Your guide to the Newcastle coffee scene & what's so good about it
In just four years we’ve profiled over 100 new and established cafes in Newcastle and each week we seem to find another one.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
Has the Newcastle coffee scene hit its peak? And how good is it? To help us get our head around things and find out just how good it really is we chatted to a bunch of local coffee experts.Destination: Newcastle
With baths, beaches, bars and restaurants the Newcastle CBD has loads to offer. Whilst things maybe a little hectic at the moment, with pockets of coffee gold everywhere there’s still good reason to drop in a grab a coffee. Sitting opposite Newcastle Beach, for 13 years, Bec from Estabar is one of the originals in town, pouring quality coffee consistently. Bec’s thoughts on the coffee scene are...
Bec from Estabar:
“Someone actually called me the old lady of coffee the other day [laughs], we started back in 2004 so I guess that’s fair enough. So how it started for me was, I worked at cafes that were doing really great coffee, at the time that was cafes like Three Monkeys, Goldbergs and George’s on Beaumont St [which is no longer there].
“George’s had some kick arse baristas back then, they were one of the first to take coffee seriously. There was real attention to the flavours, manipulating the grind and the press to get the extraction right. Ant at Three Monkeys is a guru and Goldbergs, whilst it has changed hands a few times, they’ve always stayed true to what they were.
"I think the biggest change in Newcastle has been in the offering of specialty coffee and baristas really knowing where the coffee is coming from, being interested in the farmers and what the coffee is of a particular place. Specialty coffee is also about being the solution to a sustainable industry that is fair for farmers around the world. Which is what we are starting to see in Newcastle.”
Right near Estabar is Moor Newcastle East and East End Hub which don't disappoint in the coffee offering. Or you could start at another one of the originals, Good Brother which is always a favourite with locals. As too Xtraction Espresso, just around the corner. For The Grounds head to Bolton St Pantry, or The Press Book House, well they’re just awesome, for some traditional Italian flavours try The Umbrian.
Destination: Newcastle West
The western edge of the Newcastle CBD also holds its own in the coffee stakes with Bank Corner Café now a local institution. For a quality on-the-run option head to the coffee window at 876 Hunter St or the cosy little nook that is the Sherwood Coffee Bar in Parry St.
Destination: Cooks Hill (Darby Street) & Bar Beach
Renowned as a coffee hotspot Darby St has been the go-to for locals either for their pre-work caffeine hit or after-work pick me-up. For those with time on their hands take a seat and soak up that Darby St vibe. There's a long list to choose between with Core Espresso, The Autumn Rooms, HuBro, Three Monkeys and Darby St long-timer Goldbergs, all sure to pour you a great cup.
Destination: Merewether / The Junction / Adamstown
If you're local to any one of these suburbs then life's pretty sweet, throw in a collective of quality cafes and life doesn't get much better. Whether it’s Frothers Espresso or Drift in Merewether, Louie & Jack’s and Talulah Bar at The Junction or a hidden little Adamstown gem by the name of Bootleg Café, these coffee houses are big on having a chat and being social over a cup of something special.
Nathaniel from Frothers Espresso:
"I’ve always been fascinated with coffee and when I moved to Newcastle six years ago to study I worked at a few different cafes but when I started at Glee, that was my intro to the world of specialty coffee, coffee that doesn’t taste like coffee.
"Looking back the industry as a whole has changed a lot, it was difficult to get quality fresh green coffee five years ago. The demand for quality coffee has also changed, people in Newcastle won’t settle for bad coffee and the machinery in the industry has also come a long way.
"I think the other change in Newcastle’s is the positive connotations of having a regular café routine, rather than sitting at home, in your pyjamas, in your cold dark kitchen, with your plunger.
"At Frothers Espresso we’ve built a really nice community where people can come and have a chat on their own, it’s kind of taken over from the pub culture. Welsh Blacks
Renowned for big retail shopping, a much-welcomed boutique coffee experience is beginning to pop up. Located in Westfield and leading the pack is Garth and Bec's Mr Sister, the Letter Q is a secret little gem and newcomer ROULE by Maillot Jaune is offering up something pretty unique.
Garth & Bec from Mr Sister:
“The coffee scene has exploded in
“It’s matured a lot, when we opened One Penny there was a handful of people
“It’s pretty much the same thing that happens in all cities, more or less. We were doing
“See most farmers don’t know what their coffee tastes like, so if all of a sudden you have these
“I don’t think you could ever say that you’ve
“I think the coffee here in Newcastle is just as good as Sydney or Melbourne. If I have a day off, there are options for a coffee like our close friends: Welsh Blacks, Esther C, Locomotive and Café Moor,” Garth
Destination: New Lambton
Loved by the locals New Lambton punches well above its weight when it comes to serving up quality coffee. With a collection of cafes including; Little Lane, Corner Lane Espresso, Black Circle Cafe and The Locale to name just a few, each doing their individual thing.
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