Dark Horse Espresso

Nestled within the vibing industrial area of Wickham on Greenway Street, Dark Horse Espresso seems to be right at home. Behind the roller door, this little warehouse stocks an extensive range of ever-changing coffees that will take you on a drinking journey around the world.

What may have started out as a place for nearby tradies to grab their morning coffee, it now draws people from all over the city; just try finding a park here in the morning and you'll see what I mean.

Surrounded by plenty of amazing street art, owners Kylen and Emily Read are big fans of the creative paintings, even giving sponsorship during the first Hit The Bricks event enabling the long wall across from their café to be painted. It now looks much different then it did all those years ago however, as the art is always changing, which is something that keeps bringing customers back and gives the couple something new to look at and admire.

Not only does it have a true Novocastrain feel, particularly with its industrial, bare bones styled interior, which really matches its surroundings, Kylen and Emily always source local, Newcastle products to create their delicious foods and tasty coffees.

What made you choose Wickham as the location for the café?
Emily: When we opened there wasn’t really anything in the area, the closest was probably Suspension Espresso, so there was really a market here for it. Also, being on this back street it was a bit quieter, though as you’ve seen today, it’s gotten a lot busier in the area since we’ve opened.

What kind of menu do you have here?
Emily: I try and focus on using local suppliers. So I get bagels from Garage Project, I get my sourdough from Baked Uprising, and then I just have a very simple menu of smashed avocado on sourdough or bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I do toasties, like ham, cheese and tomato, or bacon and egg toasties, etc.

What kind of experience do you hope customers get when they come to the café?
Emily: I just want people to relax and enjoy our coffee. Probably one of our most popular things is the cold brew coffee, so we make our own cold brew coffee under the name Velvet Sledge. It’s just cold brew coffee, milk and ice. I also sell the bottles of concentrate and they’re very popular, because people can take them home and make their own, or make espresso martinis or cocktails out of it to. Mainly, it’s such a small vibey kind of space, so people can usually have a good time.

Any future plans for the business?
Emily: Kyle has being playing around with an idea for so long and I think it would be really good if he did it. It would be a Sunday morning pop up here with just him doing coffee and amazing fresh bagels and pastries, like a smaller version of what I do throughout the week.

Kylen: If I do it I’ll probably be using Seth from Garage Project. So just espressos and his pastries pretty much, like real croissants, and real boiled and baked bagels, just keeping it pretty simple. That’s really the idea of it, just focusing on good product.

What sparked this idea?
Kylen: Seth is a good bloke, he has good products and he has a good following, but I think it would be good to get his product out there a bit more. I think in this town there’s a lot of standard product out there that gets sold at cafes, and then when you try real pastries or a properly cooked croissant, they’re just worlds apart. So I won’t be getting lost in making too much fancy food, just focusing on keeping it real simple.

Original appeared on Urban Walkabout

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