After years working in and studying the niche coffee market in Hong Kong, Roy Yu of Haven Specialty Coffee saw something missing. Working as a barista for years, Yu realised, “We were tailoring our own coffee everyday to find our preferred drink, why couldn’t we do that for our customers?”
That was the intention when he and partners Kit Tran and Bruce Koo started their coffee-tailoring business.
Each element of a coffee’s flavour can be carefully adjusted with minor changes to the individual elements of coffee brewing – water ratio, temperature, grind, timing and the bean’s origin.
At Haven, the customer is encouraged to try something new with each visit if they wish, until they find the perfect combination of these elements. Flavours are broken down simply; choose a nutty, chocolatey or fruity blend, and from there adjust acidity and sweetness. The specially trained team will use your preferences to tailor a coffee to your taste, and if you’re not satisfied, they’ll happily keep adjusting until you find what you like.
The food menu is also carefully crafted. Chef Thomas Taylor (ex-Ampersand) uses drunken chicken, marinated in authentic Chinese spices and serves it over blanched kale, bacon, confit garlic and poached egg. A pork-belly burger is spiced up with the addition of homemade kimchi and cheese, a surprisingly tasty pair. For sweets, there’s panna cotta with pistachio brittle and sour candied lemon.
The cafe itself is spacious and open, with baristas smiling from behind the bar of blue and white tile, calming and welcoming, as you’d expect a haven to be.
Haven Specialty Coffee
30–34 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm