My favourite coffees in the CBD

The weekend started great this morning with a coffee at 868 Gourmet which is just a hop, skip and jump away from home.

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The coffee was quite strong and a little too hot but I still enjoyed it.

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They use 5 senses beans at 868 which is my preferred roaster.

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Before working in the city, my favourite beverage in the world would probably be the Hongkong style milk tea. Actually, I still love my milk teas and chinese teas , but coffee is a firm favourite as well.  There’s lots I miss about being in the city, sometimes it is dicovering a quiet, empty lane hidden in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

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The mix of old and new buildings.

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Checking out the latest restaurants, cafes and shops popping up all over the city. This new coffee shop Basilica opened up during my last week at work in the city along with other shops all located in close vicinity to the impressive BHP Billiton skyscraper. I did try Basilica coffee before I left but it wasn’t fantastic.

I knew that I wanted to do a post on my favourite coffees in the city before leaving. So with Jo’s borrowed camera in hand,  I had a coffee every day for the entire week!

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Tartine was my most frequented coffee joint in the city  since it opened up right below my office building about a year ago. This place not only serves consistently good coffee (they use 5 senses) but have lovely belgian hot chocolates too. The tarts and pastries here are also delectable, with our favourite being their white chocolate and macadamia muffins plus their light brownies.

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The team at  Tartine are always cheery and passionate about their coffee as you can tell by their handwritten smileys on the takeaway cup. Everytime a coffee spills over the top, the barista will say ‘the coffee’s excited to see you!’ The only downside to Tartine, the prices are on the higher side with a large coffee going for $5.50, but to be fair, their large coffees are really quite large!

Tartine
72 St Georges Tce
Perth

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I’ve blogged many times about Velvet and how much I love the coffees at this place. This cafe is what started my love affair with coffee. I still remember my then manager saying ‘there’s this lovely little cafe nearby…’ . Velvet is so popular with the office crowd that the downside is the long wait (around 10 – 15 mins) during rush hour. A normal sight in the morning along King Street is the line of patient caffeine loving folks queing out of the cafe. But trust me, it is worth the wait.

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No matter how busy they are, I can’t really remember a coffee that I’ve had here which hasn’t been good, velvety (pun intended) with gorgeous chocolate notes (they use 5 senses too) at the end. Every time I forget how good a nicely made coffee is, I have a hit of Velvet and my mind just goes ‘ahhh… now I remember’. The coffee prices here have been slowly creeping up too (as is the whole of Perth) with a regular (which is actually quite a small cup) going for $4.20. The service is not particularly friendly but quick and efficient. I only wished they were open on weekends SIGH.

Velvet Espresso
172 St Georges Ter Shop 5
Perth, WA 6000

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Before Tartine opened up, this was also one of my usual haunts. The guys at Ristretto Espresso take their coffee very very seriously., they source and roast their own beans.  Located in the alley of a small arcade, this place is really a ‘hole in the wall’ and not one for a cafe ambience. They have their own fans as well (another branch in Howard Street) and it can be a little wait during peak hours.

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Their coffee prices are also on the higher side but at least you won’t be getting burnt milk here, coffees are strong, smooth and best of all, consistent.

Ristretto Espresso
160 Central Arcade
160 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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Greenhouse created a stir in Perth when it opened a few years ago. It was lauded for its innovative design, recycling greenhouse theme. Not to mention the up and coming chef Matt Stone with his award winning menu. But that was back in its hey day, nowadays I hear Greenhouse is still largely popular but the service standards has dropped incredibly.

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Luckily, the coffees here ($4 for regular if I remember correcly) are still consistently good (they use Fiori beans hence a more intense, stronger flavour) and I found myself trekking to Greenhouse quite often despite it being further down the Terrace from my workplace.They also have nice looking savoury muffins and tarts on offer during breakfast and best of all, remains open during the weekends, woohoo!

Greenhouse
100 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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I left the best for the last (^____^). The one and only Lowdown. I have to admit, I er.. kinda prefer Velvet coffees *small voice* over Lowdown coffees only because Lowdown uses Fiori beans and I’ve always been partial towards 5 senses which are more mild on my tastebuds. BUT… Lowdown makes the best Fiori coffees in town because their coffees are always excellent, strong and creamy (and the boys make gorgeous latte art too).

When my workplace moved further down the Terrace, my first thought was ‘oh no,further away from Lowdown’. When I was contemplating going back to my old workplace, my first thought was ‘yes! daily Lowdown coffees!’ So why do I love this place so much? It’s the groovy barista brothers whom are not overly cheery but friendly,polite and just so charming. They make the effort of remember every customer’s name, call out ‘thank you xxx’ before handing the customer their coffee with a gentle smile. Good service goes such a long way.

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It’s also their affordable prices, despite being so popular ( downside is the long wait but hey, at least they pump out lovely music over their radio), their prices have never gone up and a regular coffee is $3.50. And such good coffee too SIGH. Plus, their baked muffins are a treat, I love it that they don’t serve the normal apple and cinnamon, but have lovely combinations like lemon and ricotta muffins, dark chocolate and pear muffins. their muffins are always served warm (why don’t Perth cafes do that nowadays?) and have a slight crunch on the exterior but are moist and light on the inside.

Just thinking of Lowdown makes me feel so sad that I’m no longer in the CBD. If only they opened a branch in East Perth or even on the weekends, I would willingly trek into the city every weekend for a Lowdown hit. I’m just glad I was there to witness the arrival and the rise of Lowdown, they deserve the accolades. This is quality coffee and quality service at its best.

Lowdown Espresso
Shop 16a Cloisters Arcade
865 Hay Street

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3 Responses to “My favourite coffees in the CBD”


  1. 1 Cheng August 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I felt that I got another whirlwind tour of Perth I didn’t get to see the last time I was there. 😀

  2. 2 slappedbygunk August 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Oh dear I better start researching London coffee places for you haha.


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