Gusto Cafe, Penshurst

Toby’s estate coffee. 23 The Strand, Penshurst (ph 9570 1777). New kid on the block, this place raises the bar of coffee at Penshurst. Clean, contrasting red and black on a wooden floor, this place has a modern feel.

Staff are chatty, there are two cooks working away in the kitchen; all that the place needs is some more time for word of mouth to spread.

The decaf is pre-ground, but when paired with Crema milk, comes together as very drinkable.

TJ’s coffee house, penshurst

Piazza d’oro coffee. A little hole in the wall, with a broad coffee menu and a number of food choices. A few small tables and chairs outside, where you can get some fresh air, and watch for your train.

Decaf is disappointing: a few technical errors, and no crema to speak of. Bearable, but not a great cup.

Update: according to the commenters, the caffeinated coffee is really good.

Short Black espresso bar, Penshurst

Schibello coffee. In a suburb that has a dearth of cafes, short black has managed to pick up a few business awards. Simple, muted colours, a glossy wooden floor, wooden chairs indoors for around 30, and plastic and metal outdoor seating for another 16. There’s a choice of cakes in a glass display, and a number of all-day breakfast options if you miss the 11:30am breakfast cutoff.

Coffee is ground in large batches, not to order, and presents well, though there’s no latte art. It’s a good, drinkable temperature, and though no particular flavours demand to be noticed, it’s a perfectly drinkable cup.