Ona Coffee has just opened its first Sydney outpost in Marrickville, and it’s unlike anything it’s done before. Where’s its popular Canberra venues – The Cupping Room, Ona Fyshwick, Ona Manuka, and Highroad – are brunch first, coffee second, here it’s all about the coffee.
“It’s a coffee experience bar,” says Isaac Kim, the head barista and venue manager.
Founded by the 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic, Ona started as a single roaster in Canberra, before expanding to four cafes, a burgeoning national wholesale coffee operation and a sustainable sourcing program, Project Origin.
Whether you enjoy your coffee white, black or filtered, there’s multiple coffee blends, of various styles and origins, on offer. Ona Marrickville also has a working list of premium-reserve coffees, available to taste by the glass. It’s the first time Ona’s reserve coffees have been roasted and aged to a point where the coffee essence is at its best, then vacuum-sealed into individual doses and frozen, Kim says.
“For us, it’s about giving people a choice of beans and what flavours they can get out of their coffee. They don’t have to choose, but at least it opens up new conversations,” he says.
And the minimalist but warm space – aided by matcha-green paint and a healthy dose of natural sunlight – ensures the coffee does all the talking.
The only things standing between you and the baristas are a long plywood island table – which doubles up as a seated bar – and the baristas’ work bench where all their tools are lined in a row, including a striking black San Remo coffee machine, coffee bean dispensers and Hario V60 coffee makers.
Given coffee is the focus, the food menu is short, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been carefully considered. There are dishes such as a citrus house-cured kingfish smorrebrod with lemon aioli, pickles, capers, boiled egg and rye; and avocado with a poached egg, activated-charcoal labneh and a house-made togarashi (spice blend) on rye.
For something on the sweeter side, there’s the rye waffle with rhubarb, orange mascarpone, walnuts and maple, as well as Short Stop doughnuts and Butterbing cookies.
While the cafe operates as a daytime espresso bar out front, out back there’s a dedicated barista training room. Kim says it’ll be used mostly for wholesale training, but will also be open to anyone who wants to learn barista skills – from basic to advanced – and even latte art.
140 Marrickville Road, Marrickville
(02) 6162 3321
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm
Sat & Sun 8am–3pm