Zac Barrett is excited about opening Hemingway today. He’s excited about the specialty coffeemaker he and his father Neil have gotten in for their sixth CBD cafe. (The father and son are also the team behind Mo Espresso, Mo Allendale, Max & Sons, Arlo by Mo and Balance Espresso). He’s excited about being able to offer coffee drinkers something they’ve never tasted in Perth before, plus rare and hard-to-find tea-leaves, too. But most of all, he’s excited about advancing specialty coffee in Perth, as well as in WA more broadly.
“We want to engage with Perth and show people, in a non-alienating way, what specialty coffee means and what it can be,” says Barrett. “The more [businesses] we have like Modus and High Noon Saloon doing cool stuff, the more we can make people realise that Perth’s best coffee is actually the world’s best. Hemingway is about using our resources to help drive that.”
The bulk of the coffee-making will be handled by an undercounter Modbar coffee maker, one of only a few in Perth and, according to Zac, widely regarded by baristas as the world’s best espresso machine. Its sidekick will be a Poursteady, an automated coffee maker that can produce up to three cups of pour-over coffee at a time.
The Barretts are sourcing similarly high-end beans to accompany the machinery and will be freezing rarer specimens for a reserve coffee menu. (As to the identity and provenance of the beans, Barrett is keeping his cards close to his chest, but insists they’ll be “unique” and never before brewed in Perth). Overseeing the coffee program will be barista Calvin Tang, the group’s head of coffee and a certified Q-Grader (a person licensed to price and evaluate coffee beans). Despite this exacting approach to coffee, the Barretts are just as committed to making a solid flat white and, perhaps unexpectedly, high-end teas too.
Daniel Lim of Dine by Arrival Hall has consulted on the food menu. The life and times of writer Ernest Hemingway are gently referenced in sandwiches such as the Spanish Jamon and Artichoke One-Two (a nod to Death In The Afternoon and The Dangerous Summer), and the potato-salad remix starring bacon, fried garlic (an homage to the pommes a l’huile the American writer eats at Brasserie Lipp in A Moveable Feast). Friday roll specials will also be offered.
Hemingway is the recently reopened lobby of CBD office building, Central Park. Its slick, less-is-more design is consistent with the minimalist look of the lobby designed by architect Woods Bagot. Between Hemingway’s 27 seats and the other mixed-use seats dotted throughout the space, Hemingway can accommodate 50 dine-in guests. Perth-based artist Bec Juniper has produced a mural for inside the space. Italian graphic designer and natural wine personality Gianluca Cannizzo of My Poster Sucks fame was commissioned to produce the cafe’s logo.
2/152-158 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Mon to Fri 6.30am–4pm