Last month long-time Newcastle barista and coffee roaster Alaric Daley and his partner Sara opened a cafe, New Slang, at 480 Hunter Street. I asked him about the new venture.
What does New Slang the name mean to you? New Slang is a song by The Shins that Sara and I like, it sounded cool so we went with it.
Who are the key members of your crew? Head barista Sam Allen-Smith is an absolute gun and a lovely guy. We've been working together in other venues for years and totally understand each other's flow, he has a great palette and understanding of specialty coffee and brewing techniques. We are building an A class team at the moment so look out for some new and familiar faces.
What was your vision when you decided to create this space? A clean, light and modern space encapsulating the spirit of the regeneration of a growing Newcastle.
What is your point of difference? Specialty high grade coffee and simple yet tasty food, served by industry professionals. We roast everything ourselves and constantly seeking unique, traceable and ethically sourced coffee from around the world.
Will you expand the coffee and food menus? Our coffee and food menu will always be based on seasonality and will change over time.
How often will you change the coffee blend? The blend is seasonal so it changes throughout the year as fresh lots land in Australia. That being said we aim the use coffees with the same flavour profile to keep the blend consistently tasting awesome! Malt, caramel and hazelnut are the standout flavours.
You are still running Unison - how big is that business? Unison Coffee Roasters is a small batch roastery focussing on quality over quantity. We supply around eight cafes. We have two blends and at least four to six Single Origin offerings at any one time.
Have you always felt the Central and South American beans are best? We use Central, South American and African coffee. My favourite at the moment is Colombia for the sheer variety of flavour profiles and now increased experimenting with different varietals and processing methods. I will always have a place in my heart for Ethiopia, its classic bergamot and citrus.
You offer carbonated water with your espresso - you have truly put the customer first? We believe so, it's a nice touch.
How long have you been in the game? I have spent over 15 years working in the coffee industry in all different fields, from barista to machine technician to roaster. New Slang caters to everyone, from the classic cappuccino to V60 pour over. We love to engage in discussion with customers about certain coffees (variety, process, origin, growing conditions) to brewing techniques and everything in between. Our dream was to create a beautiful space in Newcastle CBD that made specialty high grade coffee exciting and accessible for everyone.