Coffee is taken incredibly seriously in Australia. Just as Perth's dining and drinking scene has sharpened over the past decade, so has the quality of its espressos.
By Fleur Bainger
In Perth, there’s coffee and then there’s coffee. The locals know where to find the best brews: those little spaces where the beans are roasted either in-house or nearby, where the milk is sourced from West Australian cows, and where the baristas see it as their personal mission to improve your day.
West Perth is home to Gordon St Garage, a stunning warehouse space that is buzzing every day of the week. Pop in for a cup of their coffee, which is roasted in small batches for supreme flavour, or settle in for their weekend brunch menu. You'll even find breakfast cocktails on the menu. Don't be shy - it's surely five o'clock somewhere.
The guy pouring your brew at Telegram Coffee has worked in cafés for about 20 years. Luke is such a highly respected barista that his fans follow him from workplace to workplace. He designed the cute wooden box in which his café is housed – you’ll know it by the clusters of people surrounding it. It sits within the 19th century State Buildings, a boutique-filled spot where you’ll want to linger.
Polly was meant to be a pop-up café, but this pod venue has become a mainstay in the bustling Perth Cultural Centre. Excellent coffee in generous takeaway cups can be downed on the run, or drink yours perched on one of Polly's bright orange stools. The leafy spot sits beside an urban wetland and is just a short stroll to the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Even Melbournians will be impressed by the coffee this institution peddles. Now located on Cloisters in the heart of the central business district, the Lowdown was once a tiny hole in the wall that was forced to get itself some bigger digs thanks to the crowd clogging up the pavement outside. That crowd still remains today, but don't let it put you off - the bearded baristas move fast.
Up the business end of town, Small Print squeezes into an easily missed corner of the bar, restaurant and lunch café precinct of Brookfield Place. It combines a bakery and coffee roaster, and its goods are as fresh as they are fabulous. These pros serve everything from espresso style to pour-over, cold brew and filtered coffee.
Sayers is an institution in the hip inner city village of Leederville, as much for its inventive breakfast dishes as its carefully made coffee. As such, it’s always packed to the gills – we suggest walking through the side entrance lined with café tables, and out to the back to the more peaceful yard space. Tip: if you order takeaway coffee, they’ll pair it with a cube of house-made slice.