Our new roastworks coffee bar may be small and slender but it’s packed with big features on the coffee & food front. Here’s a liquid run down with head barista Sean McManus and managista Cameron Stephens. And we speak to chefs Tommy Prosser and Gaspar Tse.
WHAT’S YOUR EQUIPMENT SET UP AT BOTANY & WHY?
We are running a 3 group La Marzocco Linea PB, after using them in Surry Hills for the past 5 months we have been impressed with the quality of coffee, plus the volumetrics are second to none. We’re also using the Mahlkonig EK-43 for filter brewing (V60, CCD) and espresso. It really stretches our coffees out, in extraction and flavour.
WHAT CAN CUSTOMERS EXPERIENCE ON THE FILTER BAR?
That’s the key word – ’bar’, we have really taken it to a bar level. With bar stools positioned all the way long you can engage with your coffee brewer and chef. Plus who wouldn’t want to be close enough to receive a hug or hi 5 on arrival!
HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THE ESPRESSO?
We’re using Reservoir Blend for milk-based beverages, as per Surry Hills. It’s a sophisticated, structured, vibrant blend that reflects our brand and that we use day in and day out and understand every change with it. That said we’re leveraging the EK-43 to also showcase our origins, and the feature blend of the month – highlighting the other 3 blends in our suite, sharing brew parameters and notes with our customers and especially our wholesale customers.
FEATURE BLEND FOR AUGUST?
We are featuring our Paradox blend which is as rich as it is complex. It has flavours of black forest berries and bitter chocolate, which may seem absurd or contradictory, but in fact it just works! And we love it, so do our mates at Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown, The Baron in Castle Hill and Three Williams in Redfern, to name a few.
MOST COMMON BOTANY COFFEE ORDERS SO FAR?
With espresso with milk playing its usual role, to be honest, filter is really dominating here. V60’s are flying out the door and the locals all seem genuinely interested in experiencing new forms of coffee.
COFFEE ASPIRATIONS FOR THIS SPACE?
So much! Use the opportunity to educate the local community on different brewing methods, different blends and single origins. (And of course we will be on our best behavior as we’re the new kids in this suburb!) Also be a hub for our wholesale customers to visit on their days off and talk all things coffee…they’re already coming in for things like barista trainings and cuppings upstairs in the lab, so this rounds out the visit even more!) Watch this space for news on upcoming public tastings and roastworks tours too.
YOU CAN’T NOT OFFER A BACON AND EGG ROLL IN BOTANY, RIGHT? BUT HOW IS SINGLE O’S DIFFERENT?
We cure our own bacon, a process developed over the last couple of years in Surry Hills. It is based on the traditional English dry cured bacon, a nine day process that involves packing the pork in a ‘dry cure’ for 5 days. It’s then soaked in iced water for a day to purge some of the salt before being hung for 3-4 days until it is ready to be sliced in house. We also make chilli relish in-house so we can control the balance of sweet, sour and spicy complimenting the salty, sweet bacon.
TALK US THROUGH BANANA BREAD WITH ESPRESSO BUTTER?
The espresso butter uses what is in my opinion is the best coffee paired with the best butter in Australia that is lightly sweetened to compliment the light fluffy banana bread.
TELL US ABOUT THE SIGNATURE BOTANY BREAKFAST?
“The Mothership” breakfast is unique to our Botany café. A high protein breakfast full of good fats it features tasty lamb merguez flavoured with our unique blend of spices. We make a salad base of chickpea, avocado, toasted almond, mixed herb, lemon juice and our style za’atar. We top this salad with 2 of our poached eggs that are slow cooked at 62.5 degrees and then cooked at a hotter temperature to firm up the outside layer of white. When cut into it they have a runny yolk with the white just set and soft to eat (no rubbery white here).
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE ROASTWORKS BURGER, DESCRIBED AS NEXT LEVEL, THE SHIZ, TELL US ABOUT IT?
So let’s start with the patty, it’s a mixture of chuck, topside and rump steaks with 15% fat content so the patty stays succulent. They are cooked sous vide at 58 degrees, before frying both sides and melting cheese on top. Now for the salad, chiffonade (thinly sliced) iceberg lettuce, mixed with smoked chipotle mayo to keep it all together. As everyone knows fish and chip shops make the best burgers and one with “the lot” has everything but the kitchen sink, it is the first time I encountered pineapple on a burger. I took this idea of an Aussie ‘Classic’ and had a little fun with it developing a sweet and sour spiced pineapple chutney. We take these three components and sandwich them between a lightly toasted brioche bun, accompanied by some pickled red cabbage because every burger deserves a “pickle”.
Single Origin Roasters Botany – 28 B Cranbrook Street. Open Tue-Fri 7am – 3pm and Sat 7:30am – 3pm.