Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm; Thu-Sun, 7am-9pm
L at Bedford Ave.
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Founder Toby Smith opened his first coffee bar in Sydney in 1997, and this Brooklyn shop marks his first U.S. foray. The large airy space has a retail area selling brewing equipment, a cupping room for public and in-house education, and even a wholesale business in back. The city's first pressure-controlling Strada machine by La Mazorca churns out the espresso, and there's also a "pour-over bar" for those who prefer that. If you don't know what the difference is, Smith says not to worry, "We want to make anyone who maybe doesn't drink a lot of coffee feel comfortable about approaching the bar." To that end, coffee flights—a tasting of three beans—are one option, and the 25-kilo roaster sits out in the open, "so people can watch."
The place offers food, too, and it's clear that Smith has gotten in with some good people, evidenced by the Salvatore Brooklyn ricotta that appears on one toast. Aussies aren't forgotten, either: Toby's offers a flat white, "similar to a wet cappuccino," says Smith, "just in case some of our Aussie mates turn up looking for it." And there's one thing on the food menu only an Australian could love: Vegemite on toast.