By: Bec Robertson
Coffee with heart and soul? It’s a thing. There are people in the world devoted to preparing and serving coffee with heart and soul. This isn’t the sort of coffee you get at a chain restaurant. This is the sort of coffee that makes you feel a blissed out exhilaration, rather than a rapid pulse.
Everywhere we go, my first question is about coffee. Where to get it, how early I can get it and whether it’s the sort of full bodied, strong espresso that I like to start the day.
Here are four businesses doing coffee the real way, with heart and soul.
Le Souk, Adelaide, Australia
Azou Bouilouta is the co-creator of Le Souk (‘The Market’). His Algerian restaurant has plenty of plantbased menu options such as the Vegan Breakfast with felafel, brown rice, chick pea salad, beetroot and charmoula salad, hummus and red harissa with mixed greens.
Azou grew up along the mountainous coastline of East Algeria. At the age of 18, he won a scholarship to study in Paris. Despite nearly completing his studies in genetics, he decided a career in management and hospitality was closest to his heart. He says that “Algerians prefer a full bodied coffee, ours is 100% Arabica and organic.”
Having had many espressos at Le Souk, I asked Azou a few questions about creating the perfect coffee, with heart and soul.
HB: How is the perfect coffee created?
The perfect cup of coffee is determined by a perfect water temperature to extract the goodness of the beans and appropriate volume of water.” [HB note: Azou says that the perfect temperature is between 92 and 95 degrees Celsius]
HB: What are the best beans for a strong, full bodied coffee?
In my opinion, Arabic coffee is tastier and smoother than Robusta coffee. Preferably a single origin.
HB: Coffee is a daily ritual for many people. A moment to pause, reflect and enjoy good company. How do you create that warm, inviting atmosphere in your Café?
A good cup of coffee tastes even ‘sweeter’ when your host is taking extra care and extra customer service when making your coffee in warm and inviting environment.
Le Souk is located in the Adelaide Central Market at Stall 10, Gouger Street, Adelaide, Australia.
Black Lab Coffee Roasters, Fernhill, Queenstown, New Zealand
In Queenstown, you cannot get fresher or more local than our very own Black Lab Coffee Roasters. If, like me, you need to be assured of a steady supply of liquid gold, then their subscription service is for you. With free local delivery to the Queenstown area.
The beauty of Black Lab Coffee is the people behind it and their reason for bringing it into existence. Black Lab was created by Pol and Andy, two guys with a passion for ethically sourced great coffee. During New Zealand’s lockdown, they were inspired to create their coffee company by Molly the black Labrador. Molly loves to run (a lot) and drove them to keep pushing on, keep going and create something for the future. This passion shines through in every batch of coffee. Not only is this coffee delivered to your door, it’s “full-flavoured caffeine goodness”.
You can order online or arrange a subscription with delivery (like I have). Select ‘Local Delivery’ during check out for free delivery within Queenstown.
Jono’s Kitchen, Rose Bay, Sydney
Moroccan/middle eastern inspired cuisine. Freshly made on the premises by passionate chefs with warm smiles. The best smile of all comes from Jono himself. He lived in Hawaii and has brought together the laid back feel of Hawaii with the deliciousness of middle eastern cuisine. My favourite is the fresh Israeli salad with homemade Falafel.
And the coffee. Any coffee shop open at 530am has my approval. I especially love that they serve espresso with a small glass of sparkling water to freshen the palette. That is a true coffee lover’s trick. When you watch the sun come up in Rose Bay, get greeted with a smile and a strong espresso, life is good. Then straight to Bondi for amazing sand running.
Jono’s also has Acai bowls, smoothies and gluten free artisan bread. You can find them at 525B Old South Head Rd, Rose Bay NSW 2029, Australia.
Vudu Larder, Queenstown, New Zealand
I’ve had many a delicious vegan cake from Vudu Larder in Queenstown. You can read my previous article on their chocolate tart here. But, we also need to talk about the coffee. This is coffee with passion.
Their machine is front and centre so you can watch the coffee being ground, poured and served. It’s like a love note for coffee lovers. Just don’t stand too close to the cake display whilst you are waiting – I always come out with at least two raw vegan cakes!
Another cafe with proper dedication to the bean. The coffee is strong, flavourful and made with love. They appreciate attention to detail. And it shows. The vintage vibe reminds me of dedication to the craft of creating something special without high tech gadgetry and neon lights. There’s an underlying feel of old school baking, quality and impeccable service.
Nestled on the lakefront in Queenstown, this is where you go for a coffee and view that makes your soul feel alive.
Find Vudu Larder at 16 Rees St, Queenstown, New Zealand
If you like coffee as much as me, hold tight! I’ve got a new recipe on the way for Espresso Cacao Brownie using Black Lab Coffee. Gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free!