Surry Hills Cafe Crawl


When in Surry Hills, it’s always a pleasure talking coffee with operators like Sean McManus. The man not only knows his coffee, but he’s in the industry for all the right reasons.
In my cup?

Brazilian Sempre Viva.

This Catuai varietal was grown by the Borre Family at Fazenda Progresso.

The plot where this lot grows, Sempre Viva,  is named after an almost extinct flower in the area, which means ‘ever alive’. In actual fact, my long black left me feeling ever alive. A clean cup, with soft plum notes, and a sweet finish.



Neighbourhood by Sean McManus

16 Buckingham St

Surry Hills NSW 2010

The Reformatory Caffeine Lab: Sweet Dreams are made of this.

I went behind the scenes this morning, to watch as my Ethiopian natural was put to the test. First stop, the EG1 by Lyn Weber, then onto the Synesso MVP. What arrived in my cup was nothing short of magical. I have not had a coffee give my goosebumps in years, but this morning was an encounter I’ll forever remember, as that ‘God in a cup’ moment. For the record this Ethiopian is an experimental lot, grown 3 hours south of the Guji zone. Put all your preconceptions to one side with this lot, and allow your palate to undergo an absolute pampering. The intense layers of fruit are extraordinary. Huge grapefruit acidity, then creamy tropical fruit notes, followed by blackcurrant and strawberry tones. Reminded me of my first kiss……. words do this experience no justice. Im still buzzing, and grateful for this rare moment of sheer joy.

The Reformatory Caffeine Lab

7b/ 17 – 51 Foveaux Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010



On the Single O menu today:

Zambia Kateshi & Isanya Estates.

How much do you know about Zambian coffee?

Historically, coffee was brought to Zambia by missionaries in the mid 20th century, but production took several decades to get going. This land locked African country’s coffee industry seems to live in the shadows of longstanding producers like Ethiopia. That’s not to say Zambian coffee isn’t worthy of the status of other coffee producing regions. It boasts ideal coffee growing altitudes, proven processing techniques, and quality varietals. Single Origin Roasters  have brought it a lot from the Northern Province of Mafinga Hills, which sits between 1400 and 1600 meters above sea level. This washed Catimor 129 varietal was processed at the Kateshi Mill, which isn’t just focused on coffee; it also has a dedicated medical clinic for the community, a school that caters for 900 students, and employment programs. When I hear such lengths people go to, in an effort to support the community where coffee is grown, it reinforces my belief that goodness is the one investment that generates further goodness.

Now, back to what’s inside my cup. This Zambian lot actually reminded me of a Kenyan coffees profile. It had grapefruit acidity, with sweet plum highlights, and a smooth finish.

Single O

60 – 64 Reservoir Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010






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