King Street’s La Veen Coffee has long set the standard for coffee and cafe food in Perth’s CBD. Six years after opening and 10 years since the brand was established, it’s still one of the best places for a city breakfast. La Veen’s expansion – at Raine Square, just around the corner from the original location – has been a long time coming. Negotiations on the new site began two years ago, but roadworks and fewer new buildings than expected in the area led to delays. Now, the new cafe is finally open.
The Raine Square site – designated La Veen HQ – is a different beast to the original, intended to be more casual and takeaway-driven. When it comes to coffee, the emphasis is on giving most customers what they want: a good flat white.
“It’s a point of difference, going back to basics,” says co-owner Benjamin Sed. “We’re trying to specialise in what we can do with a flat white. We just want to be simple. We’ve made a blend that’s good with espresso, good with milk. You can take our beans home and have the same coffee.”
King Street regulars will find the coffee familiar, but the Raine Square food menu is relatively small. It includes an avo smash and a cheese toastie, as well as an assortment of La Veen’s high-quality baked goods. All food and drinks are served in compostable takeaway containers.
“It’s a small kitchen, we’ll see what people like,” says Sed. “We’re going to focus on breakfast, which is what we’re known for. There are so many lunch options in this area. The menu will keep on changing.”
Retail is a strong part of La Veen HQ with the store carrying plenty of specialised coffee-making equipment.The venue will also host training classes for home baristas based on the kinds of machines you find in domestic kitchens.
“There’s no point using a high-end machine to teach a home barista,” says Sed. “When they go home it tastes totally different. We’re going to have two or three different grinders as well – we believe the grinder is more important than the coffee machine itself. In 2019, most coffee machines are up to standard.”
Soft-serve coffee ice-cream is a timely, warm-weather addition to the new store, and La Veen’s treacle ice-cream iced cappuccino – a strong contender for the best iced coffee in town – is also available.
The new cafe isn’t quite complete yet – a Loring roaster will be installed later this year. La Veen will continue to use Five Senses beans for its house blend, but will be roasting its own limited-edition coffee for its retail drip bags.
La Veen – HQ
T34 Raine Square, 300 Murray Street, Perth
Mon to Fri 6.30am–5.30pm