The specialty coffee scene in Australia is an ever-expanding beast. It’s not out of control (yet), but the number of new cafes opening each month is simply phenomenal. Most get the aesthetics right, an increasing number do the coffee thing pretty well too, but very few push the boundaries of the café concept beyond the safety of the ‘poached eggs and latte’ crowd. Every now and then a space opens that breaks the mould and isn’t afraid to be a little different – Paramount Coffee Project is one of these spaces.
The guys behind Sydney’s Reuben Hills have teamed up with the fine folk of Melbourne’s Seven Seeds to make something pretty special in PCP. It’s as much a collaborative coffee space as it is a café. Roasters and coffee brands from around the world can have residencies, effectively taking over the coffee operations in the space for the duration of their stay. Hardware is changed, new roasts and processes are brought in and importantly, coffee drinkers can expand their palates with diverse experiences they wouldn’t normally have access to.
Espresso is a constantly changing affair at the Paramount Coffee Project. There’s a certain luxury in having an open choice in the beans you use, and PCP’s espresso based drinks are all the better for it. Essentially they can choose to sell the best roasts going around at any given time without being locked into a contract with the one supplier. I’ll be the first to admit the day(s) I went there was definitely a strong presence of coffee from the parent companies (Seeds and Reuben, not a bad thing!) but there were also several other roaster’s being showcased at the same time. This ‘bigger picture’ thinking is great for drinkers and I think it’s something the specialty coffee world could use a little more of.
PCP pride themselves on trying to give coffee drinkers something different. In the filter bar you can sample coffee flights that showcase such things as several different roasters’ take on the same bean, or several different beans from the same region, or even the same bean prepared using different brewing methods. The experience will vary but is always designed to really get you thinking about what’s in your cup. It’s not just local roasters that are featured either – today’s brew bar flight features coffee all the way from the guys at Onibus in Tokyo.
Let’s call this ‘open coffee’. Bravo PCP.
Location: Google Maps Link
Paramount Coffee Project
80 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills, NSW,