Sean McManus is a familiar face in the Surry Hills coffee scene. Having spent years at Single Origin Roasters and the past year or so at Artificer, he's finally opened up his own cafe. Called Neighbourhood, it's fair to say it's a hole-in-the-wall setup, yet there's no comprimise to the quality of coffee being served.
The fitout is by Porter & Maple, with the inside having just enough room for two baristas to do their thing. Outside, there's a bench and a few solid stools, as well as a line of customers that doesn't seem to disappear. Even McManus said to us that he didn't think he'd have anywhere near this amount of regulars at the door for a couple of months at least.
It all makes sense however, as the coffee itself is unbelievable. Using individual roast batches, nearly every type of coffee made comes from exactly the same roast at a given time (beans for milk based coffees are roasted a minute longer). Whether it's a filter, an espresso or a latte the same single origin is in each. It's for this reason that espressos are brewed with only 14 grams of coffee at 3.5 bar of pressure. The result is a very sharp brew with an initial explosion of flavour and a sparkling acidity. While there isn't so much body, the espresso remains well balanced and clean.
Neighbourhood by Sean McManus