Brew Collective sits behind a huge glass window off the Wynyard Walk, which leads from Wynyard station to the corporate strip on Kent Street. Opposite the Westpac building, it has high bench seating, copies of the Financial Review on-hand and rows of takeaway chia pots, cups of granola and bacon-and-egg rolls for people rushing to work. The minimal design reflects the in-and-out nature of the cafe; no one has time to linger and look at knick-knacks here.
Owner Saxon Griese is also behind Charlie Coffee, which also supplies the coffee beans. He has brought a range of brewing methods to the new corporate area with his brand of filter coffee, batch filter and pour-over, as well as cold brew and iced tea. The beans are all ethically sourced.
The cafe stocks breakfast and lunch by the Wooden Whisk's Sean Flanagan, and pastries from St Malo Bakery and Little Secrets Bakehouse. There’s a range of Tea Craft teas, Where the Wild Things Grow smoothies and Botanica cold-press juices.
Charlie Coffee, the boutique roasters behind The Sneaky Grind, opened a new cafe in the CBD in August 2014 – meet Brew Collective. The cafe is a favourite of inner city folk, corporate types on their way to work and coffee enthusiasts who will travel past any number of cafes on their way to Brew Collective.
For Manager, Jay Bartho, and Head Roaster, Saxon Griese, coffee is a passion and their lifeblood. Charlie Coffee does all roasting for the cafe themselves and has even coined a new term for the way they roast their signature house blend – ‘New Sydney’. It’s lighter than where Sydney has been traditionally, but dark enough to maintain that bit of body that carries it through the milk.
Currently the house blend contains beans from Peru and Ethiopia and as enthusiastic roasters, they’re always sourcing new origins for their singles and filters; in fact, they are currently setting up their own project in Uganda.
Brew Collective is committed to providing quality filter coffee, which is certainly growing in popularity. The coffee is a little more subtle than espresso, but gives you “much more to think about,” said Saxon. He recommends trying it from the batch brewer, or brewed right before your eyes as a pour over on the V60. For black coffee lovers who have only ever tasted espresso coffees, it’s time to meet your new best friend.
At Brew Collective, the staff are almost as passionate about tea as they are about coffee. They source their tea from Teacraft, an artisan tea merchant that sources all of its tea ethically and travels the world to ensure their offerings reach the highest standards. Teacraft bypasses the traditional western route of buying tea from wholesalers in Europe and goes straight to the source, carefully selecting leaves from the teas’ places of origin. Teacraft call it the “Tao of tea craft.” Try the Egyptian Ice, if you’re in on the right day. It’s a blend of hibiscus and rose petals with silver jasmine, Ceylon orange pekoe and rock sugar – the perfect pick-me-up on a hot day.
Customers can buy bags of Charlie Coffee beans to take home; either pre-bagged, or as their own personalised order from Brew Collective’s wide green bean selection. Just let them know how you want it and they’ll make it so! If you’re not sure how you like it, be sure to join Brew Collective’s monthly coffee tasting session, where you can taste the month’s special coffee offerings and listen to the expert baristas tell you all about the coffees’ characteristics.