Sensory Lab Coffee. 4/495 Princes Highway Rockdale. In a dark alley near the post office is a little taste of a Melbourne laneway-style cafe. Don’t let the milk crates fool you, there are proper chair and tables inside, and boards to eat off. White tiles, elegant typesetting: there’s a particular interior design that they’re shooting for.
A cold-drip rig sits atop the cabinet of cakes and sandwiches, while the La Marzocco sits in the corner churning out espresso.
Decaf is pre-ground, but still tasty, and they know how to make a good espresso. Heartening to see new offerings in Rockdale springing up: it’s looking like a suburb with a growing cafe culture.
Single Origin Roaster Coffee. 1 Tramway Arcade, Rockdale (near Rockdale train station). I’ve never thought of Rockdale as a place to find good coffee, but the Coffee Guide app that I bought showed it as a place that was open on Sundays, and not the furthest from my house, so when the opportunity arose, I headed over. Tramway arcade runs from Rockdale station to the Princess Highway – it’s only a handful of steps away from the steps to Rockdale station.
This place has a small footprint though they’ve tried to make the most of it – even the tiny outdoor space has a little table and a chair. There’s seating on a handful of small tables, and a host of coffee-making equipment. The weekday menu is compact; a choice of sandwiches, some brasserie bread pastries, and some other cakes that are made on the premises (notably a pistachio friand made with hazelnut meal).
Though there are two grinders next to the coffee machine, one is for the main caffeinated coffee, and the smaller grinder next to it is for the single origin of the day. Nonetheless, the decaf for my decaf latte is ground to order in a third grinder that’s generally used to grind up take-home beans. The coffee is even better than I was hoping for – this place is doing great work, and is well worth a visit.
You can get up-to-date information about them (including their opening hours) from the Swallow coffee Facebook page.
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