Surry Hills & The Coffee Economy

Coffee has always been a staple part of the working mans lifestyle. Enjoyed any number of ways, from a preferred vendor and knowing who they do and don’t enjoy having coffee with. Surry Hills is perhaps the epicentre of Sydney’s bustling coffee scene. Cafes are nestled within a stones throw of each other and it’s amazing that these grinders sustain such loyal and regular customers. But they seem to, and each and everyone who works, resides or simply passes through the area will have their favourite brewing spot. Whether people drink coffee to wake up, relax, catchup or simply fill-in time is rather irrelevant, the fact is that we are drinking more coffee and becoming more picky about where and how good it is.

In 2011 the Sydney Morning Herald released the debut edition of the SMH Good Cafe Guide proving in a sense that the city has embraced the idea of coffee culture and, for all you Melbournians, in it’s own unique way. Customers are starting to treat coffee as they do food and wine, demanding freshness, flavour and flare. If it’s not a single origin bean then why are they using it? The coffee economy cannot be truly discussed unless we talk about price. Coffee prices are increasing due to higher demand for quality service and product, but mainly because raw green coffee prices are at an unprecedented high. Lucky we have so many great cafe’s to sit down and complain about it at. $3.50 for a standard, $4 for large is the going rate for take away coffee’s that satellite my office on Forster St, Surry Hills and people are generally happy to pay it.

Just when you think Surry Hills has reached it capacity for quality cafe’s another one pops up, fills out and becomes popular – the others don’t become unpopular, it seems more people just start drinking coffee.  Listed below are TVGs 5 favourite Surry Hills cafe’s (in no particular order):

1. Single Origin Roasters – 64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills.

The original Surry Hills Roaster, on point every time and always busy. Their selections of savoury and sweet muffins is unrivalled.

2. Joe Black – 27 Commonwealth Street  Surry Hills

Unpretentious and quirky with amazing coffee. The guys that run this place are all about having a  good time – they also serve the best breakfast going around.

3. Corduroy – 14 Foster St, Surry Hills

In what is the best use of space I’ve seen in the area, this small cafe is converting people to devoted customers daily. Their smashed eggs on toast is also unreal. 

4. Reuben Hills – 61 Albion Street  Surry Hills

Best fit out of the lot with concrete block walls and bespoke tiled tables. Their coffee is spot on and the menu is like nothing you’ll find anywhere else, try the NOT-Reuben sandwich and you won’t be disappointed.

5. Four Ate Five – 485 Crown Street  Surry Hills

A long standing favourite of TVG. Super friendly staff and bang on coffee. If you don’t try the pulled pork sandwich then don’t bother going. 


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