Some people discover their passions early in life, while others find their calling later. Claire Kim is in the latter camp. She worked as a dental hygienist for years before moving to Perth in 2018 and deciding to change career paths to hospitality.
Entering Giant Coffee makes you realise it was the right move. Her tiny, corner coffee shop is tucked down a laneway off James Street in Northbridge. The interior is poky yet sleek, with splashes of colour and cutesy knick-knacks including a Konica film SLR. The cheery playlist is peppered with tunes you’ll want to Shazam. And the coffee, made with single-origin beans from Twin Peaks and Daylight Coffee Roasters, is consistently good.
You’ll find a standout suite of espresso, milk coffee and batch brews here (Kim’s CV includes time at influential CBD hotspot, Howard’s Groove and Open by Duotone). Yet she distinguishes Giant Coffee from other contemporary Perth cafes with the offering of einspanners: a hot or cold two-shot espresso capped with a thick pontoon of cream. The drink originated in the Austrian capital of Vienna and is named after the German word for a one-horse carriage. According to Kim, it was invented so that the coachmen operating these carriages could enjoy a spill-free coffee while on the road.
The einspanner isn’t Giant’s only nod to Europe. Layers Bakery in Subiaco supplies the croissants (plain and almond), turnovers and other pastries in the cabinet while bagels from Holy Bagel are available with popular fillings such as jalapeno cream cheese and ham and cheese.
Kim’s hospitality makes Giant Coffee a comfortable and welcoming place to stop by on most days of the week (she’s almost always the sole person making coffees and talking to guests). And if you want to recreate the experience on her days off, you can always buy one of her take-home coffee-making apparatuses and a bag of beans to go.
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