With the onset of 38C days, I think it’s safe to say that summer is officially upon us. It sucks, but it’s true. And with all the sweat, tears, and general grumpiness that accompanies it, also comes the headaches, and you know what solves that?
Many ‘serious’ coffee places seem too snooty to do an iced coffee – there’s a stigma that iced coffee is somehow not worth their time because it’s more coffee flavoured milk than a serious caffeine hit. Fair enough, but that leaves people like me in the middle of nowhere, because I’m an unabashed fan of iced coffee that’s forced to either settle for the bottled stuff or make it at home myself.
Well Coffee Box Espresso in Darling Harbour comes to the rescue! Made with a shot of real coffee and scoops of ice cream, they actually make one of the best iced coffees I’ve had in Sydney. Assuming you like iced coffees, of course. Blended and frosty, it was creamy, sweet, and, I can’t stress this enough, made with actual coffee. Caffeine and sugar hit, all at once!
It’s a twofer.
And if iced coffee is a little bit beneath you (no judgement here! *backs away with hands raised*), then a cold drip might be your thing instead. This week, the cold drip coffee came in the form of an Ethiopian Koke Yirgacheffe, with was sweeter and less acidic than most cold drips I’ve had. Very easy to drink, especially for a coffee beginner like me.
Food-wise, I think Coffee Box Espresso do pretty well for a tiny little kitchen that’s pretty much the size of a kiosk. Sandwiches are made daily on-site, and the pastries are baked by “mother dearest”.
I kid you not. The owner’s mother supplies the baked goods, which instantly raises my respect for the place.
We tried the Strawberry Passionfruit Muffin, which was covered with a very generous dusting of icing sugar.
Like the kind that will go up in puffs if you breathe too hard on it.
The muffin itself was tender and moist, and fell apart in the best way. Like a heroine in an old school romance movie. A little bit of tart, a little bit of sweet, and a whole lotta soft cakey crumble.
Well done, Mama.
And at the risk of eating dessert before the main – the sky is going to fall down on us! – we also tried the Prosciutto and Egg sandwich.
Hard boiled eggs – but not too hard boiled! NO GREY RING OF DEATH!- are well, sandwiched between a crusty roll, together with strips of prosciutto, rocket and tomato relish. Very delicious mix of flavours, even though the bread was a bit, um, chewy for my taste. Which wasn’t too hard to fix – just take off the bottom and have it as a tartine!
My mama always said I was a problem solver.
The Coffee Box Espresso may only be a scant eight weeks old, but they seem to have their act together. The owner makes the coffee personally – for every customer, not just for me – and there was a sense of consistency and heart in the work. I’m glad to see a kiosk that tries for standard, rather than just ordering things in for profit and ease, and with the arrival of a new oven soon (so I’m told) it looks like it should go on that way.
Definitely stop by for a quick iced coffee if you’re in the area on a hot day – they aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but they sure do provide a smooth ride.