There’s a beautiful big mural in New Lambton painted by the Up and Up guys, celebrating ‘the village’ and all its city-in-the-suburbs offerings, that reflects the pride of place locals have for this town.
On the other side of this mural is Corner Lane Espresso, owned by couple Sarah and Graeme since 2014 and voted 19th best café in Australia in 2015 according to Beanhunter. Initially, Corner Lane was a standing-room-only takeaway mecca, and we only came to be snobbing here some two years later as they closed the retail space next door and made it into a granny flat of dining in. Their family is expanding and more and more people wanted to sit and drink coffee for a while, so they gladly put in tables and chairs – after all, an espresso bar is just a room of coffee without its gratified customers.
The interior is very relaxed; there are still some wares to purchase such as organic cleaning products for the house and body, candles, chocolate and tea. A looming east coast low meant there wasn’t any sun on the big floor-to-ceiling glass windows to warm our bones, but we found entertainment in watching the babycino Snobs stomping puddles outside.
The coffees came out in wonderful Pantone-coloured mugs, steaming hot and meticulously poured by baristas. The single origin from Papua New Guinea was smooth with no acidity, and with notes of smoky wood and spices and the robusta from Peak Coffee Roastery at Port Macquarie, it is exceptional.
There’s a coffee that’s not for the fainthearted: Corner Lane’s barista shot is a ristretto double shot into a 21-gram basket. The kind of stuff that will put hairs on your chest.
If you’re hungry and/or hungover, there are good, warm, hit-the-spot food items like chicken toasties that taste like pizza, enterprising pastries from The Bread and Butter Project, muffins, friands, and – if you’re lucky – a pie.
True to their roots of being a predominantly takeaway joint, there’s oodles of people lining up and waiting around for their favourite cup of joe to go at Corner Lane. You can tell from the friendly banter that they’re mostly locals who have become family, and it’s hard not to get caught up in that.
We got an exclusive that there’s new things on the horizon for Corner Lane Espresso, so watch that space and get in there to try it.
It’s okay to be a snob. Feel welcome at our next event – go to our page for deets: facebook.com/Newcastlecoffeesnobs
*Photos by Liz Robson - The Curious Novocastrian