We have something to confess: this piece isn’t entirely impartial. Sometimes there’s so much hype surrounding an opening that you can’t help but form prejudgments from your own expectations and those of others.
And so is the case with new coffee heavy-weight, Addison & Steele. Opened by the fellas who brought us Standing Room Only in the CBD, this new project has been highly anticipated by industry professionals and casual coffee drinkers alike. It’s by far the most important addition to the Perth coffee scene this year.
One look at the interior demonstrates that Addison & Steele is a more fully-fledged manifestation of SRO’s vision for specialty coffee in Perth. The shiny new space pays homage to 18th-century London, when thinkers exchanged alcohol for caffeine to fuel the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment.
What you can’t fault is their commitment to the theme: black and white checkered tiles, ornate glassware, polished metals, and bowler hat light shades. There is, however, an artificial feel about the space. Like you’re standing in your great aunty’s living room but you’re not allowed to touch any of her furniture.
Shininess aside, just take a look at that Slayer. Imported from Seattle, USA, the Slayer espresso machine allows baristas to manually ‘pressure profile’ their espresso to highlight desirable characteristics in particular coffees. You may, for example, slowly increase the pressure to the full 9 bars then ease it off towards the end of the shot.
(Apologies for the Justin Timberlake)
And boy does Addison & Steele pull some sweet espresso. The Ethiopian served over summer had a berry sweetness and a jammy mouthfeel. The current Colombia Alvaro Aya tastes like oranges. Once again the EK43 grinder is the star of the show, allowing baristas to extract ridiculously high levels of soluble ‘bits’ from any given coffee.
It’s clear that Addison & Steele has joined a number of top Perth coffee shops in favouring clean and fruity washed coffees. Melbourne’s Smallbatch is the roaster of choice, but there are occasional guest coffees available from local roasters such as Mano a Mano.
On the filter bar the scientific ritual of the syphon seems to fit the overall theme of the shop. We were lucky enough to taste the Colombian Geisha which resident barista Michael used in his WA Brewers’ Cup victory earlier in the year. Light-bodied with notes of bergamot and apricot. Delicious.
So does Addison & Steele live up to the hype? Undoubtedly it’s a welcome addition to the growing brigade of high-quality specialty coffee shops in our city, and a big win for the Fitzgerald St strip in North Perth. The coffee is consistently tasty and there’s a healthy rotation of offerings.
That said, we think Addison & Steele will have a lot more to offer in the coming months. A brand new sample roaster recently arrived. The awkward table service is just starting to find its feet. We’re pretty excited about where these guys can take the Perth coffee scene once those initial ‘bumps’ start to smooth out. For now, get yourselves down to Addison & Steele and see what all the hype is about!
Addison & Steele is located on Fitzgerald St in North Perth. Bonus: it’s open until 7pm most days.