Good Brother Espresso Shop is a funky cafe with an industrial feel, bringing quality espresso and great vibes to the Newcastle cafe scene.
Good Brother Espresso Shop is the second cafe for Christopher Johnston and Stephanie Whitehead, who also own Suspension Espresso in Islington. They’re still serving Suspension Coffee, from husband and wife team, Mishka and Rachael Golski, in Sydney, but this time in Newcastle’s east end, by the sea.
The area has really come alive in the last few years, and Good Brother Espresso Shop sees a regular parade of Mums and bubs, professionals on their way to work, students and beach goers, and of course the local regulars. Chris and Steph count many of the customers amongst their friends, and the vibe here shows it – relaxed, welcoming and friendly. Steph loves the culture of coffee in Australia; it’s as much about people interacting and being part of their community as it is the actual drink in the cup.
While Good Brother Espresso Shop has its own personality and its own unique feel, it serves up the same excellent coffee that Chris and Steph’s Islington customers love: Suspension Espresso. “We use different blends all the time to keep things interesting, but Kongi Gold, which grows wild in Papua New Guinea is our base bean. Someone once gave a batch to Mishka as they couldn’t get the profile right. Mishka worked to create a good profile for the bean, and eventually turned it into one of our best – robust, smooth and earthy,” Stephanie said. The coffee is small batch roasted for Good Brother Espresso Shop, and alongside the Kongi Gold, they also serve whatever else Mishka likes to roast, the trust in Mishka’s talent is solid, and rightly so.
With blends from a name like Suspension Coffee, it’s only fitting that Good Brother Espresso Shop has a healthy suspended coffee tradition. Thanks to their generous customers, Chris and Steph are able to pass on coffees to those unable to afford it.
The venue is hard to miss on King Street; the vibrant terracotta façade opens up into a funky space with an industrial vibe. The exposed brick wall and long communal table give it an open, airy feel, and on nice days (with which Newcastle is rather spoiled) customers relax out the front on wooden beach chairs. A large window faces the street, with stools pulled up to the bench table; long bench seating lines the brick wall, too. There’s plenty of room for a catch up with friends.
The food is good, solid fare, with breakfast rolls, toasties, wraps and sandwiches, and muesli with natural yoghurt and khoshaf (Middle Eastern dried fruits in rosewater). There’s also a daily specials menu available for breakfast and lunch, and plenty of baked treats. Everything’s available to have in or take away. Lucky Newcastle!