Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 2: I know where to find the best coffee in Sydney

Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. 
Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

I am desperately playing catch up with the #blogeverydayinmay challenge put out to the blogosphere by Jenni at Story of My Life. I hadn't even heard of Jenni and her gorgeous blog until I read Tina Gray's first response to the challenge. I love the idea of a daily prompt to help along with the writing process. The daily part of the challenge is a bit daunting but what the hell, let's give this thing a crack. Day one's post can be found here.

For the sponsorship police: I mention a brand name and cafes in this post but it is in no way sponsored. I just love the shit out these products/places. OK? Good.

I love coffee and I know where to find the best in Sydney!

Coffee - I love it

My love for coffee started a long time ago when I was just a little girl. I didn't like the taste of it back then but I loved the smell. At the end of a long day – school and after care for my sister and me, work for mum and dad – dinner was always served at 7pm in front of the ABC news. My mum ran her own catering business from home and we were spoilt with the most delicious food. We'd all watch the news and then discuss how our day had been. Once the dishes had been cleared and the kitchen cleaned my mum would retreat to the lounge room to watch TV while dad put on the kettle to make coffee.

Nestling into my mum on the couch, her left arm around me while her right hand carefully lifted a mug to her mouth to take a sip of the rich exotic liquid, was one of my favourite places to be. My head would rise and fall against her chest as smell of coffee on her breath comforted me with her every exhale. Smell is such a potent reminder of emotion. I still associate love, warmth and feeling safe within my mother’s arms with the smell of a hot mug of black Campos Superior Blend.

For as long as I can remember our family has been drinking Campos Coffee. Way before it became the cult coffee brand it is today. Way back when a guy called Andy sold it in the '80s down near Newtown Bridge, opposite the School of Performing Arts. I remember sitting in our old 1976 yellow Mazda 808 while mum ran in to pick up kilos of the stuff for her catering jobs as well as for our own personal supply.

Fast forward to the present and I now drink at least three cups of plungered black coffee at home every day. It is a huge part of my daily routine, especially since quitting alcohol five years ago. I also love barista made cappuccinos and piccolo lattes but I don't like adding milk to my coffee at home. I leave that to the professionals!

These are my favourite Sydney coffee joints that, my humble opinion, make the best coffees around:

Don Campos
21 Fountain Street Alexandria

I bought a lot of large skim cappuccinos from here last year when my sister was on maternity leave and we were hanging out a lot. Don Campos is a really popular haunt for local residents as well as the working population around the Waterloo/Alexandria area. They also serve ready made baguettes and delicious pastries. I highly recommend the coffee scroll. To die for. The Campos house pastry chef is moving into the space next door so I'm sure there'll be even more yummy treats coming their way soon!

Fine Food Store
Kendal Lane The Rocks

Fine Food Store serve the best coffee in my 'hood, if not Sydney. Just a five fifteen minute (with kids) walk from BB Headquarters is this awesome cafe. Situated in Kendal Lane in The Rocks, FFS can be a little hard to find for the uninitiated but I urge you to look around near the Rocks Visitor Centre until you find it.

I'd been living in this area for a loooong time before my sister and I finally went in for some caffeinated stimulation after a long day out with the kids. I'll never forget the moment as Yo and I took our first sips of the perfectly crafted piccolos made with Campos beans. We looked at each other, smiled and immediately ordered a second round.

The service here is perfection as the staff are really friendly. When Yo was still on maternity leave we came in a lot and Billy the barista always remembered our order. The food at FFS is absolutely scrumptious too and Noo swears their chocolate shake is the best in Sydney.

Bar Fino (no website - bizarre!)
MLC Centre Castlereagh Street Sydney

Bar Fino is located right near my GP in heart of the CBD of Sydney. I often stop by for a large skim cap on the way home from my check-ups. Campos is served, obviously, and the baristas here do it with style and speed. If you come by at peak times (think before work, morning coffee time, lunch and afternoon coffee break) you will no doubt have to queue with the snappily dressed office workers as they wait to buy their next caffeine hit. I've noticed that the staff often address customers by name giving the indication that Bar Fino stimulates a lot of regulars.

I've not had a main meal at Bar Fino except for their Turkish raisin toast which is delicious, but anyone can slap some butter on bread. The cafe itself is small but they have a great looking selection of premade sangers and a lovely selection of cakes and other treats.

I have never had a bad coffee from this joint so, along with the other two, I highly recommend sampling a coffee or two, if you should ever find yourself in the area.

Are you a coffee drinker? Or is tea more your thing?

Do you have a favourite cafe to get your caffeine from?


EDIT: I know that the taste for coffee is a personal thing. We are so lucky here in Sydney to have some really great coffee places in the north, the south, the east and the west. These are my favourite places to get coffee. At the moment. V.

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mumabulous said...

The Sweet Spot in Randwick! Smoothest cappuccino in Sydney's east. Unfortunately the cakes are so fine that I gain 5 kilos by merely looking at them and absorbing calories visually. said...

Ooooh, I'll have to try it when I'm over that way! Sounds delicious.

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