Stunning coffee houses are not novel in Sydney. But The Grounds of Alexandria, a café on the outskirts of the city’s industrial zone, is causing quite the buzz. Maybe it’s the old pie factory turned post-industrial chic space, where floor-to-ceiling glass windows meet Edison light bulbs, exposed brick walls, and grand wooden tables.
Or, maybe it’s the lush garden – complete with chicken coops – where a full time horticulturist oversees the heirloom tomatoes that grow beside eggplants, olive trees, edible flowers, and herbs, which are used daily in the café’s kitchen. Here, eats like buttermilk chicken, walnut, tarragon, and watercress pizza; slow roasted and shredded lamb shoulder; and a signature potato and onion flatbread grace the menu.
Or maybe, as the name suggests, it’s the coffee. Pipes carry coffee beans from the in-house roasting room into the café, where two espresso stands churn out increasingly legendary brews. The mission is to share the whole seed-to-cup journey and not only are all espresso machines and roasters covered in glass to reveal their inner magic, but there are barista courses, coffee-tasting sessions, and home-brewing lessons too.
That’s not to mention the Research Facility: an experimental room behind the café where barista extraordinaire and co-owner Jack Hanna (no, not of Letterman fame…) tests blends and roasting processes in search of the perfect cup. That, dear reader, is coffee with passion.