Newcastle, the one in Australia, 2 hrs north of Sydney. The working class, steel town on the Hunter River. Not so long ago the CBD here was dead and abandoned, replaced by shopping malls in the suburbs. To some extent the Newcastle CBD has been revitalised by a foreshore rejuvenation with restaurants, hotels and bars. The very centre of town at the end of Hunter street is the latest part of town to show signs of life. Cafes, bars and eateries, as well as interesting designer shops are trying to pull it all together. Pop-up shops are also making an effort. Here on a corner, at ground level of an older building with authentic peeling paint and a large faded country town feel, is Sprocket. This popular cafe roasts its own beans and runs its own coffee school. It’s popularity can be witnessed during peak hour in Newcastle, which admittedly is not like a commuter-crazed city (e.g.. Sydney). The service is attentive and the coffee incredibly good. Ask a few questions and you will get a great education in what’s happening at Sprocket. Four coffees in an hour set me up for a day of insightful sightseeing.
Flat whites and espressos of course, walk out the door, but also available are cold press coffees in cute medicine bottles which provide an amazing sensation for the appreciative taster. The house grinds (cosmic blend and supa nova) are excellent, as well as the Single origin Honduran. A range of teas and light meals are also available, but the coffee is king.
The decor is true thrown-together vintage, with an old purple Rancilio machine serving as a coffee table and cool armchairs and retro table settings perfectly mismatched. The clientele all seem to be in the know and are particular in their coffee needs. No orders are too difficult.
The people of Newcastle are indeed very lucky to have a quality cafe like Sprocket for their daily fix.
68 Hunter St., Newcastle NSW 2300