There might be art on the walls of her café but coffee is a science according to co-owner of Sweetbrew, Archana Brammall – added to which are plentiful dollops of passion, culture and kindness.
She and partner Tim first opened their café doors on George Street a few years ago, helping to spearhead the artisanal coffee culture in Launceston. The city had a burgeoning culture in the makings, with one or two other notable cafes and a long tradition of coffee roasting scenting the city centre.
Along with the heady mix of coffee, passion and determination, Archana and Tim knew consistency was key in making a success of the business. And that would apply to everything from the service to the atmosphere to the shots.
Everyone works the machine at Sweetbrew and they stand on the guarantee of a premium coffee drinking experience every time. That confidence comes from a systemic approach, with every shot measured as it goes into the glass or cup. While taste in coffee is a subjective thing as far as preference for a dark, light or medium roast, cherry or chocolate flavor, says Archana, ‘there have to be recipes, as with any cooking.’
This rigorous approach extends to the ratios of ‘coffee to cup size to milk’ too. Choosing milk for the café was no ordinary business, with the couple donning blindfolds and taste-testing their coffee with every milk on the market. They went looking for the ‘sweetest combination’, which would hit the mark in what they wanted to deliver. A small Tasmanian dairy stood out, and the growing numbers of discerning coffee drinkers in Launceston agreed. Sweetbrew has since become a warm, welcoming, coffee scented institution, with patrons sure of a premium experience from the first sip to the last.
Science aside, Archana has a deeply felt connection to coffee through culture. She was raised in Ethiopia, where there is ‘no life without coffee’, and people drink it several times daily. Keeping links with that tradition alive, Sweetbrew’s espressos and piccolos are served in a traditional Ethiopian cup.
A seasonal breakfast and lunch menu keeps diners satisfied through winter with flavoursome, wholesome, colourful foods. With the open kitchen visible to those at the tables, a sense of bonhomie is shared by chefs and diners. Tim and Archana want every customer to feel comfortable and to ‘find the spot for them’ amongst the café’s seating areas. It could be a perch for one in the window, a laid back seat at the communal table, or a cosy table in the timbered back room.
‘Winter is warm in here’, says Archana.
Atmosphere, food and music, all those things contribute. But mostly the coffee. Always the coffee.
Sweetbrew 93 George Street, Launceston.
– By Fiona Stocker