… winey, citrusey, spicy ….. this is the hotch potch of flavours ascribed to the Fair Trade Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee on a poster at my local coffee shop. There must be something wrong with my tastebuds because all I can taste is coffee. Oh well, perhaps that’s because I usually have the decaf, which is Brazilian. Anyway, what I really like about this coffee shop is that it is as much a blend of disparate flavours as the coffee is claimed to be.
Thai-Australian owner and barrista “Harry Roaster” (as he describes himself on a promotional poster) has assembled what seems like an odd assortment of foods to go with your coffee, but are all in their different ways Sydney – if not Australian – culinary icons.
In no particular order:
- The famous Harry’s cafe de Wheels meat pies (established 1938 down on the docks & sampled by people as famous as Frank Sinatra and Elton John)
- Portuguese tarts
- Banana bread (is there a cafe that doesn’t have it?)
- White & dark chocolate brownies – okay, more American that Oz, but they include that unique Australian nut, the macadamia
- Hot dogs – representing the first incursion of US food imperialism, way before Maccas & KFC – although they seem to have disappeared from the menu in the past couple of weeks
- Chinese steamed & BBQ chicken served with greens & rice. Well actually someone else is selling this, but they share the shopfront.
Take it all together and you have foods and beverages from thousands of years of Australian history, all continents (except Antarctica), and appealing to people from the tendy tops to the Centrelink strata of Australian society. And at $2 a cup, it’s the latter group who seem to most regularly frequent the tables and chairs on the pavement outside. I’d guess Fair Trade coffee’s usually consumed by middle class lefties like me who don’t mind paying a premium, but here the locals are buying it because it’s cheap and tastes good – and are incidentally supporting people who also struggle on low incomes, instead of the multinational coffee companies. I love that.
I can’t remember the name of the place, it’s on Brown St in Newtown. I looked for it on Google maps but their satellite pic pre-dates the cafe, which only opened in the past year, so all you can see is an empty shop. But I reckon Harry Roaster is there to stay.