Peaberrys, Newcastle, New South Wales
The folks at Peaberrys have applied wine-tasting principles to another one of Australia’s favourite beverages.
By Dan F Stapleton
Published: 25 July, 2017
When it comes to coffee, Australians are reliably one step ahead. We pioneered caffeine culture in the 1990s with our smooth flat whites and perfectly balanced espresso shots, then popularised small-scale roasting in the 2000s. Our baristas and restaurateurs are continually searching for new ways to prepare and present coffee, dreaming up innovations such as the recently unveiled cellar door experience at Peaberrys Coffee Roasters in Newcastle. What makes us so crazy about coffee? “Australians love good wine and good spirits, and that enthusiasm has carried over to coffee,” says Rob Greer, brand manager at Peaberrys. “There are so many different beans and different methods. It’s that same sense of wonder and excitement that comes from discovering wine.”
A TEMPLE FOR COFFEE
Peaberrys may appear unassuming from the outside, but step through the front doors of this independent business in Newcastle’s happening Islington neighbourhood and you’ll find a hive of activity. The open-plan space features a coffee-roasting facility with state-of-the-art equipment, a packaging and distribution area that prepares beans for many of Newcastle’s finest establishments, and a Peaberrys cafe flooded with natural light. “The space was designed to be transparent,” says Greer. “From the front door, you can see right through to the production area.” This all-in-one facility comprises what Peaberrys has dubbed their “cellar-door” experience.
COFFEE ON A LEARNING CURVE
Greer says the aim of the Peaberrys cellar door experience is to give coffee drinkers a fuller understanding of how different beans, roasting techniques and preparation methods can make a significant difference to the end product. “At a traditional cellar door for wine, the makers talk about the profile of the wine, the origin of the grapes and the way they are fermented. All of that applies to the Peaberrys cellar door.” Visitors who are curious to compare different coffees are well taken care of. “The advantage of being attached to the roastery is that we have access to all the beans being processed that week,” Greer says. “Chances are we can do exactly what you want.”
MADE TO ORDER
Half the fun of visiting Peaberrys is deciding which coffee-preparation method (or methods) you’d like to try. The team can make you an espresso-based beverage, of course, but there are also more niche options such as filter, French press, batch brew and cold drip. Feeling particularly adventurous? Try a nitro coffee (cold-brewed coffee infused with nitrogen), which is made over the course of several days. “Nitro is like an iced Guinness,” says Greer, “with a big, beautiful head on it.”
TALK OF THE TOWN
Peaberrys is located in Islington, a tiny suburb in the city centre of Newcastle. This gorgeous coastal town and former industrial centre, about two hours north of Sydney, is currently undergoing a major transformation as young entrepreneurs and artists remake old factories and take over shopfronts. Islington, also home to much-loved businesses such as Talby’s ice-cream store and Madame Mo’s dumpling house, is in the thick of it. “Islington is quirky, fast, exciting and different,” says Greer. And, he adds, the future in Newcastle seems exceedingly bright. “There’s a sense of untapped energy across the whole city.”
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The Best Cafés in Australia
Australians have become so obsessed with coffee that it’s hard to remember Australia was once a nation of committed tea drinkers. And while tea has hardly been relegated to the sidelines – there are tearooms and teashops in every capital city in the country – coffee is now the conversation. Where it’s from, how it’s roasted, who’s doing the roasting: these are issues of vital importance to discriminating coffee connoisseurs. Yet the café culture that has sprung up around this coffee bean obsession is about much more than a brew, with quality food an equally crucial ingredient in encouraging punters back. Here are some of the best cafés the country has to offer.Add to my sales tool kit