The bus to Rockdale drops you right on the doorstep of Swallow Coffee Traders’ where you’ll meet Angus and Jess, two ‘dale lovin’ coffee folk who since setting up Swallow have led a caffeinated existence comprising pulling shots, setting up a brew station, visiting the roasting house for green bean updates, travelling to Picton to visit the Country Valley dairy farm they source from, and generally keeping the big coffee wheel turning. Thanks to Angus and Jess for spilling the beans…
So Swallow is rocking Rockdale with some great coffee? Well, yeah we think so! The slogan technically is ‘Swallow Rocks the Dale’ but our marketing manager is always open to suggestions…
You really get behind the single origins. Tell us about the singles at Swallow. The nerdy answer: We have different single O’s on Tuesday and Sunday, which helps educate our customers about how variations in growing, processing and roasting affect the taste profile of a bean.
The real answer: We just want to taste as many different coffee’s as we can!
If I ask for a Big Mac, what would I get? Haha, no seriously I am in the middle of a BIG court case with the McDonald Corp at the moment. We actually invented the Big Mac, which is an Espro topped with ¾ milk in a Pic glass, just trying to reinvent stuff and say i invented it
Tell us about the ‘Brew Station’. At first there was a slight misunderstanding that this is where all the NZ guys would stand and talk amongst their ‘brews’. But in fact our new back bench where everything but espresso occurs, at the moment we are cranking pour-overs and the aero-press…. a syphon is also on the horizon!
What’s it like having a café in Rockdale?
Well, to be honest it is AWESOME. Our customers are sexy and have the same fresh coffee demands just like anyone you would find in the City/Inner West.
Though Rockdale is a little ‘different’. Such as, every 3 minutes you may get an elderly man or woman slowly hobbling past our door, only to look up, into the cafe and have no idea what the hell we are or what we do. Muttering something in Macedonian as they continue past. They have never seen trendy young people sipping ‘big macs’ and while some locals say that Rockdale is stuck in a time warp, we are stoked to be a part of it.
What’s your current rig? (equip. setup) Our rig is a work in progress! At the moment we have a three group La San Marco, a mazza major and a mini, a deli-grinder, aeropress and pour-overs. We dream on Synesso’s, ubergrinders and those special hot tap thingy’s that measure your pour and water temp for our brew station.
How many grams in your basket? 18
Spouts or sawn offs? We prefer it naked, and sawn off too
How many days from roast? (espresso) Depends on the coffee…but 4
How do you take your coffee? Risty for breakfast, Mac for lunch and a Mid-Black for Dinner
How many do you drink on average in a day? 3, though we don’t count Rissty’s
What’s your favourite low-pressure extraction/alternative brewing method? I have new favourites every week! I’m loving the pour-over at the moment, this week we had a light roast – Kenyan Kirinyaga, it has been really enjoyable.
Do you have a favourite single origin/estate & why? Hmmmm – Guatemalan Hueuetenango is a hit in the Dale, though we also love the Panama Esmerelda Geisha and the Don Pachi. V different coffee’s and the producers seem to be going the extra mile to ensure we as consumers/cafe’s get the best of the crop
Washed, semi-washed, or naturals? Washed, though the unwashed Yirgacheffe through the aeropress has been our breakfast this week
Any special barista tips? Contrary to popular belief, people CAN tell the difference between full and skim milk!
Favourite music to listen to while making coffee? Armadinho, a Brazillian group introduced to us by one of our customers
What’s your worst nightmare order? Our neighbour orders a twice daily skim, decaf, caramel, latte with an equal, we have nothing against the Colombian decaf we are running, but caramel and an equal!?!?!
Best travelling coffee experience?
Angus – Rome, being shut down by an imposing 50 year old barista and running out almost in tears when they couldn’t understand my impeccable Italianish. Apparently they don’t know what a piccolo is…i’m an idiot!
What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in the hospitality industry? Angus – Selling financial plans to strangers
Jess – Putting real estate ads together
Get your Swallow fix at 1 Tramway Arcade Rockdale, and for your facebook fill visit them here