When you step into Lonsdale Street Roasters (LSR), the experience can be overwhelming – the music is loud, and that’s just the way business partners Allan Smith, Alistair Evans and Paul Hutt like it.
“Saturdays can especially get out of hand,” Allan says. “There is always a lot going on with changing themes or art installations. Luckily we have great staff who support us with this, so we can also focus on the roasting and producing some delicious beverages and food.”
Al describes the café style as that of DIY – “handyman meets the Maker Movement”. In terms of service, he says it’s one of the most important things, along with hospitality. “It can get hectic so this can be a challenge sometimes,” he says. “But we all have a passion for coffee, food and hospitality and being able to provide these things is what makes our industry enjoyable.”
LSR runs a few blends at any one time, including Johnny Cash, which Al describes as “deep dark and brooding like the man himself, chocolate and spice tones with enough acidity to make a delicious milk beverage.” He says The Smith and Evans is a “rich, smooth and old school blend” and The Troops is a “fighting bad plunger coffee body with depth lasting flavour”.
Single origins are also a standout at LSR, with particular emphasis on beans from El Salvador, FTO Guatemalan, Brazil and Colombian. “I guess we are really in love with PNG, it’s local(ish), with the Australian Government and an amazing research-based university in the our backyard (Australia’s national University), so there is a strong connection to that part of the woods,” Al says. “Not to say that we don’t get the Colombian, Brazilian, Guatemalan embassy workers here on a daily basis, who appreciate having a taste of home.”
LSR has plenty of food on offer to satisfy any hunger cravings, with items such as house roasted muesli, yogurt, various pastries and a selection of toasted paninis such as the Baby Elvis, consisting of banana and nutella and Kevin Bacon, a smoked bacon and a scrambled egg panini with roasted tomatoes and rocket.
At the end of the day, Al says the best part of his job is hanging out together with his roasting amigos Alistair and Paul and his talented staff. “Drinking great coffee and providing great product to our customers and of course a few beers in the late afternoon with good loud music makes for a pretty good job,” Al says.