I didn’t know much about the Perth Coffee scene, all I knew is that all other states paled in comparison to Melbourne and Sydney. However, I had a master plan! Standing Room Only would be my starting point, and from there, it’s just about saying hello and introducing yourself. Being friendly gets you very far!
So here I was, amazed that SRO was this small little stall in the middle of an arcade. They didn’t really have doors; you could walk through the entire front of the shop (it makes more sense when you’re there). They have an interesting aqua/turquoise theme going, with matching colours for their grinder and their Synesso.
I mentioned to them that it was my first time visiting Perth and I had less than two days to explore the city – a Friday and a Saturday (important since not all cafes are open weekends). As I was sipping away at my Kenya Thunguri pourover, one of the guys managed to write up a list for me! That was amazing! Some of them matched the “internet list” I’d written up, and there were some I wasn’t aware of. The only place I regret not having been able to visit was their proper cafe – Addison & Steele.
In my classically random way of getting around in an unfamiliar city, I walked around in circles until I found my next stop – Ristretto Coffee Roasters. Another little takeaway hole in the wall, I decided to try and order their namesake, but lucky for me they recommended espresso! I was very pleased with that.
My friend and I needed breakfast, so we decided to visit Small Print next –a place I had either not found or dismissed,but one which they had claimed was very good. They weren’t wrong! It felt like a canteen but I eyed the bakery equipment and some guy sitting in a glass room, working away at his laptop, surrounded by coffee equipment and possibly a large piece of baking machinery. And look at the cows! The toy cows just ruminating away!
They had a nice selection of coffees – I was impressed by their range, and it turns out Perth has a decent offering for filter coffees. A Colombian geisha later, I was in warm peach iced tea heaven. They seem to really like using the Bodum french press beakers in Perth. I wanted to sample an espresso from here too, but I had so much more to try. Due to time constraints I didn’t manage to visit Print Hall, their restaurant. I would definitely pay them a visit if I came back to Perth!
Lowdown was the next place I visited, a little coffee place in another arcade type place. I had an espresso but it wasn’t so great, a little too dark for my liking.
Next stop, Chik & Kent. Another espresso here, but this one for me wasn’t as tasty as the baristas said it would be – out of all their recommendations, Small Print is the one I’d recommend to others. Somehow during this exploration process, we managed to find a cafe that I’d dismissed – Tiger Tiger. According to online reviews, it isn’t as great as it used to be. It is however, located in a cute little alleyway and had tiger orange espresso cups, and also tiger toys on the windows. My eyeballs were starting to fuzz at this point, and my friend had experienced the “too much latte” effect of milky coffees.
Isn’t the orange so bold? Again, nice, but not anything I’d go back for. I have a better chance at revisiting a place I enjoyed a filter coffee at, than a place where I had a semi-decent espresso.
I would love to go back and revisit cafes I missed (two days wasn’t enough!), and visit some of the restaurants too. For now though, my coffee adventures would take me elsewhere.