If you take a slight detour off the west end of Hunter Street, just down by the technicolour stairs over the train tracks you'll find Bank Corner Espresso & Bar. It's got a funky Gatsby vibe and it was hard to tell if this particular morning was very busy or it was just that we had come to snob when two new staff is learning the ropes. A fellow snob who is a regular tells me it’s a bit of both. Along with the 1920s feel everything from the menu to staff accents is authentic European.
But the coffee…tre bien! Umami Coffee Roasters via Erskinville is on the machine; my latte had good temperature and very subtle in strength and flavours. Something outside the usual espresso bar sphere is flavoured coffee: Bank Corner has on its menu coconut affogatto; salted caramel coffee and stone cold dirty hippy.
One thing that is also notable is the crowd of regulars most of whom were getting takeaways on their way to somewhere else but this is a place you go out of your way for it and the people were.
On this particular Saturday morning they were young eclectic and there was even a pooch darting in and out; there was always something to look at. Curiosity got the better of me and I tried the Stone Cold Dirty Hippy (iced chai latte with honey, double shot espresso on soy). The honey was a great addition; the drink quite a generous serving and yes...it was stone cold which was great as it was a hot day. This was a drink best enjoyed on its own with so much flavour.
Food wise; croissants and indulgent French cheeses populated the themed menu with no food item going without a hit of flavour and maybe a touch of heat.
Out the back through a narrow original architecture walkway it opens up to a bustling pocket of air terrace with groups of young people laughing chatting eating drinking. A massive coffee pot overlooks this secret oasis and standing there you feel for a moment that you're somewhere else; Hunter Street is nowhere to be seen and the vibe is good.
Our final snobbing (where we gather at a Newcastle café to taste and review their coffee) for the year is Saturday 6th December at The Hood Milk Bar; The Junction. Look at our Facebook page for the event and details facebook.com/newcastlecoffeesnobs or Instagram.