LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
After visiting the oldest coffee roastery in Northbridge, the OnWilliam Coffee Crawl group continued their exploration down a quiet alleyway turnoff. Love Thy Neighbour is situated at the tail end of the revived alleyway that also houses popular Northbridge eateries like Superstar Waffles and Is Donburi. Despite it's weekday only opening hours, it has long been one of my favourite and more reliable coffee spots within the area. It was especially kind of co-owner TJ to stay and keep LTN open after hours especially for our coffee crawl visit!
As all 22 of us settled into the small cafe, TJ began telling us Love Thy Neighbour's story. We were treated to a great insight into the Single Origin Roasters, which are the coffee bean producers that they've chosen to work with at LTN. TJ then set about making cup upon cup of espresso, which were made both with speed and expertise. It was wonderful to palm the warm coffee in my hands and hand them out to the other fellow crawlers - the aromas wafting off every glass were amazing!
We then began to taste and discuss the flavour profiles within the espresso shot. TJ got the ball rolling and some of us were able to pick up on flavours like cherry, molasses and chocolate...it's a more distinct extension off just saying that your coffee is sour, dark or bitter. The more flavours you can pick up on, the easier it is for you to decipher what tastes you prefer. Coffee profiling is definitely something that I'd love to devote more time too - it's so interesting that an espresso shot can carry an array of potential flavours like butter, walnuts, lemon, cucumber or apricots. Personally, I find myself gravitating towards chocolate, hazelnut and caramel flavours rather than coffee that carries fruitier aromas.
By this stage, I was definitely starting to feel dehydrated and I was thankful that there were bottles of water and drinking glasses placed around the room. Despite my most recent visit to Love Thy Neighbour being disappointing, long term consistency wise - I have always been a fan ever since they opened up shop. It's the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon with a cup of coffee or a pot of tea, and their amazing reuben sandwiches!
You may just miss our final pit stop on your usual saunter up William Street, but rest assured that the centre fold sized nook amongst Kakulas Brothers and the Bird may just be well on your way to a great morning starter. Brought to you by fellow William Street cafe, Little Willy's - Bookend may be a rain drop in the ever growing Northbridge storm, but you're in for a reliable coffee quickie. Everything is done on a small scale here and it's an efficient way to go about it; food wise - there's just enough little cakes under a glass cloche and enough coffee supplies to get them through a busy day or two. And well, barista Rob - he's a bit of a superstar coffee maker that's definitely earned his street cred! He took making 22 coffees really well and would look up every now and then to speak to the few of us that were hanging around the Bookend coffee machine.
Like every venue before, myself and organisers Kelsie and Rhi waited till all our eager coffee crawlers had gotten their share before chugging down our own. By the time Rob had gotten to ours, he had run out of coffee cups and had put my espresso in this gorgeous baby porcelain mug! I loved swishing the espresso around and watching the sides of my little mug stain - it was a great espresso! Admittedly, I had dropped by Bookend earlier for my morning shot with Kels and I can safely say that I look forward to my future visits. It's a simple, stripped down venue that produces a good product, despite it's seemingly bare bones fit out. It's exactly what it needs to be for the busy commuter and well placed within the emerging food and beverage outlets of Northbridge.
Disclaimer: I was invited to host the OnWilliam Coffee Crawl but decided to also buy a ticket to the event in support of the two charities. This is a post that reflects the happenings of the event rather than being a regular "review".