addiction

Good Brother - Coffee (by Meg Francis) by Kian West

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My relationship with coffee began as a teenager and like all first relationships it was sickly sweet and far too co-dependent. At first it kept me awake at night but slowly our romance blossomed into a constant and stable affair that never tore me down and was the first thing I wanted to see in the morning...

Article by Meg Francis

...I would describe myself as the average Josephine coffee lover whose preference for soy cappuccinos has led me to begin my quest throughout Newcastle for the best coffee haunts and houses and share my knowledge. This month’s obsession is Good Brother Espresso, snuggled in the only red building on King Street across from the Red Cross Blood Bank, it is the kind of place that you can spend waste a day (in the best possible way). Opened in 2011, the second baby of Chris Johnston and Stephanie Whitehead, Good Brother is the sister of bohemian Suspension (found at the end of Beaumont Street) and a diamond in the rough of the Newcastle CBD. The exposed red brick and aging furniture create vintage vibe and sometimes I like to pretend I’m in Brooklyn/Newtown (I’ve been trying to refrain from using the H word…Okay, it’s a bit hipster). The collection of pallet beach chairs are scattered across the footpath out front perfect for sitting back and letting the sun warm your skin before the amazing coffee warms your soul. Good Brother is all about the homey food, friendly staff and consistently delicious and balanced coffee. Johnston and Whitehead roast and produce their own special blend that is rich, strong and very flavoursome which when made by experienced and knowledgeable hands take your tastebuds to heaven. The menu is simple and fresh with avocado on sourdough, toasties, cakes and pastries that match perfectly with any coffee or tea (the specials are equally mouth watering so BYO bucket).  Boasting is also an absolutely killer special   With it’s own homemade roasted blend (the same as Suspension, obviously), Good Brother is a frontrunner in my quest for the perfect cappuccino. Greeted like an old friend on every visit, it’s Good Brothers’ team of staff that push this espresso house from being good to amazing. Every member of staff is friendly, knowledgeable and chatty  (May I also say they are all very good looking too) which only heightens the experience. So it is unsurprising that no matter what time or day you wander in it hosts a mix and match of students, tourists, working folk and cool Novocastrians. Good Brother’s atmosphere and interior design create an intimate and cosy setting (the perfect venue for a first date…) which when combined with the food and beverage menu will not only satisfy your tastebuds but fulfil your coffee lust. Good Brother is a Newcastle’s best-kept secret and a absolute must in any coffee pilgrimage…The only real flaw is that you might end up not wanting to ever leave.

The Bank Corner Cafe by Kian West

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By Meg Francis

 

My relationship with coffee began as a teenager, and like all first relationships, it was sickly sweet and far too co-dependent. At first it kept me awake at night but slowly our romance blossomed into a constant and stable affair that never tore my down and was the first thing I wanted to see in the morning.

I would describe myself as the average Josephine coffee lover. My preference for soy cappuccinos has led me to begin a quest throughout Newcastle for the best coffee haunts and houses, and to share my knowledge and findings. Tucked away in a tiny street just off Hunter Street, Bank Corner, which has been open since 2011, is a little Art Deco gem that truly embodies the coffee revolution sweeping through Newcastle in the last few years.Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 4.56.29 pm

This Narnia of Newcastle (located on Bellevue Street) is rich with style and originality beyond it’s exterior. Polished hardwood floors and old jazz projected throughout the building combine to lull its patrons back to the 20’s. Wander deeper inside Bank Corner and you’ll be surprised by a pleasant little and open courtyard with an eclectic array of chairs and tables where a large chandelier floating above makes you simultaneously fall into something out of Arabian Nights and Midnight in Paris.

An array of Viennese pastries and cakes await your tasting pleasure, so overindulge during a lazy afternoon as the ambience lulls you into an almost Parisian dream.  If you’re drifting more towards something more savoury, then Banker Corner offers a mouth-watering selection of Toasties, Panini, and breakfast delights that will leave you well and truly satisfied (and potentially having to recline).

But most importantly, the coffee is consistently good which is only another testament to the craft of the resident baristas. Strong and smooth (like every man should be), Bank Corner uses a wonderfully aromatic blend that combines the sultry darkness of the beans and high quality soy to perfect a damn good soy cappuccino.

Noteworthy is that all coffees are made with a double shot, so people insisting on flavoured syrups should bypass this haunt. Formerly a branch of the Bank of NSW, the owner, Tony Gluck, has used the structural design and interior decor to create an authentic and ‘hipster’ experience and is very alike to something found down a laneway in Melbourne. Fitting in effortlessly with the underrated grungy charm of Hunter Street, Bank Corner is unspoiled by trying to appeal to the ‘commercial coffee trade’ and instead is a diamond in the rough.  So if you find yourself in search of an excellent coffee with a cool atmosphere, or even just need an escape from the daily hustle and bustle, then Bank Corner is your place.