Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BEAN There Done That: Best Coffees in Sydney CBD

Hi and welcome to another "BEAN there done that" post. This series was born from my love for all things PUNny and my passion for coffee. It's BEAN too long since the first one so I thought I should follow up my Melbourne coffee hits with my Sydney specialty coffee movement round up.

In this series, we will explore all my go to places for caffeine hit in Sydney CBD. All this places can be classified as part of the Third Wave of Coffee or specialty coffee movement due to their artisinal approach towards coffee. They are all conscious about their brewing methods, where the coffee beans are sourced from and roasted.

Kingswood Coffee

Dante takes latte art seriously

That Kingswood barista swag

Mikey Jordan

This new kid on the block has got the "Right Stuff". Mikey (owner) and Dante (head barista and general manager) are the two gentlemen behind this newly opened coffee joint in World Square. Kingswood Coffee's space has a Victorian vintage fit out. They have a graceful approach to coffee making and they are some of the nicest coffee people I've met!

You can get both espresso based drinks and pour over filter coffee here. Sensory Lab's Steadfast blend for their espresso and guest beans from other roasters like Proud Mary for their filter.
Flat white
They know how to utilise the steadfast blend's flavour profile well. The notes of dark chocolate came through my flat white's ($3.50) milk well. The milk had a nice temperature too.
Guatemala Santa Felisa coffee roasted by Proud Mary
I also had two Proud Mary single origin filter coffees ($5.00 each). The Guatemala Santa Felisa had notes of stone fruits and orange honey. Then there's the single origin from Panama Finca Santa Teresa (from Toby Smith’s farm) that was sweet with lovely notes of Jasmine.
Glazed brewnut
Glazed brewnut drizzled with generous amounts of melted Belgian chocolate
Pastries from Penny Four's and brewnuts (croissant donut hybrid) from Brewtown Newtown are also available (*fist pumps*). I got to try an amazing customised glazed brewnut drizzled with generous amounts of melted Belgian chocolate. It was pure bliss!
Ham and cheese toastie
I absolutely love their ham and cheese toastie. There's just so much comfort in a ham, gruyere cheese and relish encased well buttered toasted sourdough.

World Square
Shop 10, 680 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Opening hours:
Monday-Friday : 6am to 6pm
(later on Thursday, as per their website)
Saturday & Sunday : 8am-4pm
Kingswood Coffee on Urbanspoon
Phone: 0447777567

Brooklands Coffee Co

The dudes at Brooklands are hardcore passionate about their coffee and providing the CBD with healthy food options. They're a coffee kiosk located in the heart of the city. Cam and Joe delivers one of the best coffees in the CBD at bargain prices. You can get two regular coffees for $5 or you can redeem your second coffee at a later time (a leather tag is provided as a proof of the pre-paid second coffee).

For their espresso, they use Reuben Hills's house blend. They also do filter coffee with beans sourced from Marvell St and Reuben Hills. They also have gluten-free muffins, health bars, granola and salads (not available at the moment but will be back soon). They also use Jersey milk for their milk espresso drinks.
Piccolo latte
Flat white

Whether it's a piccolo latte or a flat white ($3 for a regular), Brooklands are amazing at making the Reuben Hills house blend shine. The notes of stone fruits come through the milk nicely with floral hints.
Ethiopia Shakiso filter coffee
This is the only joint where you can get quality filter coffee for $2! They also offer a lot of Ethiopian single origin coffee which I love because it is normally sweet with floral notes.

Corner Pitt Street and Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Monday - Friday: 6am to 4pm
Brooklands Coffee Co. on Urbanspoon

Mecca Espresso King St

Lately, I've been buying my coffee beans a lot from Mecca. I absolutely love their Dark Horse blend! Mecca Espresso is a roaster that owns a number of cafes. Their cafe on King Street is conveniently located within the Grace Hotel premises.

They've been running cafes and roasting coffee beans for many years. Their approach to coffee making is pretty much spot on and making sure that flavour profiles in their beans are well defined. You can also purchase whole beans of Mecca's blend, single origin for espresso/filter and some coffee brewing equipment.
Flat white
The fruity notes of their dark horse blend are pretty vibrant whether it's a piccolo latte or a flat white ($3.80). The current blend also has notes of jasmine. The milk for their takeaway coffees sometimes can be too hot though. But the textured milk temperature for their in-house coffee is always perfect.
Bacon, pickles, manchego, rocket, garlic mayo roll ($10.50)
Sandwiches, seasonal salads, sweet treats and pastries are also available.

67 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Opening hours:
Monday - Friday: 6:30am to 4:30pm
Mecca Espresso on Urbanspoon

Ground Control Cafe

If you work around the Circular Quay area or planning a trip towards the Opera House and are looking for an awesome caffeine fix, head down to Ground Control Cafe!

This humble loft style inspired cafe sources their coffee beans from Single Origin Roasters. I like the fact that they are conveniently located within the premises of Circular Quay train station.
Piccolo latte
For their milk espresso drinks ($3.50 regular) like flat whites and piccolo lattes, they use the Reservoir blend. They texture their milk well and milk temperature is good. The radiant acidity of the blend is quickly followed by amazing fruity notes.
Ham, tomato and cheese toastie
Sandwiches, toasties and pastries are also available. I had a ham, cheese and tomato toastie in Brasserie Bread's sourdough. I don't know if it was just me but it tasted like pizza and it was delicious!

Shop W4, Alfred St,
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9247 4330
Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday 6.30am - 5:00pm
Ground Control Cafe on Urbanspoon

Gumption by Coffee Alchemy

Last but not least is a shop by Sydney's ultimate artisan coffee roaster, Coffee Alchemy. They are highly known and respected by many Australian coffee aficionados. They often come to mind when asked about one of the best coffees in Sydney. Last December 2013, Coffee Alchemy branched out and opened their Gumption coffee shop in the middle of The Strand Arcade.

The shop has a vintage fit out that both reflects their Flint and Steel Marrickville shop and The Strand Arcade's Victorian-style architecture. Hazel and her team are consistent, precised and passionate with their approach to coffee. Note: it's a straight up "coffee only" shop.
Flat white
Caffe latte
Their Goodness Galileo blend is my favourite coffee blend of all time! They use double ristretto for their milk espresso drinks like flat white and caffe latte ($3.50 takeaway and $4 to have there). The Galileo's flavours as a double ristretto punches through the textured milk so well. This blend is sweet with rich notes of chocolate.
Pour over filter

Filtered coffee - Ethiopia Kochere Peaberry Natural

They feature many single origin/estate beans for their filter ($5) but the most common one (and my favourite) is their Ethiopia Kochere Peaberry Natural. It has floral and fruity notes with light acidity.

Just like the Marrickville shop, you can also purchase your favourite Coffee Alchemy whole bean blends like Holy Hildegard, Goodness Galileo and single origin beans for filter here at Gumption.

The Strand Arcade
Shop 11/412-414 George St,
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9232 4199
Monday to Saturday: 8:00am - 5:30pm
Ground Control Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I love your Bean there done that posts given that I am a coffee addict. I can certainly vouch for the quality at Kingswood, Mecca and my CBD favourite Gumption. Haven't been to Ground Control or Brooklands, I will keep them in mind :)

  2. Love your photos Raf! The food and coffees look awesome!

  3. Nice coffee round up! I see you dig the cheese toasties - melted cheese for the win!!!

  4. went to Kingswood after reading your post. so good to see a cafe near the haymarket area. mecca is another fave of mine too! :D

  5. great round up, Raff! Kingswood is my new fave - the brewnuts are too tempting!

    I love Gumption - it's been crazy busy the last few times I've visited on a weekend. Quite like Ground Control at CQ too, the toastie looks delicious!

  6. Love this post Raff - I'm not personally a coffee nut, but I know many who are, and I've shared with them.

    Thanks for the informative post!

  7. Duuuude that's some extensive research! Well done. I finally went to Reformatory Lab the other day to grab a brewnut - it's still crazy rich for me, but they do know their coffee. Thanks for the recommendation dude!

  8. wow i wish i knew as much as coffee as you do, for now im just going to drool over the cronuts!

  9. I'm not that into coffee but damn that brewnut with melted chocolate looks amazing!

  10. Great list!! Thanks for putting it up! Some places i have been to but many I have not. Future places to check out, not always easy to get a great coffee in the CBD.

  11. WOW you just added so many more places to my to eat list!!

  12. This is an awesome list, one to definitely keep handy :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Thanks for compiling this list, will keep it handy!


Let me know what ya think, aight! Would love to hear from ya.