Single Origin Roasters has sat on its Surry Hills corner, slightly grungy and spilling onto tables in Reservoir Street, since 2003, one of the drivers of third-wave coffee in Sydney.
The funky interior is the essence of a Surry Hills coffee joint – the worn timber, the bare concrete, the hidey-hole feel and the psychedelic wall mural.
The best seats are by the window – there are only a couple; otherwise nestle up at a tiny table by the door or hit the footpath. There’s a constant takeaway trade and a general air of “something’s happening here.”
Coffee comes from a menu of weekly single origins roasted both for filter and espresso extraction. A pourover of the excellent Colombia La Hermosa – a Cup of Excellence #25 coffee – has sweet floral aromas and a hint of vanilla. In the cup it’s clean and tangy, with nice dark chocolate/cocoa sweetness and that “sparkle” of a good filter brew.
A Costa Rica La Minita in a pourover has a cereal aroma when hot, hints of orange citrus and stone fruit sweetness. It’s not bad either, though not as good as the Cup of Excellence … maybe drinking them side by side is a bit unfair. In a short black, though, it’s sharp and tangy with orange-chocolate flavours and a clean, savoury finish.
Food is tasty and suits the mood, from banana bread smeared with espresso butter to the Black Metal Breakfast of twice-cooked eggs, black pudding, creamed corn and chilli relish on toasted sourdough. It’s all a bit hot and sweaty on a humid day – maybe the most “Sydney” of Sydney’s specialty cafes.
Where 60-64 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills, 02 9211 0665
When Mon–Fri 6.30am–4pm, Sat 7.30am–3pm (Food till 2:30pm & filters till 3pm)