Humber, Wollongong

White Horse Coffee. 226 Crown St, Wollongong. If you haven’t been to the Crown St Mall and surrounds recently, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Lots of construction work has finished, there’s more parking, and there are new premises open, like this one: Humber, just beyond the Crown St Mall on the railway station end.

Humber, Wollongong

 It’s a pleasant fit-out with lots of rivets and wood in the finish. We bring the kids along, and after a while perched on the too-high-for-toddlers benches, a table is cleared and we relocate them to some cushions on a windowsill, where they’re much more comfortable.

Humber, Wollongong

There are staff on the floor to make sure you’re seated in the cafe, and bring you menus, but it’s order and pay at the counter, and table numbers are handed out. Staff are patient and friendly with the crowded nature of the place: the tables-for-two err on the side of too small for one of the generous mains each and a side to share (though if you can finish that much food, you’re doing well).

Humber, Wollongong

The coffee setup is impressive: there’s a moccamaster behind the espresso machine, and a cold-drip rig (not running on the day I visit). Plenty of potential here as the staff find their feet over the next  weeks and months.

where the magic happens, Humber, Wollongong

Perhaps tellingly for how many espressos I’ve been having lately, I could tell how this one was going to taste. You can tell that the White Horse coffee beans has made the journey in one piece, but not all espressos are created equal: this one is a little too long, and the crema dissipates a little too fast.

espresso: Humber, Wollongong

 Lots of potential here: looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Official website: humber.bar

Sifter Espresso, Wollongong

Sifters Espresso, Wollongong

Various different coffees. 82 Market St, Wollongong. Follow them on instagram and you could be forgiven for thinking there’s an indoor cafe at play here, but in fact, this is a combination of shipping containers and portable furniture. Sadly there was too much full sun in play for us to linger too long, but the stay we had (sitting on astro-turfed cubes) was fun. 

Sifters Espresso, Wollongong

There are plenty of different single origins to try (and some simple advice on how to have your coffee that manages not to be condescending), but it was the pour over that won the day for me.

A shipping container with a difference - Sifters Espresso, Wollongong

Great to see such passion for coffee in such a humble environment as a modified shipping container. Part of the emerging coffee scene in Wollongong, and well worth a visit. They even have brewnuts somehow (a daily round-trip to Newtown, I’m reliably informed)!