3 Beaumont St, Islington NSW
02 4962 2717
The owners of Suspension Espresso see the cafe as more of a community hub than a business. Based in the vibrant area on the wrong side of the tracks of Islington, Suspension Espresso “is not necessarily the most hip or slick operation around, but it is full of heart,” said owners, Christopher Johnston and Stephanie Whitehead. They’re both lovers of the community side of coffee – the way it brings people together, to chat, create, debrief, and develop relationships. It’s a real love story.
Islington is a true melting pot of different groups and is home to a very creative community. The Suspension Coffee clientele is made up of everyone from “barefoot bohemians to brain surgeons and all in between,” said Chris. They’re a generous bunch, too – the suspended coffee tradition is alive and well here, thanks to the kind folks of Newcastle. A true community spirit abounds.
Suspension Espresso started as a roasting house. It was first roasted in the cafe itself, and is still roasted by Mishka and Rachael Golski, who started the roastery together. They now roast in Sydney but retain strong links back to the cafe where it all started. Suspension Espresso changes its blend daily, and its coffee offerings are totally dependent on what Mishka and Rachael have discovered or felt like roasting on any particular day.
The staff are skilled in pouring different blends and single origins, and are well versed on the broad variety of coffees that come from the ever-inventive Mishka. There’s a range of fifteen or so origins that are used over time, just to keep it interesting.
There’s no fancy syphon coffee or other brewing methods here, just straight up espresso, made with love. There’s no Head Barista, either – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts here, and everyone contributes to serving up great espresso with a smile.
There’s seating out the front in the shade of the awning, but most prefer to kick back in the shady courtyard, where there’s plenty of space to relax and indulge in your favourite brew. The fit-out is eclectic and retro without feeling too kitschy.
There are comfy couches, cool coffee tables with mismatched chairs and lovely wood flooring. The long floorboards lead you from the front door right out the back into the shady courtyard, where you’ll find locals relaxing with the newspaper over a hearty, healthy breakfast such as saffron poached pear muesli.
If you love your Suspension espresso (which you will), you’ll have to take a bag or three home with you; they’re available for purchase in the cafe. Some say grungy, some say retro, some say trendy; all say well worth it.