This Hay Street coffeehouse in West Perth is on a self-proclaimed mission to become Western Australia’s ultimate espresso bar. All coffee beans at Epic Espresso are roasted locally by Five Senses Coffee, then aged in-store for optimum extraction, shot stability and performance, and overall taste profile in the final cup. The Epic Espresso custom blend is incredibly sweet, has huge chocolate notes, a full body, subtle acidity, and a syrupy smooth finish. Epic Espresso have taken their passion for coffee craft to the next level and expanded to offer a Barista School every Saturday morning, where novices and pros alike can learn Espresso Mastery, Latte Art Skill Training, and Advanced Espresso Mastery workshops.
Epic Espresso, 5/1297 Hay St, West Perth, Australia, +61 8 9485 1818
Architects and Heroes
In the coffee backwater of Subiaco is Architects and Heroes, an artsy yet unpretentious coffeehouse. Working with Melbourne’s Code Black coffee blend, Architects and Heroes’ baristas consistently brew perfect cups of coffee in their own monogrammed crockery, served with care to a small yet dedicated fanbase. There is also an all-day food menu, which include crumpets and muffins, and for those who leave newly converted, the store even sells its own snapback caps and other merchandise sporting their stylish insignia.
La Veen Coffee and Kitchen
You’ll find La Veen Coffee and Kitchen in a heritage-listed building on the corner of King and Wellington Streets. Though the venue itself is striking with its whitewashed brick, sleek black tiles, and floor-to-ceiling windows, the very first thing you’ll notice when you step inside is the dominating presence of their espresso machine. The Ethiopian espresso is packed with the taste of summer stone fruits, and the white coffee blend (Brazil, Bali and India beans) boasts a bold flavor designed to stand up through milk. Aside from Five Senses, La Veen imports its sweet and syrupy black coffee blend from Brisbane roaster Uncle Jo’s, plus filter coffees from Melbourne-based Proud Mary, which are brewed with the Kalita Wave. Recent brunch standouts on their seasonal food menu include the mashed avocado on bagel with goats cheese and cherry tomatoes, and eggs Florentine with ham.
La Veen Coffee and Kitchen, 6000, 90 King St, Perth, Australia, +61 8 9321 1188
Standing Room Only
Highly rated amongst Perth bean bloggers, Standing Room Only is a no-frills Piccadilly Arcade cafe plying an honest trade in quality single-origin coffee. As the name would suggest, their focus is mainly on takeaways with no substantial food menu to speak of. While customers may not be able to sit and linger, the more authentically Italian experience of drinking espresso on your feet does help to preserve the flow of your shopping experience in the arcade. Their blends come from various Australian roasters, and are brewed over multiple lime green machines. Their recent specialty blend has been Addison and Steele, which features notes of juicy black currant, red grape, rose & cranberry.
Ristretto is Italian for ‘restricted’, or ‘a concentrated dose’ – an apt name for a single extraction of coffee containing all the essential oils in a short volume. It’s also a fitting name for this coffeehouse, which aims to offer all the essentials for a true coffee connoisseur. Ristretto’s owner Emanuele Muratore has been watching the huge rise of Perth’s coffee culture since arriving on the scene in 2007, claiming to sample at least 400 varieties a year from around the world as research to find the best for his customers. Muratore has successfully maintained relationships with many pioneering coffee growers from Sumatra to El Salvador, sourcing and then hand roasting the beans for his two stores in the CBD and Northbridge. What’s more, Ristretto ships orders across Australia and further afield from its online store.
Ristretto, 160 St Georges Terrace, Perth, Australia, +61 415 954 814
Pixel Coffee Brewers
Nestled on Oxford Street away from the hubbub of main Leederville, Pixel Coffee Brewers is the brainchild of two longtime Perth baristas and industry legends, Kaya McCarthy and Juliana Nobre. Their infectiously friendly personalities shine through in every aspect of this enterprise, founded with the simple goal to showcase their love of specialty coffee, tea, food and design. The resulting venue is a model of all things fresh, clean and beautiful: the white and sage-tiled cafe offers a very intimate, minimal space, fitting only four pine tables amidst the bouquets of flowers. Pixel has also become locally renowned for its own batch of nitro brew coffee, charged with nitrous oxide overnight in a keg. Breakfasts and lunches are made from scratch in the tiny cube cooking hub. Herb potato hash with poached eggs and pea, prosciutto and parmesan salad. For an extra healthy punch try the acai bowl with nuts, house granola and slivers of dragon fruit and kiwi, topped with a fresh magenta bloom.
Beyond the cutesy name, Willy Wagtail is seriously invested in putting big smiles on the faces of harried commuters running along William Street each morning. Owner Christina Hazelwood is all too aware that coffee shops play the role of a vital early-morning bridge between home and the office, so she’s crafted a caffeinated menu that’s like a bolt from above, packing a powerful kick to get your morning into gear. One such magical elixir is the Willy Tingle, a cold drip brew with sparkling water. Their modest food menu also provides some great breakfast options, like the Bacon Badboy, a devilish toasted sandwich consisting of maple-glazed bacon, grilled apple, provolone and mozzarella. When you’ve got time to spare, there’s also a rear courtyard for al fresco drinking, and coffee demos are held on site every Thursday at 1pm to showcase the process of Hazelwood and her team.
Willy Wagtail, 131 William St, Perth, Australia, +61 8 9226 4803
Moana Coffee is a local secret, perched high above the Hay Street Mall inside Moana Chambers, a renovated heritage building complete with balcony seating and views. Though the steep stair climb to reach Moana may put some off, true coffee treasure awaits those who reach the summit: Five Senses beans prepared into the Dark Horse house blend, and the single origin Montero Specialty from Costa Rica. The building is also shared with an artist-run exhibition space and acoustic gigs with Perth musicians are scheduled here frequently.
Elixir Coffee Specialists
Found just behind Chelsea Plaza on Stirling Highway, Nedlands, Elixir Coffee Specialists is a small batch coffee roaster that delivers a champion brew. Elixir’s quest for the perfect coffee starts in the sourcing of seasonal fresh green beans which are then stored, roasted and brewed in-house, with extra special care given to optimizing the flavor of the beans. Take your pick from either the carefully formulated house blend, the single origin coffee, or even a cold drip, served in striking baby blue cups. Be sure to also sample the breakfast and lunch menus, featuring house toasted muesli with poached pears and greek style yoghurt; pesto bruschetta with avocado, tomato & feta; Banh Mi sandwich with coconut poached chicken, pickled carrot, cucumber, spinach, coriander & chilli sauce; and tomato, basil, olives, baby bocconcini, parsley & cucumber salad.
The long lines stretching through Cloisters Arcade each morning before 9am are a testament to the high regard locals hold for Lowdown‘s brews. What really distinguishes Lowdown from its numerous competitors is that the Lowe brothers, who own the store, remember all of their customers by their first name and coffee order. Unlike impersonal chains, you’ll always be greeted like an old familiar friend here, even during busy spells. The coffee is economically priced, never costing more than $3.50, and tastes delectable to boot. Breakfast offerings include muffins with crusty tops and moist fruity or chocolate fillings, and the fabled Choc Bananza, a gingerbread and chocolate peanut butter slice. If you’re after a quick bite for lunch, you can choose from an array of savory flatbreads packed with fresh ingredients and toasted to order.