Hidden away in the backstreets of Alexandria, is a Café without a name. You read correctly; that’s its name. The story behind the name is a clue to the owner’s attitude to business, and life in general. It seems, when Frank Andrews decided to move on from a career in Banking, he took to an industry he was passionate about. Upon opening the café that’s located at the front of a large hardware warehouse, Frank ran a competition for his customers to name the café. The prize? A years’ worth of free coffee. In the interim, the café was light-heartedly known as “The café without a name”. Locals loved it, and one so much so, he entered the competition with the name “Café without a name”, and the rest is history. Two years on, and the team here treat their loyal customers with the respect they’d like to receive. A BBQ was thrown recently, funded by all the money raised in the tip jar. They even have a pushbike with a cart, to transport coffee to local businesses. More to the point, this was my first visit here, yet the charming barista named Alex greeted me as if I had met him a lifetime ago. Its genuine love for the job, and you feel it the moment you walk through the large roller door walkway.
The menu has basic breakfast options, full of flavour. This includes Wraps, Bacon and Egg Rolls, Cakes and Sweets, and the build your own Jaffles, where you add your filling, and sauce. For those who cant decide, there’s the Baked Bean & Cheese Jaffle; the Cheese Burger Jaffle with a homemade beef patty and cheese; and the Nutella and Banana Jaffle with cinnamon.
The coffee here speaks for itself. Frank roasts it himself at his roaster, “Frankies Beans”. The 3 Colombian blend worked a treat as a white coffee, while the Ethiopian Sidamo natural as an espresso was complex, with rich berry notes. They also serve it as a cold brew, with coconut water. On a 30 degree summers day, this went down a treat. I sat at one of the basic tables made solely from old pallets, soaking up the sun, and appreciating the goodness that evidently exists in Sydney’s café culture.
Café without a name does things a little differently here, and it’s a worthy point of difference. There’s no fancy fit out, and no shinny branding. The focus is solely on the two most important components of a café (in my option) – quality coffee that’s extracted well, and authentic service.
Café Without a Name
50 McCauley Street
Alexandria NSW 2015