Wtf is in these superfood lattes? The best coffee alternatives in Sydney

Latte and Luxe - Beetroot and matcha latte at The Clean Treats Factory - Sydney, Australia

Latte and Luxe - Beetroot latte at The Clean Treats Factory - Sydney, Australia

Latte and Luxe - Beetroot and matcha latte at The Clean Treats Factory - Sydney, Australia

Latte and Luxe - matcha latte at The Clean Treats Factory - Sydney, Australia

Have you ever come across a rainbow latte?

Maybe it wasn’t multicoloured. Was it pink? Blue? Coffee alternatives have been popping up ALL over our Instagram feeds. They look almost too gorgeous to drink! They’re the latest trend in all things superfood.

The term ‘superfood’ is a bit of a buzzword that’s been thrown around a lot lately. Without getting too technical, a superfood basically means that the ingredient has lots of benefits to boost your health. So with more and more people becoming fixated on their health, these lattes are becoming more readily available for those cutting back or cutting out coffee. Not that coffee doesn’t have its benefits (I’m still drinking it!)!

Superfoods can feel overwhelmingly intimidating at first. But once you know what they are, it’s an easier concept to get your head around. So about those lattes…

If you want to know exactly what these bright and beautiful lattes are, I’ve broken it down in this post!

WTF are these superfood lattes and where can I get them?

Latte and Luxe - black sesame latte and cappuccino at Auvers Cafe - Sydney, Australia

> Chai: Let’s start with the most basic and popular coffee alternative. Chai (the Indian word for tea) is a mixture of black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and various other spices.

  • Where to get it: Single O (Surry Hills)

> Matcha: If a latte that you see is green – it more than likely has matcha in it. Essentially, matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground green tea leaves. Matcha becoming a more popular coffee alternative as it possess more caffeine and antioxidants than regular green tea and gives you a similar energy boost to coffee, without the jitters.

> Turmeric: Also known as the golden latte because of its distinctive colour, the turmeric latte has become more popular in the last few years for its vast range of health benefits – including its ability to fight inflammation and aid your immune system. A typical turmeric latte often adds ginger and honey to the mix too.

> Red velvet: The red velvet latte is the most indulgent of the alternatives – it literally tastes like red velvet cake! (Think hot chocolate with a bit of extra sugar and red food colouring)

  • Where to get it: The Local MBassy (Ultimo) – order it with their red velvet pancakes! It’ll give you a sugar rush but it’s 100% worth it!

> Beetroot: It may sound odd at first, but many people are tipping the beetroot latte to be the next big trend! You could consider it as a healthier take on the red velvet latte, as beetroot (yep the typical root vegetable, but can sometimes be processed in the form of powder) contains more antioxidants and can help fight inflammation.

> Dandelion: The dandelion latte is more commonly known as LSD (an acronym for “latte of soy milk and dandelion”). It’s sourced from the dandelion plant root and then once roasted, has a similarly bitter (but not quite psychedelic) flavour to coffee. So why drink this caffeine-free alternative? It’s known to prevent the spread of bad bacteria and protect against artery disease.

> Blue algae: Also known as the unicorn latte or smurf latte, the primary ingredient algae is highly praised in the superfood world for its nutritional density, antioxidants and probiotic properties.

> Taro: A frequent drink option on many Asian-inspired cafes, taro is a root vegetable (similar to potato) and is typically found in South East Asia and India. Taro is often underrated for its range of nutrients and antioxidants.

> Black sesame: Black sesame paste (derived from black sesame seeds) is often used in many Chinese and Japanese desserts – so this latte is a great option if you’re craving something sweet and an alternative to your basic hot chocolate.

> Charcoal: Otherwise known as goth lattes, charcoal is a popular ingredient for aiding digestion and cleansing the body. It’s appearing more and more in food – bonus points to you if you order it with charcoal bread!

> Rose: Its main ingredient rose water is known to reduce bloating and indigestion. It’s also known to have a calming effect and may aid in easing anxiety.

  • Where to get it: Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar (Redfern or Barangaroo) – Rose is mixed with cacao to create a “Turkish Delight” latte
So tell me…

Have you ever tried one of these? What did you think?

The Best Coffee in Sydney for Coffee Enthusiasts


Latte & Luxe - coffee cup - White Horse, Sutherland (Sydney Australia)

Latte & Luxe - The Reformatory Caffeine Lab - Surry Hills, Sydney (Australia) - specialty coffee

Latte & Luxe - The Reformatory Caffeine Lab - Surry Hills, Sydney (Australia) - specialty coffee

Latte & Luxe - The Reformatory Caffeine Lab - Surry Hills, Sydney (Australia) - specialty coffee

Australia arguably has some of the best coffee in the world. And I’m here to tell you that it’s true! Now, the question of WHERE in Australia to get it is debatable.

Which one do you prefer? Melbourne or Sydney?

As a proud Sydneysider myself, even I have to step down and admit how fantastic the coffee is in Melbourne. But we’ll leave that debate for another post.

Getting back to Sydney…

A coffee connoisseur would even say the creation is a form of art. After all, #latteart isn’t a viral hashtag on Instagram for nothing, no? But at these specialty shops, coffee is more than just your standard latte or flat white. You’ll find just about every kind of specialty coffee under the sun, from filter and pour-over to cold brew. I’ve narrowed this list down to some of the best roasters of Sydney. Just an FYI, this list focuses solely on coffee. With this in mind, I’ve excluded roasters that double as cafes that provide brunch, lunch, etc. You can find some of these beans in a lot of those cafes too.

The best specialty coffee of Sydney:

> Coffee (Bondi Beach): This is the ultimate spot for coffee and seaside enthusiasts. Walk into a minimalist, Japanese-inspired space and walk out into the quintessential ocean blue. In typical Bondi fashion, they use an almond and macadamia blend for white coffee drinkers.

Neighbourhood by Sean Mcmanus (Surry Hills): This quaint little joint just off Devonshire Street has no seats and no mugs. All you’ll find is just a handful of stools inside and some benches out the front. Try your drink of choice with their almond/oat milk and date puree blend!

> Coffee Alchemy (Marrickville, CBD): The award-winning roaster is known for their extensive range of brew methods and selection of drinks. Look out for their Gumption outpost in The Strand. It’s a convenient spot to get your caffeine fix when you’re on-the-go in the city.

> Reformatory Caffeine Lab (Surry Hills): There’s a sense of rebellion in the air at this lab – maybe it’s the skulls and the wall art. This is the place to go if you want to know exactly what you’re drinking and how your beans have been processed. Be adventurous and go beyond your typical latte and try some fermented cold-drip.

> Sample Coffee (St Peters, Surry Hills): The space here is simple and clean with a front bar from which you can see your drink being brewed just for you. Check out their website if you want to learn how to make something just like it at home.

> The Little Marionette (St Peters): Whether you visit their boutique roasting site or sample some beans at the various cafes they supply to, you can guarantee that your coffee has been made with love and thought.

> Black Market Roasters (Enmore): Whether you’re in the Inner West or down the South Coast, Black Market Roasters have you covered for top quality roasted beans whether you’re working hard or hardly working.

> Double Roasters (Marrickville): Warehouse-style cafes are so trendy at the moment and Double Roasters at Marrickville is already ahead of the game. The coffee machine is on full display beside the quirky chairs and amidst the low-hanging lights.

> Mecca (CBD, Alexandria): You can find them in the CBD or at their sister café in Ultimo (appropriately named Soma). They’ve also expanded out to Alexandria. There, they offer a larger and grander space that includes a garden and an extra room for training and tasting.

> White Horse Coffee (Sutherland): White Horse is the go-to place for Shire locals for fantastic specialty beans and rotating single origins outside the centre of the city.

So tell me…

Are you a specialty coffee kind of person? What’s your go-to order?

The Top 10 Acai Bowl Joints in Sydney

Have you ever been in a situation where you discover for the first time that you’ve been pronouncing a word wrong your whole life? Personally, I tend to experience this a lot. My inability to add an ‘s’ onto the word ‘math’ annoys just about all of my Australian friends (given it’s American English and not Australian English). Nothing has changed in that respect (#sorrynotsorry)! So the day I learnt the correct way to pronounce acai (“ah-sigh-ee”) was a great day for me.

The acai craze has carved a permanent spot in Sydney’s food scene. With an acai bowl, you can top it with as much extra fruit, granola and other superfoods as you like. Not all acai spots are by the beach. There are more and more bowls being blended across Sydney. I’ve divided up this top 10 list by the below features:

  1. Optimal granola to fruit ratio
  2. Bowls which with unique features that photograph well for Instagram
  3. Takeaway bowls

Best 3: granola to fruit ratio:

Acai bowl at Bondi Wholefoods - Sydney, Australia - Latte & LuxeBondi Wholefoods (North Bondi, Surry Hills): The ‘BWF Antiox Bowl’ is a perfect balance of fruit, granola and coconut flakes! If you want to feel a bit more satisfied, you’re able to ask for extra protein powder and Amazon supplements.

> Culture Bean (Kogarah): This unexpected joint in Southern Sydney fills up very quickly on weekends with people keen to taste the acai. Personally, I think Culture Bean does a great job with the granola to fruit ratio. It comes with 1/3 granola, 1/3 fruit (+ extra passionfruit on top) and 1/3 chia seeds and coconut flakes. Even the table flowers match the bowl!

> Heart and Soul (Cronulla): This cafe is very casual and laidback. Top your acai with whatever muesli you want!

Best 3: uniquely Instagrammable features:

Acai bowl at Ritual - Sydney, Australia - Latte & LuxeRitual (Northbridge): there are not many cafes that cut up their watermelon to create a letter shape. Ritual is one of them – and possibly the only one in Sydney. Does that look cool or look fantastic!?

> Back & Forth (Castlecrag): an extended outpost from the founders of Ritual, at Back & Forth the acai bowl is deconstructed and presented like scoops of ice cream.

> Merchants of No Sense (Menai): the texture is so creamy and looks like a gigantic berry sundae.

Best 3 takeaway acai spots:

Acai bowl at My Fruitologist - Sydney, Australia - Latte & Luxe

> My Fruitologist (Rozelle, Bondi Beach): You definitely get your money’s worth at this Instagram hotspot – the portions of acai and even toppings are extremely generous.

> Acai Brothers (Neutral Bay, Bondi Beach, Bankstown, Macarthur Square): here, you can customize all of your toppings to create an acai bowl that best satisfies you. The Brothers have expanded beyond the beaches and out west too!

> Coco Bliss (Coogee): The name of the place speaks for itself! Pure bliss, no?

My personal favourite:

Acai bowl at Bare Naked Bowls - Sydney, Australia - Latte & Luxe

> Bare Naked Bowls (Manly, Bronte): Bare Naked Bowls specialise in top-quality acai and each bowl is so beautifully plated! They also donate 10% of their profits to a local charity.

So tell me…

Have you jumped on the smoothie bowl bandwagon? What’s your must-have topping?

5 Most Extra and Instagrammable Surry Hills Cafes

There are two types of people in this world: those who are “extra” and those who are “basic”. Are you the type of person who, at brunch, is looking for the ultimate Instagram-worthy shot? Would you move around your plates and cups for it? If you’re like me and you’re guilty of doing this often, I’m honestly not sure what category you’d fall into. Everyone has a different opinion!

There are a few cafes which go above and beyond to create dishes that satisfy not just your tastebuds but also the eyes of you and your iPhone lens. With options you often can’t find anywhere else, how could these places possibly be basic?

So here are 5 of my favourite cafes in Surry Hills which are just that little bit extra:

Latte & Luxe: baked eggs for brunch at Reuben Hills, Surry Hills (Sydney)

> Reuben Hills: Inspired by the cuisines of Central and South America, Reuben Hills serves up a Latin-style brunch like nowhere else. Their menu stretches from classic baked eggs to next-level tostadas and in-house roasted coffee (with their own almond-macadamia milk blend!). You might forget to stop ‘gramming and start eating!

Latte & Luxe: coffee at Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills (Sydney)

> Paramount Coffee Project: Sitting right next to the Golden Age Cinema, Paramount Coffee Project is the perfect place to get brunch before a matinee showing. While they’re focused on brewing their own specialty coffee, their menu items take inspiration from classic American dishes – think biscuits & gravy and fried chicken & waffles.

Latte & Luxe: coffee at Devon Cafe, Surry Hills (Sydney)

> Devon Café: Devon accurately describe themselves as a café that serves “brunch favourites with a quirky twist”. There are dishes that have names like “Breakfast with the Sakumas” and “Lost in Devonshire” (the to-die-for French toast). So naturally, they are the epitome of extra. Devon’s Barangaroo outpost also offers soft serve with hot chips as an optional dessert.

Latte & Luxe: interior and coffee cup at Haven Specialty Coffee (tailoring coffee joyously), Surry Hills (Sydney)

> Haven Specialty Coffee: Haven’s niche lies in specialty coffee – tailored to your liking based on their unique combination of different criteria (aroma, grind size, etc). Taking inspiration from Hong Kong, the various egg waffles and “kimcheese” burger are the key standouts from the food menu.

Latte & Luxe: matcha lava French toast brunch at Meet Mica, Surry Hills (Sydney)

> Meet Mica: The latest addition to Surry Hills, the meals at Meet Mica are inspired by Asian and Nordic flavours (think lobster congee, banana yuzu porridge). If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try their lava matcha French toast! Your eyes and your iPhone will salivate when that matcha pours out from under all that brioche.

What are your favourite Instagrammable spots in Surry Hills? Let me know – I’d love to check them out!