In Short: Opus Coffee Brewers makes a drive from Sydney worth every kilometre. Deliciously sophisticated coffee and an innovative menu, for a combo that the locals are very lucky to have. Definitely order up the Breakfast Plate if you’ve got a big day ahead.
I think us Melbourne and Sydney coffee snobs can feel a slight pang of single origin separation anxiety if we find ourselves any more than a quick walk from our favourite barista’s handiwork in suburbs like Surry Hills or Fitzroy. Sure, we all think our local serves up the best cup anywhere, but it’s a short line you’re casting if you don’t get out of your comfy coffee zone and experience the truly sophisticated café experiences in the rest of the Australian coffee culture. Casting that line just a little past the Sydney suburbs can land you a whopper, in the shape of Wollongong’s Opus Coffee Brewers.
Opus Coffee Brewers sits only a few steps from the bustle of the central shopping hub, but it’s light years ahead in coffee quality and café experience of the chain cafes that line the central strip. Bathed in glorious sunlight that warms the wood interior, we slide right into a front window seat to soak up a little vitamin D with our brekky, and watch a sleepy Wollongong shake off the hangover of a Saturday night and stir to life.
Like spotted bird’s eggs, and cradling the contents of a creamy cappuccino, I just can’t leave the elegant coffee cups at Opus alone. They’re so elegant and organic that I’d be just as impressed if they were served empty. But no, the beauty of the outer is reflected by the inner as this silk cap has a bold body and a smoothness that only makes the cosiness of Opus Coffee Brewers all the more encompassing.
With a winter morning nip in the air, a bowl of hearty Winter Granola is just the thing to power us through a long day of foodie adventures. A tang from the pomegranate plays off the fresh tartness of the yoghurt and smooths the crunch of the golden granola. Crown it all with the nuttiness of macadamia, chewy cranberry, and caramelised apple, and it’s a bowl that draws you in with every bite.
A bevvy interlude of chai is always a favourite of mine. Opus Coffee Brewers is just as skilled in the art of the spices as they are with the beans. The chai is light and floral, with a natural sweetness, that is calming with every sip.
I did have blogger backup on this café mission, but alas, mid-tasting I’m left to fend for myself just as the bountiful Breakfast Plate arrives. Always the consummate professional, I tuck into this heapingly, healthy heaven on a plate and am soon lost in the divine tastes of crispy kale, herby broccolini, peppery mushrooms, and of course, stunning poached eggs that roll over crunchy sourdough. Needless to say, I had no trouble completing this delicious mission.
Opus Coffee Brewers in Wollongong is the epitome of how exceptional examples of Australian coffee culture have spread well beyond our metropolises and are spawning new pockets of artisanal food experiences for all. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful country with so much to see, so cast that line as far as you like, and you’ll be sure to find a good cup waiting at the other end.