WanderlustSavorSydney: Home for the Coffee Worshippers

Sydney: Home for the Coffee Worshippers

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Take your own coffee journey through the capital of New South Wales, sit back, and enjoy the best cafés that Sydney can offer.

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Australian Coffee Culture

When I first landed in the country stated as one of the best countries to live in the world, I was stunned by a little travel book that said something like, “Guide to The Best Cafés in Sydney”…. they even have the same version for Melbourne’s best cafés!

Soon I know from a friend that has been living in Sydney for almost half of her life, cities in Australia have their own pride when it comes to coffee culture. Ninety five percent of all the 6,500 cafés and coffee shops in Australia are independently owned and there are no companies with a dominant market share in this industry, according to IBISWorld’s Cafés and Coffee Shops market research report, “that’s why Starbucks failed to gain our acceptance,” said her.

Started in the middle of 20th century, Australians have developed an obsession for their coffee to have world-class coffee standard. What they have is not just a coffee culture, but more like a coffee cult! Thanks to the Italian and Greek immigrants who made Australia as their new found home back then, they also happen to have brought along their quality standards to the Australian coffee culture, and continues to take root in that country.

Undoubtedly, coffee roasters and Italian-style cafés soon followed and are still growing. It is also very obvious in the Australian’s, especially the sydneysiders’, way of life. You can see them line up at the nearest cafés around the neighborhood at any time of the day. 

“Hello! How ya doin’?” a tattooed coffee barista with a bushy thick beard cheerfully greeted me as I was drowning in my daydream. He waited patiently as I tried to decide on what to order.

“Hot cappuccino?” I could hear a note of uncertainty in my own voice as I answered hesitantly. He nodded and asked me for AUD$ 3.50, the common price for one cup of takeaway coffee in Sydney. Soon I realized that it was a very stupid order, bear in mind that all cafés in Sydney never serve ice coffee like we do in Asian coffee culture.

No longer than 5 minutes which I spent regretting my choice, I had the cappuccino –the very first coffee I had in Sydney, on my right hand. Served hot, of course. It was superb and made me instantly forget my previous dumb mistake, as I sipped it slowly through the tiny hole on my paper cup. At that moment I finally knew what it feels like to be a Sydneysider, who is said by many to be the ‘world’s biggest coffee snob’.

Flat White and Whatnot

Once I learned the coffee scene and took a stroll through the popular neighborhood in Sydney, new trends in coffee preparation and servings are pretty much everywhere. The collaboration between coffee-farmers, agile suppliers, award-winning roasters, handy baristas, and appreciative customers has turned Sydney’s coffee industry we see today—and Australia’s in general— as one of the most dynamic in the world.

Not only that they invented the ‘Flat White’ term –an espresso coffee made like Cappuccino, but without the foam and chocolate or cinnamon sprinkle—Australia grows and exports their own quality Arabica coffee bean, naturally produced with a complexity in texture and some chocolate/nutty flavor. And when it comes to coffee roasters, Sydneysiders have their own favorite. Here are some of them for you to really experience their true love for coffee, and don’t forget to take some beans home!

Single Origin Roasters

As one of the best coffee roaster and cafés in Sydney that have gained them the ‘legendary’ status by locals, Single Origin Roasters combines a beautiful coffee-art with a layered taste of coffee. The owners, Dion and Emma Cohen, founded the roasters in 2003 and have expanded the business with a warehouse in Alexandria and a café in Surry Hills. Either you enjoy their coffee to go, accompanied with a delicate Nutella and banana sandwich, or comfortably take a sip on the wooden seat and enjoy their bacon and egg roll while watching people pass by on the street side: your choice. 

60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Sydney Australia (Central Station)
Tel: +61 2 9211 0665
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 4:00pm Mon-Fri (Sat-Sun closed)

Toby’s Estate

This self-proclaimed specialty coffee roaster is not bluffing when they stated that they don’t just like coffee, but love and live for it. Founded by Toby Smith, who learned to grow coffee plantations of Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia, and who over the years have mastered the art of specialty coffee roasting. A magnet for students (located across the University of Sydney) and also cool young Sydneysiders, this café will give you one of the best coffees around, healthy breakfast menu like the lemon-glazed blueberry muffin or their chewy oatmeal cookies, and buzzing atmosphere.

32-36 City Road Chippendale, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 2 9221 1459
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 4:00pm Mon-Fri, 8:00am – 4:00pm Sat-Sun


Located in the heart of the city, I should’ve known that that this café would be full of people, mostly workers who came as quickly as they went to grab their cup of coffee. The founders are definitely always in the quest for perfection. Mecca’s coffee beans came from various parts of the world curated from the founders’ personal travels. Their passion on pursuing the perfect balance between the coffee texture and flavor has hooked Sydneysiders and resulted in a long queue for the coffee, which almost made me miss my bus to Canberra!

67 King Street, Sydney, NSW

Tel: +61 2 9299 8828
Opening Hours: 6:00am – 4:30pm Mon-Fri


From the creators of Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville, Gumption caught my attention when I was stepped into the Victorian-style shopping arcade. Judging by the queue (23 people, before I lost count), I had suspectedd Gumption coffee was something. This winner of Best Coffee Award in the SMH Good Café Guide 2014 has proven their title the minute I sipped their naturally sweet, smooth yet rich coffee texture.

The Strand Arcade
Shop 11, 412-414 George Street, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 2 9516 1997
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 5.30pm Mon-Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm Sat, 11.00am – 4:00 pm Sun.


Founded in 2005 by Will Young, Campos has this formula of success: 40 per cent coffee bean, 40 per cent barista, and 20 per cent machine. With high standards, Campos manages to serve cups of excellence in speed and great customer service. Who wouldn’t come back for great coffee and warm smile from a clean-cut barista with the best mustache?

193 Missenden Road, Newtown, Sydney, NSW
Tel: +61 2 9516 3361

Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 4:00pm Mon-Fri, 8:00am – 5:00pm Sat-Sun.

Photo by :  Stephanie Mamonto