bank corner

Newcastle Coffee Snobs...December by Kian West

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011aa052ddd865c794c7ce6d32788f6ec4ff1e68e2If 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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.