Just when you thought Adriano Matteoni was busy enough with cafe venture Paper Cup in Stanmore, he’s conjured up another cafe winner with Espresso Bar by Paper Cup, just a couple of suburbs over in Lilyfield.

At the quiet end of Perry Street and tucked into a small enclave of shops, the Espresso Bar has sprouted quietly and without much fanfare. Like its big sister, this tiny little gem is a breath of cafe life in an otherwise bereft strip.

Based on the tried and true Matteoni principles, the menu is short and sharp (maybe a toastie with bocconcini or fresh baked berry muffins) and the coffee is top notch (from the team at Coffee Alchemy).

It opens early to service the bus stop crowd, and it’s this almost pragmatic sense of knowing what an area needs that makes Matteoni cafes a winner – along with the handpicked team steaming out nutty lattes and milky caps. Stripy blue and white cushions, along with candy-coloured chairs, add a splash of brightness to an otherwise warm wood interior. It looks a bit like a sauna masquerading as a cosy coffee spot. But then, we’d hardly expect anything less than distinctive from the man who has honed his practice at roughly a dozen other sites over the years.

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Updated: March 13th, 2018

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