John Smith, Waterloo

John Smith Cafe, Waterloo

Rebel Roasters Coffee. 1 John St, Waterloo. As it turns out, there are many reasons to visit John Smith, but it is the giant copper sign that made it first hit my to-visit list. When you walk in, you’ll see lots of little pots of micro herbs, and a community garden on the cul-de-sac outside: there’s a commitment to fresh food, and to encouraging growing your own food (though we see a food delivery coming in while we’re visiting, so they’re not entirely self-sufficient).

Veggie Breakfast - John Smith Cafe, Waterloo

The food is impressive. The vegetarian breakfast above is the ingredients you’d expect, but prepped in unique ways. A couple of pulled-pork choices in there, something for most palettes, and the ubiquitous Brewnut, from Brewtown Newtown.

As strong as the food is, it seems that coffee is the focus. There’s the usual mix of espresso, pour over and cold drip, or you can order the tasting plate ($10 at time of visiting), and popular with the food bloggers. An espresso and ristretto on your choice of single origin coffee, so you can taste the difference between the two extraction methods, a piccolo latte, and a cold drip. It’s a significant caffeine intake, so I just sip them, but they’re passionate about the coffee presentation and making sure you are happy with your choice.

Coffee Tasting Plate - John Smith Cafe, Waterloo

The decaf is also well treated, but don’t expect as much respect from the staff if you order it.

Lastly, step up to the coffee bar for a chat about coffee, and to settle the bill.

where the magic happens - John Smith Cafe, Waterloo