“There’s a lot of brunch spots in Victoria Park and we don’t want to compete in that space. We just want to do what we love, which is really good coffee,” says April Chen.
She and husband Nelson Chen and friend Yvette Lin have opened Hop Cafe with a clear vision: great coffee, showcasing Western Australian roasters.
April and Lin met five years ago while working at Toast in East Perth. Over the years they stayed friends, sharing their experiences in other venues and learning more about Perth’s coffee scene. Last month they opened Hop Cafe at Victoria Park Central. It’s not the most obvious setting for a specialty coffee spot – but the trio is on a mission to bring WA’s healthy coffee roasting scene to locals.
Roasters will rotate monthly, with four single-origin beans on deck that can be brewed in any method you like – cold brew, batch brew, pour-over or espresso. Hop also offers tasting flights, so you can experience the full spectrum of flavour possible from a single bean.
Osborne Park’s Micrology is the venue’s first featured roaster, providing three single-origin beans from Kenya, Colombia and Ethiopia. The fourth option is Hop’s house single-origin coffee from Guatemala, roasted by Pound Coffee in O’Connor and selected by April for its suitability to be made with alternative milks without losing the integrity of its nutty, chocolatey flavour.
April is the cafe’s barista, while Lin produces dessert that is thoughtfully paired to the coffee, and Nelson works back-of-house. The trio’s previous careers in graphic design and architecture have inspired the shop’s minimalist and monochromatic design.
To complement the coffee tasting flight, Lin has created a matched dessert menu. An Earl Grey teacake with matcha frosting was developed to pair with the Ethiopian bean’s black tea tasting notes. The Kenyan bean’s citrus notes are highlighted by a lemon and raspberry pannacotta, and a walnut and toffee brownie matches the Colombian’s raw sugar and cherry notes.
There’s also a small selection of desserts in the cabinet, plus savoury items like croissants, bagels and a couple of Taiwanese-inspired creations, including a loaded sandwich with house-made pork sausage patty, fluffy egg, pork floss and salad, and a flaky pork sausage roll with house-made Taiwanese-style pastry.
Customers can also purchase any of the beans or brew methods to replicate their experience at home. “We wanted to make black, specialty coffee accessible. We want people to try it in the cafe, then be able to take it and make it anywhere – in the office, at home,” Chen says.
In an area that is flush with bubble tea shops and cafes, Chen thinks their keep-it-simple formula is their strength. “We think this is what makes us stand out on the strip – a well-balanced and uncomplicated cup of coffee.”
2/366 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
Tue to Sun 7am–3pm