Swallow Coffee Traders was a regular haunt for me not too long after its opening, and it’s one of those cafes that have a special place in my heart, because the owners, Angus and Jess, were the ones who really opened my eyes to specialty coffee.
I was still a flat white drinker, until one day Jess offered a Guatemala as an espresso. It was so strong tasting at the time that I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it didn’t actually taste bad. It was the best eye-opener I had though, and for what ever reason, I indeed started to drink black coffee. Then they opened up a little brew bar with their aeropress, v60 and chemex, and I eventually developed the courage to ask about those coffees too. It took a while, but eventually, it became my preference and I began to appreciate the differences in the coffees I was tasting.
Eventually, circumstances changed, and I stopped visiting Rockdale, but I do keep thinking about going back to their new cafe, Top Hat Coffee, but it’s a bit of a trek, even for someone like me.
This is more of a photodump for nostalgic purposes, but also illustrates one of my favourite hobbies: taking pictures of coffee and being able to perform a memory test of where I had which coffee where, and how I know.
They had cute little benches outside, and we sat on coffee sack covered milk crates, and the benches were distinctive for their engraved little gold plates that marked them as non-IKEA gear. While there wasn’t super-fine rosettas, the latte art was always high contrast.
They served espressos and macchiatos in little wooden trays and a side of sparkling, which was really cute.
All the espressos! And their brownies baked on-site. Some delicious food and great coffee supplied by Single Origin Roasters. Management has changed since my visits here, and the food looks to be same but different. In addition, they’ve expanded and opened up a deli called The Nest right next door!