Newtown Specialty Coffee
180 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
(03) 9415 7337
With a space totalling approximately 40 square metres, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Newtown Specialty Coffee as an unassuming takeaway joint. But you’d be wrong. This tiny gem on bustling Brunswick Street provides a multi-faceted cafe experience; roasting its own coffee, baking its own cakes and providing an extensive breakfast menu.
Owners, Chris Legge and his wife Jess, both possess a tangible love affair with coffee. Chris entered the coffee world as a part-time barista while studying, eventually coming to the conclusion that coffee was his real passion. After helping to set up Black Velvet Espresso and Roasters, Chris decided to start his own roasting business and cafe.
Roasting their beans in-house under the Contraband Coffee Traders brand ensures Chris and Jess are able to create bespoke coffees that truly represent the Newtown brand. Chris plays the role of Roaster and Head Barista, ensuring every stage of the production process is informed with valuable knowledge. Chris believes an understanding of the science of coffee and roasting, as well as first-hand experience with preparation and extraction is essential for all roasters.
The majority of Newtown’s raw coffee is imported by H.A. Bennetts & Sons. The cafe’s selection changes every six to eight months to embrace the seasonality of coffee harvesting, ensuring all coffee is fresh and flavoursome.
The current seasonal house blend, The Harlequin, is a blend of coffee hailing from Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The Ethiopian beans have sweet fruit flavours and rich milk chocolate, while those from Nicaragua and Costa Rica are washed, giving The Harlequin a silky smooth body, floral aromas and a sweet-toffee finish.
All of the beans are roasted in small batches to highlight the unique qualities each brings to the final product. As well as espresso and milk-based drinks, these coffee connoisseurs will happily brew cold drip, pour over and AeroPress for you all year round.
To eat, there’s a regularly changing blackboard menu. You’ll find tasty meals like the healthy coconut porridge, ‘Netflix and Chilli Eggs’, or the smashed avocado with goat’s cheese and lemon on toast.
While on the smaller side with minimal seating, the cosy space remains light and airy with wall-mounted tables and vibrant greenery. The La Marzocco machine takes centre stage on the brew bar and a striking feature wall adorned with repurposed wood adds a unique element of interest.
From bean to barista, Newtown Specialty Coffee is a full circle experience, where coffee is treated with the utmost respect and you reap the delicious rewards.