Bay Ten Espresso is tucked away on Middlemiss Street in Lavender Bay. It’s really more of a lane way than a street; a route taken by pedestrians and cyclists on route from the city or North Sydney. Until 2014 a luxury car showroom was about as exciting as Middlemiss Street got. But now, with Bay Ten Espresso pumping out some of Sydney’s best coffee, you don’t need to be in the market for a Ferrari to stop by.
Bay Ten Espresso sits in a century old warehouse on the northern approach to the Harbour Bridge, and offers ‘the ultimate fusion experience for devotees of the bean and the bike’. Barista and owner Nathan Devlin shares the space with The Body Mechanic, a specialist bike fit and physio business run by a team of athletes. Don’t read too much into the bike bit – yes it’s a space tailored for cyclists with racks on the wall and shower facilities but otherwise there’s no need to arrive on a bike, or even own one for that matter.
Inside is a vast open space – concrete walls, high ceilings and communal tables are just part of the industrial fit-out. I particularly like their copper coiled water tap, so much so I took almost as many photos of the tap as I did the coffee…….
I was tempted to Bay Ten Espresso by the coffee first and the food second. I’d heard about their 16 hour cold brew filter coffee in one of those ‘things going up in Sydney’ magazine features. Of course all of the usual frothy coffees are available too, alongside a range of other drinks from juices to protein shakes.
Until recently I was a Lavender Bay local and so you can trust me when I say Bay Ten Espresso is the best coffee (by far) within a 1-2 kilometre radius. Yes it’s the best you’ll find in Kirribilli, Milsons Point, Lavender Bay, McMahons Point and North Sydney (and that little area boasts a hell of a lot of cafés).
Chances are over your coffee the short menu of breakfast favourites and sandwiches will catch your eye. The food focus is on simple and quality ingredients and many items are surprisingly made in-house, like their granola and ‘port reduced onion relish’. My visit was a brunch one so rather than order a breakfast dish I tried a couple of the sandwiches. I love that the sandwich list is a compact list of four choices with one vegetarian – it removes the deliberation (and sometimes envy or regret) that can come when the list is as long as your arm.
There are a few things to point out on the satisfying sandwiches. Firstly is the crunchy Luxe sourdough bread, it’s handmade by artisan bakers in Newtown. Secondly the not your usual sandwich toppings like the home-made goats cheese and double smoked chicken. Thirdly the set price of $10. Not $11.90 or $13.50 but $10 – a price that will barely put a dint in your wallet (for a sandwich that will keep you full all afternoon).
I’m excited by Bay Ten Espresso and of course a little sad that it wasn’t around when I lived only 100 metres away. With a weekend opening trial starting in January 2015 I’m sure word will spread quickly – much to the annoyance of 100s of cyclists who have been trying to keep this laneway gem all to themselves.
By Feast Wisely
- 10 Middlemiss Street, Lavender Bay NSW 2060
- 02 9929 4441
- Open Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, trialling weekends as at January 2015
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