Sensory Lab Bondi Beach
75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach NSW
02 9130 7256
“It is at the forefront of the specialty coffee movement and places a special emphasis on manual brewing.”
Sensory Lab in Bondi Beach is the first Sydney location for this infamous coffee supplier. At their cafe-cum-science-laboratory in David Jones, Melbourne, Sensory Lab has wowed the coffee-loving locals with their syphon brewing system, intricate menu listings and white-coat clad servers. While there’s less of the beaker and clipboard and more of a cafe feel at Sensory Lab Bondi Beach, locals and the ever-changing transient population of the area are in for a genuine treat at this coffee destination.
With its polished-concrete floors and walls covered in draped fabric (pinned back by plants in glass containers), there’s certainly an industrial-chic vibe to the place. There’s no kitchen here – this is a place designed specifically to glorify the beloved bean. Having said that, there is a small selection of pastries and bagels available, which provide the perfect accompaniment to what many locals have dubbed the perfect coffee.
Owned by Salvatore Malatesta and a group of partners who are all in the business, Sensory Lab Bondi Beach is managed by Felipe De Castro Cruz, who moved from Perth to join the expert team. Upholding relationships with producers in various destinations such as Costa Rica and Brazil, the house blend is Steadfast, which currently contains a blend of Colombia San Agustin and Brazil Fazenda Rainha.
Sensory Lab is at the forefront of the specialty coffee movement and places a special emphasis on manual brewing. Offering espresso-based coffees, V60s, AeroPress and the aforementioned syphon, a trip to Sensory Lab is an educational experience as well as a place for a simple caffeine refuel. The knowledgeable staff pride themselves on providing an elevated coffee experience. If you are interested in learning about the roasting and brewing process, just ask!
Syphon brewing has already proven popular in coffee-mad Melbourne, appearing at a limited number of venues, which include Sensory Lab’s two Melbourne destinations and St Ali, Sensory Lab’s parent company. Syphon coffee comes served in a glass beaker (think secondary school science class), and is drunk from a cup with a wide bowl, which allows the drinker to experience the coffee’s bouquet. It is a science and an art and is up there with wine appreciation!
The beans used in syphon coffee are roasted in a ‘filter’ style, that is different to those used in traditional espresso. The beans are then ground and steeped in carefully controlled hot water. The coffee is pulled through a fabric or paper filter and poured into the serving beaker. This process allows different flavours to come through; flavours that are lost when beans are brewed at a higher temperature – it is all about subtlety. Taken without milk or sugar, syphon coffee is worth a try, and where better than at Sensory Lab, with the backdrop of Bondi Beach and the sea breeze on your face?