I got rather excited when, a little while ago, Simon Thomsen tweeted that Olio had started serving kopi luwak at $9 a cup. Surely he didn’t mean Olio that is just around the corner from where I work? And at that price, surely not...
I gingerly ventured past Olio’s doorway that day after work but did not spot any signs of this being advertised. A little disappointed I made my way home as per usual, told Monsieur Poisson about it, and we discussed how we had previously suggested to friends the notion of rounding up a group of us to try what is considered to be one of the world’s rarest coffees at Forsyth Coffee. One of the few places to serve what is otherwise known as ‘cat poo coffee’, their kopi luwak tastings are $50 per person with a minimum of four people, so you have to be pretty sure it’s, well, your cup of coffee.
Monsieur Poisson and I have both taken a day off work and, after lunch and a stroll through the city, head northwards across Sydney’s famous bridge to have our taste of unusual coffee. We settle into the warm café surrounds of Olio and promptly order a kopi luwak each. We peruse their menu and specials board and are attracted by the sound of good café food, so we promise ourselves to return for dinner some Friday night in the future. (For a peek at their food, check out pigged-out’s post on Olio here.)
Our coffees arrive as espresso shots and a short conversation with the manager afterwards reveals that this is the optimum way to appreciate the differences in taste compared to your average coffee. However, if you’re concerned that espresso is really not your thing, then the kopi luwak can be made with milk on request.
The first thing that strikes us is the dessert platter-like presentation of the coffee – flanked on one side by a shot of mineral water with a wedge of lime and, on the other side, by a cube of raw sugar and two petits fours. It invokes a sense of ceremony involved with consuming the coffee although we don’t receive any instruction on the recommended order or procedure unlike one Ninja’s experience.
I take a sip of the mineral water first, followed by a sip of the coffee. My experience with espresso normally involves it being tipped over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, but somehow I find that the kopi luwak is less bitter than those. There seems to be a fruit-like tang of an aftertaste and the aroma of the coffee rises up the back of the throat into your nose.
The petits fours are a gingerbread biscuit which is crunchy and not soft as expected, but it is lovely and fragrant in spices. I eat the almond-encrusted, truffle-like chocolate last to neutralise any lingering bitterness from the coffee but really it’s quite mild. So a definite try if you’re interested in coffee, and most worthwhile and affordable at only $9 a pop.
Shop 1, The Forum, St Leonards train station, 201-205 Pacific Hwy, St Leonards NSW 2065
Opening Hours: Mon 7am-4pm
Sat & Sun CLOSED