Monday, 28 May 2012

Not Just Coffee - Paddington Australia

This week I did not have to go too far out of the city to get to the cafe, in fact it is only 3 kilometers east of Sydney City in a suburb named Paddington.

Paddington has a well known street that runs down the suburb and that is the famous Oxford Street. If you find the name familiar, the same street runs from Paddington to Surry Hills, which was another suburb that I introduced earlier in my interview with Single Origin Roasters. Paddington has evolved over the years from a walking track for the Aboriginals to what is now a street that is well known for its shopping.

In the later part of 19th century, Paddington was filled with terraces to accommodate the increasing number of city working population and middle class. If you think that Paddington terrace is still a property for the middle class. You might want to think again. According to RP Data, the median sales price for a house in Paddington in 2012 is AUD $1,370,000 and this is a 5.8% drop from last year!

Paddington is a popular destination among tourists who come to the suburb just to experience shopping on Oxford Street. Many tourists are also drawn to Paddington's popular open-air market that is held at the heritage listed Uniting Church ground every Saturday. 

Paddington popularity does not stop with tourists, it is also a popular destination for the locals with its interesting mix of boutique and chain fashion stores, as well as its wide selection of cafes and restaurants. It is only a pity that there are very limited street parking available in the surrounding streets which also limit you to 1 hour parking. If you choose to come to Paddington, I strongly suggest public transport such as bus. The nearest train station will be Museum Station, that will bring you to the start of Oxford street. The following is a picture of a boutique store that was near to where I parked my car.

Good cafe always seems to be tuck away in some corner or laneway. This cafe is no different. The address of the cafe is 264 Oxford Street, Paddington. You would think that with an address like this, it would be real easy to find. Noooooo.......

Now let me show you where the cafe is located. On the map it is pretty straightforward. 

But in actual fact the cafe entrance is located on Perry Lane. If you are to walk along Oxford street and hope to find a street signage that write "Perry Lane" then you would be walking up and down Oxford street for a while. That is because the sign of the lane is located on the GROUND!

So here is a little tip for those of you that are intending to venture out to Not Just Coffee cafe. Look out for the fashion chain store "Oxford" on Oxford street and you would see a flag that say "Cafe Open" pointing into Perry Lane. 

Just follow the arrow and you will find the entrance to Not Just Coffee.

Okay, let us get on with the interview.

Cafe Name: Not Just Coffee

264 Oxford Street, Paddington
Entry on Perry Lane

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 0730 to 1600
Saturday - Sunday: 0830 to 1600

So what is the idea behind the cafe name?

Started selling cookies at Kings Cross under the name of 406 Bakery which is the number of the apartment that she was living in the States where she learnt how to bake. But with cafe, Kit was advised that numbers in name does not stick in people's memory. Hence the name of "Not Just Coffee" was established instead, which is also a very true reflection of the cafe, because it is not just the coffee that is attracting regulars to this pet friendly cafe. There is a great variety of cakes, muffins and scones that are baked by Kit available at the cafe for consumption. 

Coffee Beans: Di Lorenzo

Why this location?
It took Kit and Yuen over a year to find this location having gone around to different parts of Sydney. Having operated in Kings Cross before, there was a bias liking to this area and hence when this location was available on the market, they took it. 

This location has always been a cafe for the last 18 years and through some Google effort, the previous cafes that were located in the same place were Perry Lane Cafe and CafeArtStudio. In keeping with the promotion of arts, there is a gallery of famous drawings. Just kidding, these are all the drawings from the cafe's young customers. Other than being a pet friendly cafe, it is also prams and kids friendly, the cafe will provide the kid with the crayons and paper to keep the kids entertain while parents enjoy a well deserved break with a coffee and cake. 

Abit about the cafe owners (Kit and Yuen)
Malaysia born, both of them traveled to the States for their studies. Kit a biochemist and Yuen a pharmacist, during their studies, they did talked about operating a cafe later on in their life. After Kit has completed her studies, and not finding a job that is satisfying for her, she decided to leave the States and try her luck in Australia (other than the fact that Australia is closer to her family in Malaysia as well). 

Same fate was presented to her in Australia and she started casual work with cafes to make ends meet. But what started as a casual work once again reignite her desire to operate a cafe and since her career as a biochemist is not really going according to plan, she decided to pair up with Yuen, brought forward their dreams by 10 years and started this cafe. 

Kit who is also an amateur photographer truly gives support to budding artists. In the cafe upper level, there is an art gallery that changes exhibit every 2 months. If you are interested in displaying your works, please contact Not Just Coffee directly for details. 


When I was at the cafe, I noticed a couple of "keep calm and carry on" artifacts lying around the place and I ask Kit if this is all part of the London Olympics 2012 theme. She said, no, she simply likes the slogan.

What is your favourite coffee?
Kit reply is Cappuccino, this is when Kit brought to my attention that the cup of coffee on the logo is that of a Cappuccino. She also pointed out to me the signature red couch is actually upstairs, so how can I miss it. So upstairs I went. How can I not take a photo of something so "homely". 

On the signature couch, I saw nana (grandmum) and I can only presume that the gentleman is her son are both enjoying their late Saturday afternoon coffee. This moment just melts my heart. What can I say, not only is this place safe for kids, quiet enough for customers to have a chat, friendly enough for pets, it is even comfy enough to give you a wrong impression that you are actually enjoying all these at home.

Finally, a picture of the crew (Kit is on the far right)

Cappuccino Price Index: AUD $3.50

That is all from me this week, see you all in a fortnight. 


  1. It's a nice blog you have here. Really interesting to see the people behind making the coffee. I reviewed this place a while ago, but tend to rarely get involved with the baristas and owners, let alone so intimately.

    I look forward to your next post.

  2. thanks Robert, I'm no good in reviewing coffee, so I thought I will build my blog slightly different. I will concentrate on the stories instead.

  3. Paddington has a well known street that runs down the suburb and that is the famous Oxford Street. If you find the name familiar, the same street runs from Paddington to Surry Hills, which was another suburb that I introduced earlier in my interview with Single Origin Roasters.
    Ben Cass ,
    Benjamin Cass