This is yet another cafe that I heard about overseas, this time in London when I was visiting Cameron from Flat White I noticed a bag of Campos sitting on the counter. I had tried to get to this cafe before I left for Dublin as it was listed as being in the top ten cafe haunts in Sydney. I did try and do the list but only got half way through when I gave up as, quite frankly there were some cafes in that list that should not have been in there.
Since being back I have been in the cafe a few times and every time I have had a really good espresso and a strong flat white. The first time I went in I made light chit chat with the guys as I told them that I had seen the their coffee in London. What I did not realise then was that I was talking to Will the owner, so when I emailed him to make a time to meet him I was surprised to see the same guy.
Will has been at it now for 5 years and he really has set the place up to just pump out the coffees. If you have been to Flat White in London you will recognise the bar set up as the boys in London had followed the same format. The difference with campos is that they are using the GB5’s and instead of two, two group Linea’s, Campos have a 4 group and a 2 group side by side. Another thing they have down pat like Flat White is the consistency, with small Rosetta’s on every flat white I’ve ordered and each espresso tasting the same.
On that note the espresso is exactly what I look for when drinking the black stuff, I have to tell you that I am pretty tired of tasting espresso that’s earthy, smoky, muddy espresso. Give me an espresso that’s lively, clean, it does not even need that much body for me and I do want to taste some sweetness to it then I am happy! Campos is hitting the spot it does have a nice body, its got a great acidity to it and is on a par with any of the best coffees I have tasted around the world! I would have to say that I really do get excited when I walk into this place, its just so nice to know that great coffee is on the way.
Will and Campos head barista Ben, keep a pretty tight ship, they have a no talking policy that seems to keep the place flowing. So how do they tell each other what to make if they can’t talk to one another? They have come up with a system of symbols using dice and depending on how they place the spoon on the saucer will tell them what drink to make. You wont see any unsightly pieces of paper hanging around. I’m not really sure how I would go in that enviroment but if it works for them and I get good coffee everytime, then I’m not going to complain.
Will says the scene in Australia is getting better as the barista is been seen as a professional and even getting paid as one. Campos is trying to create a tipping culture too with the tips they earn a week pushing up wards of 100 bucks (not an actual figure). I asked will what a barista could earn in Sydney to which he said up to about $25 dollars per hour, not bad, not bad at all.
Campos also supply their coffee to other cafes and says he has over 40 accounts some being in some exotic locations through out Australia and abroad. Campos make sure that the cafe owner installs the right machinery and get thorougher in house training from his baristas.
So a quick thanks to Will for letting me in the cafe and to the silent men behind the bar, Ben, Adam, Luke and Yianni, i’ll be back for sure even if we don’t get to chat;)