One step into 22 Grams in Randwick, and you know the owners, Douglas Delaney and Hazel Gordon, love their coffee. The aroma of freshly expressed coffee, the Probat roaster, friendly staff weaving amongst a boisterous clientele, the industrial-chic decor – all tell-tale signs of a well-oiled cafe machine.
There is something about coffee that gets into the veins of the people it touches. And it is this passion that drives many in the industry to strive for bigger and better outcomes to ensure we get our daily dose the way we like it.
Hazel said, “It’s the people that are the key drivers for us. We have created a space where both staff and customers want to be – a place that is crazy busy, but where we laugh a lot, we look out for each other, and where people are valued.”
On their journey to find the best coffee for their customers, Hazel and Douglas have gone the extra mile. Douglas said, “When buying green beans we seek out quality, traceability, and ethically produced beans. When roasting and making coffee, our focus is on fully developing the aromatic and flavour potential of each specific bean.
“To avoid generic ‘roasty’ flavours which mask the more elegant, truthful, hard won characteristics, we roast light for our black espresso and filter, and medium-light for our milk based drinks. To be clear, grassy, straw and overly savoury notes from under developed coffee are not welcome. We fully develop our coffee – but no more than that.”
So if you missed the point about this duo being passionate, Douglas added, “For me, coffee is a wild ride. It fluctuates – expanding, contracting, popping. Alive always. As roasters and makers of specialty coffee, we’re required to be wide awake to these many changes, some subtle, some dramatic.
“22 grams, the name, is symbolic of the attention given to measurement when dealing with such constant and varied change. You better have some things locked down when you’re chasing a peak experience and then hoping to repeat it. For us, it’s measurement. Beyond this, well, it’s cupping, discussing and arguing our point of view and preferences with each other.”
As you would expect, 22 Grams’ coffee changes often, as the seasons demand in specialty coffee. Their current, seasonal blend, “Dark & Handsome,” delivers cherry and chocolate in equal amounts, a succulent combination in milk-based coffees. Their single origin blacks are a journey full of discovery, with Douglas roasting small lots from farms in a number of far away countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Brazil, Rwanda, Guatemala and Panama.
22 Grams is also as fussy about their food as they are about their coffee, which says a lot. Bread is supplied by ‘The Bread & Butter Project’ who reinvest 100% of their profits back into communities in need. In addition, all the chicken, meat and eggs are free-range, and the fruit and veggies are locally grown when possible. And everything, bar the bread, is cooked on site, from scratch.
This is no news to the locals who ensure that 22 Grams is buzzing from early morning takeaways to weekday lunches and weekend brunches. Try their poached eggs with avo smash and roasted tomatoes, or their goats’ cheese bruschetta, or any of their freshly baked goods, and you’ll understand.