I'd love to try an espresso from one!