Things have shifted in Crows Nest. Dwindling are the so-so sandwich bars and dodgy cafes resting on their espresso laurels, instead giving rise to artisan bakers and pint-sized bars on every block. At the forefront of the charge are the gang at Bean Drinking.
As one of the first adopters of the syphon bar in Sydney, they really know their coffee. You’ll be greeted at the door by cheerful barista banter – possibly even by owner Keith Reay – and should you peruse the shelf of DIY Hario products, you’ll be doused with helpful information on the secrets of great home brew.
Everything is focused on the quality of the cup: from clocks sporting local time at origin (Nicaragua or Sumatra) to coffee-sack art, from the huge roaster at one end to the ‘lab’ at the other. There are helpful diagrams to demystify pour-over filters, sketches of coffee plant growth stages, and you can’t miss the puffing of the mighty Slayer espresso-machine (the first one bought into NSW).
They’re pioneering ‘naked coffee’ here too, where the dripper has been removed from the coffee basket to allow a freer flow into the cup. Or try a coffee flight to get you thinking about distinctive international flavours.
Whichever way you take it, you’re in the right company for a little education.