Not Your Average Coffee Shop
Coffee consumption has changed dramatically over the past few years, especially in the Eastern Suburbs. Our taste has developed to the point where instant coffee is considered powdered diarrhoea and the complexity of our orders have increased from two syllables to short stories.
This migration away from the regular was put into perspective recently when the new guy at work put in his first order for the morning coffee run. We were all so shocked by the simplicity of his request that he is now affectionately known as ‘Flat White’.
“We are a country of coffee enthusiasts,” explains Josh Passaro, director of Will & Co coffee, the guys who supply Bondi’s Porch & Parlour and the Coogee Pavilion, “which is fantastic as it means we are well educated, know what a good coffee is and have an opinion on favourite brands and blends.”
“Every week there seems to be an interesting new café opening, the standard of coffee and food in cafés is the best it’s ever been and a large majority of people are experimenting with alternative brews outside of the traditional milk-based coffee.”
Given these recent changes highlighted by Passaro, in December last year Will & Co decided to open a concept store and boutique roastery in Bondi, on the corner of Gould Street and Beach Road.
The innovative micro roastery is a hybrid space, predominantly used for training and education purposes, coffee roasting, retail and as a community hub for locals to gather and work together. The space also provides an opportunity to explore the flavour profiles of different coffee origins and experiment with alternative brewing methods.
There are plans to host a variety of events at the store including latté art smack downs, barista competitions and educational talks with the aim to further educate the local community on coffee culture and the science of coffee. Coffee lovers will have the opportunity to take part in home barista courses and will be able to purchase freshly roasted Will & Co coffee beans and a range of specialty goods such as coffee brewing equipment and ceramics.
Will & Co worked with Sydney Architects Alexander & Co to create an airy space that reflects the coastal lifestyle of Bondi. Steel joinery sets a backdrop for resin coffee counters and exposed painted brickwork. A Donald Judd inspired pivoting partition hovers while the coffee grinder and bean sacks sit centrally with pride of place. Custom, artistic murals bring the space to life, designed and installed by local artist Steve Smith.
The store is not trying to be a traditional café – there’s no food – but there is of course coffee on offer, made using an impressive custom Probat coffee roaster. Celebrating the theatre of coffee, the Probat drum roaster uses a slower, more controlled method of roasting and will be exclusively used to roast the world’s most exciting coffee beans.
Will & Co’s signature blend is the 808, a blend of Brazilian and Guatemalan beans grown in rich volcanic soil in Antigua, delivering a unique flavour.
In keeping with the brand’s ethos of supporting the local community, the store has made a conscious move to minimise the use of plastics. The space features a milk juggler, which uses milk bladders instead of cartons to minimise waste, and all used coffee grounds will be recycled back to the local community for use in compost beds and gardens.
“We want it to be a space where local community members can come and meet each other, and if they can learn something about coffee or sustainability at the same time then fantastic,” Mr Passaro told The Beast.