Newcastle baristas tell: what makes the best cup of coffee in Newcastle suburbs?

By , 25/04/2020 19:37

The perfect coffee in Newcastle suburbs (trust us! We’re baristas) Every cup’s a winner: Clockwise from left, Petra McLoughlin of Pekarna, Adamstown, Alina Mackee of The Cunning Culinarian, Maitland, and Garth Buchanan of Mr Sister, Westfield Kotara. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll, Max Mason-Hubers, Marina Neil
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TweetFacebookRead more on the perfect cup:CardiffDarby StreetNew LambtonNewcastle BeachesPort StephensHunter ValleyLake MacquarieThe RoastersThe question was intentionally open-ended – Was it the best cup you ever had? The best cup you make every day? The best coffee memory of your life?

We cast a wide net, as the coffee community is a hugely diverse group of people on both sides of the counter.

The answers reflection the complexity, the knowledge and in some cases, pure emotion, of Newcastle’s coffee culture.

Among our favourites was the response of Bec Bowie, the owner of Estabar: “When I’m having a cup of coffee it’s a license to stop. It’s a moment of stillness while the rest of the world carries on”.

ADAMSTOWNPetra McLoughlin, owner, Pekarna, Adamstown.“When I do have time to sit down and have a coffee, I make sure there are no interruptions, I make a fresh flat white and sip it while it’s hot. People over-explain what makes a great coffee, for me it’s pretty simple: freshly ground beans, the right temperature, strong and smooth on the palate.”

BROADMEADOWJenine Cahill, head trainer, Crema Coffee Garage, Broadmeadow. “Mine is the short black I make first thing in the morning. I have my first coffee tucked back up in bed – the best coffee is always the first one of the day and enjoying it snuggled under the doona.”

GEORGETOWNNatalia Carter, owner, United Speed Cafe, Georgetown.“My perfect cup of coffee is a silky, soy cappuccino at the correct temperature and shared with people I love. Coffee brings people together and it’s the perfect excuse to catch up with friends and family more often.”

HAMILTONHunter Samuel-John Dillon, barista, Suspension Espresso, Hamilton. “I like my coffee to be extracted perfectly according to the blend I am using to bring out its ideal flavour profile. I drink my coffee with milk and usually with ice depending on the weather. There’s nothing like an iced cold latte on a hot morning, or a beautifully made latte on a cold one.”

Sam Tsolakis, owner, The Village, Newcastle. KOTARAGarth Buchanan, co-owner, Mr. Sister Coffee, Westfield Kotara. “My perfect cup of coffee is anything but perfect. More often than not, perfection is boring to me. Coffee has layers, complex layers. Sometimes a memorable coffee is simply your morning flat white on an average day of work. Other times, it’s a high scoring cup of excellent espresso, that sets you back a small fortune but tastes somewhat superb, prepared by the best barista, with quality treated water, and an exceptional roast. Let us not expect perfection, rather enjoy each moment either shared by ourselves or with friends, family.”

MAYFIELDDaniel Fitzgibbons, owner, Portafilter, Mayfield.“An extra short ristretto made with dark roasted beans. I’m not a fan of the light roasted stuff. I say “no thank you sir” to floral notes and acid. Punchy chocolate and toffee characters are what my palate prefers, and the darker and more viscous the better. My tastes have evolved: 22 years ago I drank a cappuccino with one sugar; now I’m on the strong stuff. I’m at the cafe six days a week and usually slurp down five to eight short ristrettos each day. Unquestionably the best one of the day is always the first.”

Hamish Brown is the co-owner of Locomotive in Mayfield and Newcastle.“My ideal coffee is the second or third (or fourth) one. It is brewed skilfully and respectfully, and enjoyed in good company.”

WICKHAMTara Hagan, barista, Darkhorse Espresso, Wickham.“My ultimate cup of coffee is a double shot iced latte that I enjoy from a glass jar that was originally filled with honey from a friend’s backyard, on my way to work in the car as the sun rises”.

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