There are hipsters; now meet the sipsters: they're grown-up hipsters who are serious about their coffee. And for caffeine fiends north of the bridge, this cafe gives plenty of reason to sip and sup: The Roots will serve you some straight-up schooling on all things single origin and siphons.
Under a footbridge in a corporate drag, The Roots is a hidden gem reminiscent of the kind of hole-in-the-wall you might find in downtown New York. The gorgeous glass vessels, bubbling with brew, heighten the stripped-back, science-lab feel of the place. Follow the buzz of the coffee grinder and you'll uncover this North Sydney quiet achiever.
The beatified brew comes in various guises, offering pour-over (delicate) and siphon (dazzling) coffee from a choice of single origin beans as well as Synesso-powered espresso (from $3.50). Don't bother asking for milk or sugar, the pour-over ($4.50) is mild-tasting and fragrant and will go down quicker than you'll have time to Instagram it. And those who prefer cow's colostrum with their coffee, fear not: here they serve a mean flat white without a side of superior smirks. Everyone at The Roots is in a good mood, the kind of mood only caffeine can bring.
It's all about the beverage here, and The Roots' coffee-clouded focus is clear in other ways, too; this is an order-and-pay-at-the-counter, collect-your-own-cutlery-napkins-and-water kind of place. The fit-out is sparse, all exposed pylons and too-cool concrete. But with '90s hip hop sounds playing and chatty baristas, the casual 'tude is fun and forgiven.
Don't know your strongs from your longs or simply blase about the beans? The Roots is also a welcome eatery in the lacking strip of North Sydney's CBD. The lunch offerings are a treat: you'll find simple, sincere ingredients which work well for a work-weary palate. There's a salty-sweet, buttery Reuben sandwich ($11) and with the gherkin and gruyere, it hits the right mark of piquant. Your office-assembled tuna sarnie will pale in soggy comparison to the Sirena Tuna sandwich ($11); here it's mixed with chargrilled corn, Spanish onion, mayo and a healthy handful of coriander. And for some colour and comfort for lunch, the roast beetroot and pumpkin salad ($14) can't be missed. It's resplendent with melty haloumi, toasted almonds, baby spinach and creme fraiche.
From the black stuff to the foodfare, you'll find it hard not to strike up a 'spromance with The Roots.