Dan Yee, previously of Salvage and Shoji Sasa, previously of Mecca and Single Origin are masters of their craft. They have both received Good Café Guide Best Barista accolades, as well as countless others – these two are industry legends.

After years of working and roasting for other companies, both big and small, the pair decided to open a new cafe on Bourke Street, Artificer, to get back to the essence of producing good coffee without distraction.

With the name translating to a craftsperson or skilled artisan, “This space was born out of ideals. The ideals of selection, choosing the quality and then roasting it how we want it and for the qualities of that particular coffee,” explains Yee. The cafe is currently waiting on its roaster to arrive, which it should in the next six weeks.

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While most specialty importers travel to origin and select their chosen bean, Yee explains this doesn’t always mean a quality end product.

“We don’t buy off pre-shipment samples, so if it’s not in the country we wont buy it, generally. With that, there is a risk of missing out, but we also know what were getting. And also we buy small amounts more often. It will never be more than a month before there’s a new coffee.”

This venture is a no-cronut zone, the cafe serves no food at all, in fact. No distractions means the focus is on the product, giving Yee the opportunity to communicate his ideals to willing customers. The space is an exercise in minimalism, with floor-to-ceiling American oak. The bar, gilded with brushed brass edges, is surrounded by a few stools, enough for some to be seated, but more to stand.

Changing the culture of coffee drinking, away from caffeine consumption and towards appreciation is this pair’s end game; “trying to use better stuff, better milk – Jersey from Warrnambool – fully compostable cups,” is what it’s all about.

Artificer Specialty Coffee Bar & Roastery

547 Bourke Street

Surry Hills


Tue to Fri 7am–3pm

Sat & Sun 8am–2pm