If Veneziano Coffee wants to make its mark on Sydney’s coffee scene, its first Sydney outpost on Bourke Street in Surry Hills is a good way to start. The sleek, industrial space is handsome and modern (it was formerly home to Youeni and before that The Stables retail store) with a striking white coffee machine, a splash of neon and plenty of polished concrete.
But it’s clear when entering this viby cafe that the coffee is the real hero here. The espresso bar’s wall menu, made up of giant Scrabble-like letters, features a rotating list of beans and tasting notes for guidance on selecting the right blend, whether you like yours white, black or filtered.
Veneziano, which has been operating out of Melbourne’s Richmond since 2000, sources its beans from Africa and Central and South America and serves a seasonal blend, Bond St, and a rotating selection of microlots (coffee with exceptional taste and characteristics).
If you aren’t a coffee expert, the company’s NSW state sales manager and the man responsible for repositioning the brand in Sydney, Will Glover, says it doesn’t matter. “Just tell the barista what your normal order is and the team will make a recommendation best suited to your preference.”
To keep the focus on coffee, the food offering is small, but chosen to be enjoyed alongside a fresh brew. There are pastries from Infinity Bakery and Organic Bread Bar, and doughnuts every Wednesday from Short Stop.
While the cafe operates as a daytime espresso bar out front, at the back there’s an events space that has been designed by Melbourne’s Weekdays to look like what Glover calls a “high-end motorcycle workshop”. Glover says it will be used as a training studio to run a range of Veneziano’s barista classes and programs for its wholesale partners.
There are also plans to introduce monthly coffee-related educational events for the public, including cupping (tasting) classes, and talks by Veneziano’s growers and roasters. People will also have a chance to bring in their single-brew machines to learn how make better coffees.
Veneziano Coffee Surry Hills
352 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm