Shop 3, Pedestrian Overbridge, Hornsby Railway Station, Hornsby NSW
For too long, the commuters of Hornsby existed in a dire coffee drought. Not an ethically sourced, seasonal coffee bean to be seen. It’s a wonder they ever made it to work awake. In March 2014, Mitchell Hayes and Natasha Kumar put an end to that drought by opening SteamTank, an espresso bar that injects a warm and inviting vibe into what can be a cold and bleak railway concourse.
Mitchell and Natasha met at university while studying biochemistry and microbiology, but quickly decided they’d rather swap the test tubes for the grinder and opened a cafe together. They’re absolutely obsessed with coffee and have been for quite a while: Mitchell was working in his parents’ coffee shop well before the age most of us started working and Natasha spent a year travelling through Brazil, where she spent some time on a coffee plantation and fell in love with the entire process.
This joint passion has translated into a welcoming place where customers are empowered to start their day on the right track. For those grabbing a coffee during the morning rush, the team at SteamTank serve up consistently excellent coffees in a timely fashion, ensuring no one is ever late. Or, if you want to step out of the rat race and take a moment to relax, there are lean bars and friendly faces in the small but welcoming space.
The house blend here is Dark Horse from Mecca Coffee Roasters. It’s a seasonal blend and changes frequently.
It usually contains three coffees: one from Central America and two from Africa, typically including at least one naturally processed coffee. The crew at SteamTank are big fans of Ethiopian coffees. Ethiopia is the one place in the world where Arabica is harvested from wild grown forest trees and some small plantations. Mitchell explained,
“in the cup this translates to a beautiful complexity and variety of flavour coming from Ethiopian coffees.”
SteamTank will only use coffees that have been sourced transparently, that is, they can be traced back to either the cooperative who produced it (for African coffees) and often the farmer themselves (in the case of Central and South American coffees). This promotes better quality, prevents corruption and ensures a fair price for the farmers.
Open until 3pm during the week and 1pm on Saturday, SteamTank also offers a variety of healthy food options to eat in or take away. Naturally, everything on the menu is obtained from ethically sound sources so you can feel good about what you’re drinking and what you’re eating.
With such a strong focus on uncompromising quality, don’t you wish your commute took you through Hornsby station?