The Sydney Morning Herald’s 2014 Good Cafe Guide has been published, acknowledging those who contribute to the premium coffee culture of Sydney.
Despite the prestige of recent awards, the humble cafe vibe remains with both the Best Brew Bar and Best Barista awarded to cafes in Surry Hills: The Reformatory Caffeine Lab and Sample Coffee. Both cafes spoke to The Newsroom to discuss their thoughts on their recent awards.
Sample Coffee on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills has been awarded three cups in the guide and an additional prize to Ruben Marden, named as Sydney’s Best Barista. The Newsroom spoke with Ruben Marden, a resident of Newtown, on a regular day at Sample Coffee.
“It is nice to be acknowledged by the customers that come through,” said Marden, who has spent 15 years in the industry. “We don’t have a big space…we have always strived towards quality coffee.”
Sample Coffee also sells products from their cafe, with a Sydney local saying, “The [hospitality] industry is always changing.”
The Reformatory Caffeine Lab, a relatively new cafe on Surry Hill’s Foveaux Street, was awarded Best Brew Bar of 2014.
Owner Simon Jaramillas, 34, could not be happier with the results. “It is an important award to get, the most accurate of all… for us it’s huge,” Mr Jaramillas told The Newsroom. Mr Jaramillas said it “took four years putting the idea together” for the quirky cafe, and was awarded two cups from the Good Cafe Guide of 2014.
The Good Cafe Guide can be bought from all good bookstores and enjoyed over an award winning coffee from the places above. – Greta Levy
Photos taken by Rebecca Hopper.