According to legend, we can thank a 16th-century Ethiopian goatherd and his dancing goats for the invention of coffee. The story goes that Kaldi took the berries from a coffee tree to a nearby monk when he noticed his goats act strangely after eating them. The monk threw the fruit into the fire, and brewed the first cup of coffee using the aromatic beans.
The myth is the inspiration behind the name of a new cafe and coffee roaster in Stanmore, Kaldibaah. Peter Xirodimas and his wife Susie opened Kaldibaah in June, taking over a former florist on Northumberland Avenue. Xirodimas roasts his own beans on the premises every day.
Befitting an espresso bar, the fare on offer is simple. Breakfast options include poached eggs, granola and the breakfast platter: a generous spread featuring a boiled egg, ocean trout, goat’s cheese, avocado and tomato. The lunch menu is similarly pared back, comprising sandwiches and salads. Prompted by the close proximity of schools and playgrounds, Xirodimas says a kids’ menu is in the works.
The dining area is bright thanks to the large windows overlooking Salisbury Road. The space is furnished with colourful stools, and a large, white communal table occupies the centre of the room. Pavers underfoot and corrugated iron walls finish the relaxed fit-out.
Xirodimas, a trained accountant, learned the art of roasting coffee from Peter Wolff (of Wolff Coffee Roasters, Brisbane), who he describes as one of Australia’s master roasters. “He offered to train me, and I used to fly up to Brisbane to meet him,” says Xirodimas. “I learnt the basics from him and came back and started experimenting.”
The roasting side of Xirodimas’ new business is set to take off, with a deal currently on the table to supply the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel in Circular Quay with beans. “We’ll be doing roasting for them for new venues they’re proposing which come on board in November. It’s a major coup for us,” says Xirodimas.
A hospitality industry veteran, Xirodimas says the coffee scene has changed dramatically since he first starting working in cafes 20 years ago. “It’s done a complete 360,” he says. “People will go to a cafe specifically for coffee, and if they have food, that’s an add-on, whereas in the past coffee was the add-on. Now it’s coffee first and food second.”
102 Northumberland Ave, Stanmore
Mon to Fri 6.30am–4pm