Cafe Giulia, Chippendale

Cafe Giulia, chipendale

Coffee Roaster Coffee. 92 Abercrombie St, Chippendale. Don’t be fooled by the relatively small street frontage – this cafe is one of the larger ones in the area. One of the largest blackboard menus I’ve seen in a cafe, filled with details and enthusiasm for the variety of dishes on offer. It’s a little pricey, but consistently crowded, so they must have found the right price point for their area.

Coffee is quite good: I took the increasingly rare opportunity to sit in and drink the coffee: their decaf is straightforward and easy drinking.

Worth a look for the menu, the art adorning the walls, and to be a part of something of its sheer size.

Website: cafegiulia.com

Satellite espresso, Newtown

Coffee roaster coffee. Corner of brown and Wilson streets, Newtown. Muted red walls and the feel of a converted laundromat, this place is a great spot to while away a Saturday afternoon, listening to an old Beatles LP on the old stereo in the corner.

The menu has some great ideas: the yoghurt with fresh strawberries, vanilla syrup, macadamias and mint leaves on the all-day breakfast weighs in at $9, and is a great combination of flavours.

Coffee – again, a decaf latte, is perfectly drinkable, and well enough made: there’s no latte art, but that’s he down-to-earth nature of the place.

Young Alfred, Circular Quay

Coffee roaster coffee. A café normally shrouded in the hallowed walls of customs house has left the building, and brought a sizeable footprint out to meet the people. A select group of tasty-looking quiches and pastries are on show, sheltered from the sun and any insects who are brave enough to approach this tourist area. There are many outdoor seats available, but most people early on a weekday morning are taking their coffee away.

It’s a while before anyone tries to take my order, but when they do, the price – $2.20 for a decaf latte – is a pleasant surprise.

Sadly, that’s where the pleasant surprises stop. The coffee, though served at a temperature ready for drinking, has a kind of metallic taste where the sweetness and coffee flavour should be. At least it doesn’t decline anymore after the initial taste.

The caffeinated coffee (unreviewed) is probably much better: an automatic grinder, and a barista who is paying careful attention should see to that, but I wouldn’t try the decaf here.

Wah Wah Lounge, Waterloo

Coffee roaster coffee. Shop 2, 1 Danks St Waterloo. Already buzzing before 9am on a Sunday, a crowd of fairly well-to-do inner-city types are in their best casual garb, sipping on lattes and enjoying the morning sun; perhaps they’re grabbing a bite before nearby Hillsong church starts.

Staff are friendly and helpful; water is brought out unprompted, and the food choices – while a little pricey – are sufficiently varied to appeal to most palates.

Coffee is bulk-ground, but there is enough turnover to make it a fair practice. It’s a good temperature, a bit thin, but a great flavour: mellow, slightly nutty. Worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Tisu, balmain east

Coffee roaster coffee. It turns out that balmain east is a good 15 minutes walk from balmain itself, past sandstonje and other heritage buildings. Tisu, then, is a fish out of water with its glass walls and smooth concrete floor.

A range of appealing food options fill a salad bar window, and the café seats about 20 people.

Coffee is fairly standard fare; the milk has been thickened just right, its temperature is spot on for drinking. Flavour-wise, it’s a little smoky, but with full-cream milk it might have been better.