Scene, Cafe Reviews

Superstar specialty coffee in Hobart, Tasmania (... Australia)

'Superstar' cafes are those who have had a major influence on the cafe culture of a region (or even the world): often (but not necessarily) roasters, usually with competition-winning baristas, the kind of place that has been around for ages, that everyone knows, and where many current cafe owners/baristas trained at some point. The definition is deliberately fuzzy for now as we nail it down, but that's the gist of it. Think Tim Wendelboe in Oslo, Blue Bottle, Stumptown or Intelligentsia in the US, Coffee Collective in Denmark, 49th Parallel in Canada, Seven Seeds, St Ali or Five Senses in Australia or Maruyama in Japan - just for a few examples, not intending to exclude anyone. Superstars are the first 'must-see' cafes for any visit to a city by a travelling coffee lover.

Every city has their superstars, and here's our current list of superstars in Hobart, Tasmania, and why they have made the cut.

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Villino (and Ecru)

Villino is an 'Italian-style' (i.e. somewhat less bright and Scandinavian) Tasmanian micro-roaster that opened in 2008 as a cafe, beginning roasting in 2010. It's run by Richard Schramm, a 'walking encyclopaedia of coffee' according to a glowing review in the local paper, and has star barista Andy Nairn (2014 Tasmanian latte art champion) on espresso service. They serve their beans, both blends and single origins, as espresso brewed on a Synesso Hydra and as filter coffee drinks, also housing different guest beans. Villino opened Ecru Espresso around the corner (five doors down) as a take-away bar as well, serving the same great coffee as take-away espresso drinks brewed on a La Marzocco GB/5.

Photos from Villino's Instagram photo feed by location

Yellow Bernard

Yellow Bernard is small specialty café located in the centre of Hobart's business district. Owners Scott Clements and David Jolly opened it in April 2011, neither of them with a hospitality background but both picking it up quickly. They brew espressos and single origins from Gridlock in Melbourne on a La Marzocco Linea and Mythos grinder. They source coffees via Gridlock in Melbourne but also roast their own blend themselves (using Zimmah's roasting facility around the corner)! They have pretty popular macaroons themselves (all over the Instagram feed).

Photos from Zimmah's Instagram photo feed by location

Zimmah Coffee

Zimmah Coffee is a boutique coffee roaster owned by Dane Knezevic, who originally set it up in a cafe basement! The space is quirky and interesting, with huge stacks of magazines and books used as pillars breaking it up. They look terrifyingly easy to knock over, but they stay up. There are several high tables scattered around the place and loads of papers and magazines to read too. Being positioned off of the street you might miss it at first—but all you have to do is follow your nose. They brew their own blends and single origins as espresso drinks (on a La Marzocco Linea), cold drip and pour-overs. Zimmah also supplies a number of great cafes around town.

Photos from Zimmah's Instagram photo feed by location

Pilgrim Coffee (and Property of: Pilgrim)

This awesome cafe has no affiliation with this website/app (which was named before we became aware of the amazing coffee scene in Hobart) - but incidentally and proudly, Pilgrim Coffee is the name of one of the best cafes in the area! It was founded in 2011 by Will Priestly, a man who takes both coffee and customer service extremely seriously. He was three times the winner of the Tasmanian barista championships, and once runner-up in the world latte art championships. Many of the staff are award-winning baristas (including 3rd in Australia's WBC in 2010 and 2nd in 2012), with awards in other areas like latte art as well. Pilgrim brews a rotation of world-class Australian roasters as espresso drinks on Synesso Hydras as well as doing pour-over coffees, and regularly hosts tasting events like roast profile or bean comparisons. There's a ridiculously good food (brunch and lunch) menu too ranging from sweet to savoury.