Anyone who knows me understands how seriously I take my coffee. A perfectly executed, smooth, creamy flat white is often the highlight of my day, however there is so much more to coffee than the actual substance. It is the friendly banter from my bearded and tattooed barista, the smell of ground beans that seem to surround the café and the simple ‘Have a good day’ as I’m handed my paper cup of happiness. This top 10 list features the crème de la crème of the coffee scene.
Artificer is the union of two great coffee maestros. With a caffeine-only menu (yep, that’s right, no food), this café separates the stylish brunch set from those who take their coffee habit seriously. The minimalist décor ensures you focus on what’s important – the work of the baristas. Grab a sausage roll from Bourke Street Bakery up the road and then hit up Artificer for your cup of choice.
547 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Single Origin Roasters
Located in Surry Hills’ Reservoir Street, this part café, coffee lab and part takeaway counter will fuel caffeine cravings and hunger pangs alike. Now with outposts in the CBD and Botany, Single Origin continues to lead the industry not only with its smooth blend but through the development of innovations such as the “The Juggler” – a milk-on-tap system which allows the company to buy milk in 10-litre bags. The staff will become your mates, the coffee is consistently exceptional and it’s a café with a conscience.
Beans: Single Origin, Reservoir blend
60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Mecca coffee has a distinct, rich and creamy flavour that sets itself apart from other boutique blends in Sydney. While there are various outposts, the Alexandria cafe is my favourite (perfect for a pre-flight caffeine fix). Mecca prides itself on building relationships with farmers in order to deliver the best quality possible but also to understand and support these local communities. This philosophy is at the backbone of the café –staff are encouraged to follow their coffee dreams, whether it’s entering coffee competitions or simply furthering their education. When something is produced with passion and love, it always tastes better.
26 Bourke Road, Alexandria
This unpretentious Marrickville café has been touted as serving the best coffee in town, and for good reason too. All the coffee is roasted in-house and is roasted on demand, so take your pick of espresso, pour over, cold drip or “the sparkler”, which is pulled from a beer tap. Visitors can take home a house blend, though we reckon nothing beats having your beans handled by an expert.
Beans: Café Alchemy house blend
24 Addison Rd, Marrickville
This bustling hole in the wall café is a Potts Point institution, with a loyal following including the likes of local chefs Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong. It takes the art of the local friendly coffee shop back to basics with genuinely good service, great coffee and tasty light snacks perfect for a quick pit stop at any time of the day.
10 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point
Campos are renowned as the pioneers of the coffee world. Starting from a small shop in the backstreets of Newtown in 2002, Campos has established itself as one of Australia’s most trusted coffee brands. While the blend can be found at many cafes across Australia, the flagship store is still the best with a cupping room upstairs for tasting sessions.
193 Missenden Rd, Newtown
Neighbourhood by Sean McManus
Sean McManus may be Sydney’s best barista, well, atleast I think so. I’ve followed him from Single Origin (where he was head barista) to Artificer and now, he has finally sets up his own digs at Neighbourhood. McManus continues to roast his beans with the Artificer boys but rotates his blends daily, changing up between milk-based and filter/espresso coffees. For something different, try the house-made oat milk.
16b Buckingham St, Surry Hills