The very best of the beans

We’re not sure when it happened exactly but Marrickville has quietly gained a reputation for having the best coffee in Sydney in recent years, with cafes and boutique roasters popping up all over the industrial suburb.

Visit on the weekend and you’re likely to find line-ups outside countless cafes as coffee lovers travel from far and wide to patiently wait for their favourite brew. Here we test out some of the most popular baristas and their beans to find who reigns supreme in Marrickville…



Recently named the Best Café in Sydney by the SMH Good Cafe Guide 2014 and at the Inner West Local Business Awards, the coffee here doesn’t disappoint, although the cafe is known for more than just coffee. My flat white was smooth with vanilla notes and a good layer of crema, though not overly aromatic. Prices are average at $3.50 for a regular coffee made using Mecca beans and service is friendly. You may have to wait a little longer for a take away than at other local cafes but to be fair this place is quite busy even on a sleepy Monday afternoon.
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Double Roasters

My cappuccino was made quickly and for the very modest price of $3; it had a very bold aroma, which alone was enough to perk me up on a Monday afternoon, and the flavour definitely matched. It was very strong for a single shot, perhaps a little too strong for me, but you certainly feel that you are getting your money’s worth. The milk was nicely frothed and blended well with the shot to give a good creamy texture. I also like the fact that these guys roast their own beans.
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Coffee Alchemy

It’s no surprise that the coffee at this place is excellent considering they’ve won the Best Coffee award in the SMH Good Cafe Guide for four years in a row, including this year. This animal friendly cafe roasts its own beans in house and grinds to order if you want to take some home so it’s super fresh and tastes great. There are flavours to suit all tastes and keep things interesting – I know a few fans of the El Salvador variety – but I had a flat white made with the house blend ($3.50) and while it was quite a strong hit of caffeine, it still went down super smooth. The people-watching here is also priceless.
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Coffee, Tea and Me

This newcomer to Marrickville is a cosy little place that uses Campos coffee, which is popular among Inner Westies and has a decent taste. A regular coffee set me back $3.30 and arrived piping hot, it had a nice but subtle aroma and a similarly subtle flavour. This is easy drinking for those who aren’t huge coffee drinkers or don’t like their coffee too strong because it’s a little less punchy than most of the other coffees you’ll find in the area.
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