Sydney’s inner south-west can be pretty hostile at street level – loads of traffic pumping pollution into the humid air below skies crossed by thundering jets, a wilderness of warehouses stockpiling who-knows-what or offering cash for scrap, smash repairs and deals on Christmas decorations.
The Mecca Coffee Alexandria warehouse conversion is a haven from all that – a cool white-and-timbered space, bright and airy, with a neat little breakfast and brunch menu and some great filter and espresso brews.
Mecca’s roastworks is out the back and the cupping room is handy, so the coffee should always be at its peak here.
The menu features Mecca’s seasonal espresso blend, plus a few single origins for filter or espresso brewing. A pourover of Kenya Nyeri Kamwangi – tasting notes of purple grape, cherries and port – has nice clean, complex fruit: there’s not heaps happening aroma-wise at first, but it has the sparkle you’d expect of a good Kenyan in the cup, with hints of grape and plum. It’s bright but not aggressive, with a steely, clean quality. There’s a little malo-grapey aroma as it cools – a top filter brew.
The barista’s careful dosing and precise grinding on the EK produces an espresso shot of Guatemala Hunapu that is also very clean, with a nutty sweet-almond aroma, rich chocolatey flavours and sweet orange acidity.
You might spot Mecca Coffee owner Paul Geshos talking coffee with regulars in his best inner-west-meets-sandy-beach style, and the crowd is a mix of young and not-so-young hip locals from somewhere among all those warehouses, white-collar worker types and ladies and gents who like to lunch on filter brews.
Service is laid-back in that Sydney way, and the menu is full of tasty breakfast and lunch offers like the big brioche roll full of juicy-crisp KFC (that’s ‘K’ for ‘Korean’) and four-alarm spicy kimchi: an excellent food match for a filter brew.
Where 26 Bourke Road, Alexandria
When Mon–Fri 7am–3pm; Sat–Sun 8am–3pm