Unfortunately for locals, the secret is well and truly out.
March 20, 2014
The wall reads in a large font, "do more of what makes you happy." Especially if that involves drinking coffee just a mere bagel's throw from the beach. Okay, guys. It's as good as done.
Freshwater (the suburb formerly known as Harbord) used to be a sleepy little beachside village with waves that only surfers knew about and absolutely frothed at. Everyone else had no idea where it was. Unfortunately for locals, the secret is well and truly out. Not only is the beach a thousand times better than Manly could ever be, but it's now gotten just a little bit funky with the influx of so many young couples. There's Stowaway Bar, the dodgy-looking but loveable chicken 'n' chip shop, and now there's Cruise Espresso. Finally, Freshie is not just a place for old grannies.
Cruise Espresso, sandwiched between a hairdresser's and video shop, is on the main drag (if you could call it that) of the village. There are vintage chairs outside to perch on, or rustic, long share tables with benches inside. And the best part about inside? There's air conditioning for those sweltering summer days.
Although they serve Belgium hot chocolate/mochas ($4.5) or soy chai tea ($4.5), this is a coffee place. A large drip coffee glass display should clear up any misunderstandings. And the beans? African (exact location not specified), an Indian blend and an Indonesian variety (although can vary).
On a hot summer's day, go for a refreshing Five Senses cold drip coffee ($5) served on ice. The vanilla bean affogato ($4) is likewise worth giving a red hot go to cool down with. The turquoise cups and saucers (which come with vintage tea spoons, including one with royals Camilla and Charles), pot plants, chunky wood pieces, flowers and mags to read if you're sipping solo make the place an Instagram hit. Owner Sam Gibson has really ticked all of the boxes. You can even do a prepay pick up order.
Although it's all about the coffee, you can have a power ball ($3) or a few other sweet treats, organic maple granola with honey, yoghurt, blueberries, strawberries, passionfruit and banana ($12) or a bagel. Now, these are the Brooklyn Boy Bagels (aka artisan, hand-rolled and authentically boiled bagels), so you know you're in good hands. They're served four ways, but it's hard to go past the salmon, cream cheese, dill and capers ($9).
A tip is to sit on the same side of the bench as your friends, otherwise you'll have to compete with the tunes. Because, as these guys say "life's too short to miss out on good company and even better coffee." It's hard to argue with that.
This is one to head straight to, although don't ask the locals for their opinion. They'll tell you there's still nothing much going on in ol' Freshie. Why not go hang at Bondi or Manly, they say.