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Newly Opened Hemingway Cafe Is Here to Challenge Your Perception of Coffee

With high-end equipment never before seen in WA, the CBD cafe's aim is bold: for Perth to be the top specialty coffee location in the world.
By Concrete Playground
October 20, 2020
By Concrete Playground
October 20, 2020

Neil and Zac Barrett have ambitious plans for newly opened Hemingway Cafe at the Central Park building on St George's Terrace in Perth's CBD. The father and son team (also behind Mo Espresso, Mo Allendale, Arlo By Mo, Max & Sons and Balance Espresso) want Perth to be "on the tip of everyone's lips when it comes to specialty coffee".

"The cafe is about communicating to the people of Perth what speciality coffee is…seeing more than just a 12-ounce flat white, but a highly valued commodity, and really starting to challenge their expectations of what good coffee should be," son Zac told Concrete Playground.

The pair hopes to achieve this vision with premium coffee making equipment that will add precision to your cup of coffee. The cafe boasts a Modbar espresso making machine — one of only a handful in Perth.

"Modbar collaborated with La Marzocco and created this espresso machine that is the most consistent thing I've ever seen. It allows us to control specific parameters — we're able to weigh every shot but still get it out quickly," Zac said.

Daniel Carson

The Modbar will be accompanied by the Poursteady — an automated pour over coffee machine that that can make three cups of coffee at once.

"The Poursteady is the champion of the site. We want people to experience filtered coffee in its purest form. We've taken out the element of chance of different baristas giving you different outputs, with the Poursteady we've controlled it all," Zac said.

The cafe uses Five Senses beans as its staple, but will also source beans from across Australia and the world for a rolling seasonal list giving coffee drinkers "a passport away from where they are now" — something that's not easy during a pandemic.

Prices will range from the standard $3.50 for a small flat white, right up to $20 for specialty brews. Calvin Tang, head of coffee for the group, and certified Q-Grader (someone licensed to determine the market value of coffee based on taste and origins) will oversee the beverage menu.

Daniel Carson

When it comes to food, the team expects it to meet "the amount of thought, creativity and passion that we have for coffee," — and the menu, designed by Head Chef Daniel Lim, takes inspiration from writer Ernest Hemingway. It boasts out-of-the-box lunch options like crab and prawn BLTs and spanish potato and chorizo pancakes, using produce from Perth favourites including North Street Store, Raisin Bakery, Raw by Chris and Miller & Baker. Everything will be available for both dine-in and takeaway.

"Daniel has created a menu that links into the genesis of Hemingway. Food was one of Hemingway's great passions," Zac said.

"There's sardines on toast but dressed to the nines (a nod to Hemingway's novel The Old Man and the Sea), Florida Keys elements with desserts, Italian elements — it's quite varied in cuisines, but it's all connected to the travels and writing of Hemingway."

The crowd favourite: $25 lobster rolls (only available on Friday), that have been selling out every week.

The minimalist design of the venue, which has 29 seats, and can hold up to 50 patrons with its standing area, is the work of architect firm Woods Bagot.

Find Hemingway Cafe at the Central Park building lobby, 152–158 St George's Terrace, Perth. It's open 6.30am–4pm Monday–Friday.

Images: Daniel Carson

Published on October 20, 2020 by Concrete Playground


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