Let’s face it: there’s never been a plethora of great coffee shops in Perth city centre. White-collar workers and hardcore shoppers have been chugging down poor-quality brews for way too long, just to stay awake.
But that’s starting to change. In the last couple of years, there’s been an explosion of new coffee establishments dotted all over the city grid, including Lo Down, Small Print and Standing Room Only. The most recent addition to this inner-city club is La Veen Coffee on King St.
La Veen isn’t exactly new to Perth – they’ve been pulling shots in Subiaco now for two or three years. The King St project is a recent expansion intended to tap into the city’s caffeine-deprived blood system. Thank God, because La Veen is up there with the best of the best.
Alright, let’s deal with the elephant in the room: La Veen Coffee has a five-group Synesso Hydra machine, which sits like a castle on the elevated workbench. Do you need five group heads? Probably not, but it’s impressive anyway. There’s also a double-headed EK43 grinder, which stands guard over its castle like a two-headed monster (if you want to know more about this baby, check out Matt Perger’s presentation at last year’s World Barista Championship).
Equipment aside, we love the interior. Big white windows, exposed brick, wooden floors – La Veen knows how to rock the King St location. There’s even a hint of Japanese influence in the wood panelling and the crockery.
We think La Veen has become the flagship store for local roaster Five Senses. This roaster has dominated the wholesale specialty market for years but have never supplied an outstanding coffee shop. La Veen, on the other hand, champions the Five Senses brand – the natural Ethiopian espresso, for example, was a juicy mouthful of summer stone fruits.
La Veen have put a lot of thought into their coffee. There’s a black coffee blend (Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Kenya) imported from Brisbane roaster Uncle Jo’s. It’s sweet and syrupy with a hint of brightness from those African components. There’s also a white coffee blend (Brazil, Bali and India) from Five Senses. It’s big and bold, designed to stand up through milk. It’s just simple, smart coffee.
There’s a selection of filter coffees available from Melbourne-based Proud Mary, which are brewed with the Kalita Wave. The washed Honduras was a bit ‘meh’ compared to its boom-state counterparts, but maybe that’s just home-town bias!
There’s no doubt that La Veen is a very worthy addition to the Perth coffee scene. It’s slick enough for city professionals but retains a casual, fun vibe (just look at those fluorescent green takeaway lids!). Importantly, they have a smart selection of well-brewed coffees – that’s going to raise the bar in the CBD!
La Veen Coffee is located on the corner of King and Wellington Streets, Perth City.