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

By , 25/04/2020 19:37

The perfect coffee in Newcastle (Trust us! We’re baristas) TweetFacebookRead more on the perfect cup:AdamstownBroadmeadowCardiffGeorgetownHamiltonKotaraMayfieldDarby StreetNew LambtonWickhamNewcastle 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?
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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”.

NEWCASTLEMark Howell, co-owner (with wife Sara), Retro Kombi Co. “They serveGlee coffee from their ’67 kombi around Newcastle. “Working outside in the elements from the back of a kombi makes my choice for ‘the perfect cup’ quite weather dependent. On the cooler mornings I warm it up a bit with a soy piccolo. In the warmer weather I’m re-visiting iced long blacks over sparkling mineral water. The effect that the bubbles have on the crema give it a Guinness-like texture.”

Michelle Kot, Newcastle Coffee Snobs (a group of coffee lovers).“My perfect cup of coffee needs to embrace all the senses. The temperature has to be just right to the point that it’s almost too hot to drink or hold but you can still sip it without injury. The taste has got to be there with distinct notes exactly as described by your knowledgeable barista or even on a blackboard nearby. There needs to be no bitter aftertaste, no squealing pig sounds as your milk is frothed. If you feel like the coffee makes your heart sing from the first sip, it’s the one!”

Paul James, owner, Blue Door, Newcastle.“Drinking a cup on Merewether beach is the winner. Sex on the beach, not quite, but yet as good. Nothing beats coffee with a view.”

Jessica Koncz, founder and director, Crave New Media.“A perfect coffee means many things. From the aroma to the way coffee eases us into our mornings, it would be an understatement to say we have a love affair with coffee. We’re lucky our clients serve nothing but the best brews – we mutually bond over our coffee snobbishness.”

Tristan Harries, owner/operator, Welsh Blacks, Cooks Hill.“I love a sweet, vibrant, clean tasting filter coffee. I have been enjoying a filter at home on Sunday morning whilst sitting out on my balcony catching some morning sun, and reading the paper. It is becoming a little ritual of mine.”

NEWCASTLE CITYAngelo Luczak, head barista, Moor, Newcastle East.“The most profound memory about coffee I have is one that projected me on my coffee journey and, in fact, helped my to realise that I wanted to make coffee my career. This particular coffee is special in the way that it doesn’t taste like coffee at all, this is exactly why it blew my mind . As I sipped flavours of wild jasmine, chocolate and distinctive blueberry notes my eyes and mind opened to what coffee was, and that I wanted to learn more. The coffee I am referring to is an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

Chris Reynolds, head barista and manager, One Penny Black, Newcastle.“My favourite espresso would have to be one I tried on a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. My first pick was the Society Café, but as I got chatting to the barista, he highly recommended I visit Colonna & Smalls and I’m very glad I went there. I started out with my standard flat white, which was great, but also picked 1 of the 3 choices of espressos, it was from Costa Rica. The single origin itself was La Lia, it was smooth, sweet, had the perfect acidity and sweetness and had tasting notes of white grape, praline and honeycomb. It was the most memorable espresso that I have ever had.

Bec Bowie, owner, Estabar, Newcastle East.“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. My perfect cup is smooth and more towards the chocolatey spectrum”.

NEWCASTLE WESTRenee Morris, barista, Cultured Coffee and Gifts, Newcastle West.”My perfect coffee may look the same as all the others, but when I taste it, it is as unique as the moment I am drinking it in, the conversation I am having or what I am thinking. It is part of my story for that day –it’s place of growth, the roasting and whole creation in just a tiny cup”.

Tony Gluck, owner, Bank Corner Espresso, Newcastle West.” There’s lots of good coffee in Newcastle but what is harder to find is a space that is both interesting and original, where coffee is served with a genuine smile and where they play music that enhances the atmosphere.”

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