Specialty coffee & street food on Bolton St
We asked, you answered, we listened.
A few months back, we asked you, the wonderful readers of HUNTERhunter where your favourite café was. Whilst we had A LOT of cafes sent through, there was one in particular that kept popping up; Xtraction Espresso on Bolton Street.
Ok ok, for those of you who are long-time fans of the city centre coffee spot, you’re probably asking WHY HAS HUNTERHUNTER NOT FEATURED THESE GUYS YET. The answer? We don’t really have one! So, before we get into sharing our experience at Xtraction Espresso, we just wanted to say a quick thank you to you, the readers, for bringing this one to our attention.
Getting back on track...
Sitting on the corner of Bolton and King St sits the incredibly popular and recently renovated Xtraction Espresso. On any given day, at any given time you’ll find queues of eager coffee lovers awaiting their daily grind.
The man behind the machine, which all the locals have come to know and love is none other than Kenn. The colourful character has lived one hell of a colourful life and has been bringing that energy to Newcastle’s café scene since launching Xtraction Espresso back in 2013!
Originally from Canberra, Kenn and his partner were looking for a sea change somewhere along the NSW coastline. Searching from Coffs Harbour to Gosford, the couple finally landed on and settled in Newcastle ten years ago.
“We just feel like we’re really part of the industry here in Newcastle, and part of the overall infrastructure. It’s really nice to see Newcastle come of age in the café scene,” Kenn said.
Since opening on Bolton St back in 2013, we’ve also seen Xtraction pop-up on the Levee in Maitland back in 2016 to now, where they've just unveiled their renovated space. Converting the vacant spot next door into a dining area (soon to be expanded) and opening the whole space up with their roller door entrance and large windows overlooking both Bolton and King street.
The space now mimics an industrial-chic vibe you would likely find on every second corner across Melbourne or even across s number of European cities. With the ceiling exposing the overhead concrete, and the original flooring from old tenants.
“Because we didn’t know what was going to be under the ceiling or what was going to behind the door or how the structure would be being an older building. It’s got some great history in this particular corner. This here used to be the butcher shop and it’s still the original floor. Rather than trying to change it, we left it because it gives the space a bit more character.
“We actually had the wife of the butcher in here saying oh my god the memories are flooding back. She was sitting in that corner right behind you and she was in tears saying her husband would have loved this.”
Whilst the space makes us go all oohy and aahy, it’s the coffee that’ll put a spring in all of our steps. Kenn, a true coffee connoisseur has consistently evolved the cafes coffee offering now using Melbourne based beans from Veneziano Coffee Roasters in Richmond.
“The coffee we’ve used has evolved over the years as well. We’ve probably changed three times with different brands. The biggest thing for me is consistency. It’s one of those things where we’ve developed our coffee into such an iconic offering here in Newcastle.
“The specialty coffee scene is growing rapidly here in Newcastle and you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse. We’re doing that with our coffees, with the single origins that we have, with the batch brews and all of our house blends; we have two that we run and we’re looking at a third. We want people to have a choice in the flavours and profiles they like.”
Your hunger pangs needn’t go astray with their cafes newest collaboration; authentic New York bagels from Brooklyn Boy Bagels. Choose from onion, pumpkin, plain, blueberry or a bit of everything bagel filled with cream cheese and a topping of your choice; chives, Nutella, blueberries, strawberries, jalapenos, or salmon, dill & capers.
Bagels not your thing? Check out the food cabinet stocked full of baked goods and ready-made sandwiches, toasties, and of course croissants!
Did you see Xtraction Espresso where it is now when you first started?
“I guess I did. I knew that if I did the right thing by the community and give the people good quality and consistency we knew we would have a following. That following has just grown organically. It hasn’t been an overnight success, it’s just us constantly chipping away and doing the right thing by everyone.”
Café hoppers should add Xtraction Espresso to their list for an inner-city coffee experience like no other.