IT is the modern, super slick coffee bar that wouldn't be out of place in Melbourne.
Yet, you won't find it in the inner-city.
Josie Coffee Bar opened in Gateshead's industrial area a fortnight ago, taking over the front of the space where Josie Coffee founder Chris Edden operates his roastery.
"It's like our version of a cellar door. You can come and have a taste of the coffee, and see what we do," Edden says.
"It's a bit of an oasis in this industrial estate. It's a pretty slick fit-out. From the outside, it's just a Colourbond shed but once you're inside, it's this whole other world."
From a part-time hobby, Josie Coffee has grown into something much bigger in the four years since Edden launched the business.
It began as a small scale online operation before Edden set up the roastery in Gateshead to start producing beans to sell wholesale to cafes.
From there, he began serving coffee from a converted retro caravan at market events around the region.
A coffee bar was the next step.
The project has been around nine months in the making.
For coffee aficionados, the bar offers a first for the region with the installation of a Modbar.
The under-counter machine is a sleek, minimalist alternative to the standard cafe espresso machine, with the idea being the design allows for an improved interaction between barista and the customer.
"It's more like a bar, like a cocktail bar, so basically there's no machine to hide behind," Edden says.
Josie Coffee is all based on good people.- Business owner Chris Edden
"It's much more service-focused with the baristas to the customer."
Among the other high-tech equipment is a twin tap Juggler milk dispenser with sensor activated taps that are connected to milk bladders.
It not only sits nicely alongside the Modbar unit, but also offers a solution in the cafe's effort to minimise waste.
"All of our milk comes from Little Big Dairy in bladders, so we don't the waste of milk bottles," Edden says.
"It helps for our workflow and it all ties in really nicely with the Modbar.
"The Juggler was a really nice fit for us because trying to minimise our waste was a big thing and it's great for that because any cafe that's punching any sort of volume, your recycle bin is always getting filled up with milk bottles."
Josie Coffee Bar offers a light menu of toasties ($10); yoghurt and muesli ($10); banana bread ($6), cakes and baked treats, as well as iced chocolate, hot chocolate, chai, and loose leaf tea.
And for the coffee?
As well as brewing equipment, bags of Josie Coffee beans are available to purchase, including their latest Purple Rain offering which is the bar's house blend.
"It is a showcase of two farms that we are working closely with, so it's 50 per cent of a pretty wild coffee from Riverdale Estate in India, which is a farm that I visited once in 2018 and then my offsider Greg went last year, so we have done a fair bit of work with them," Edden says.
"The other half is from a new coffee that we have started buying which is called Jose Ramiro. We have purchased Jose's entire crop, so now he is only producing for Josie Coffee.
"His coffee tastes great and it's from a remote region in Colombia. It's a really high altitude farm and we intend on buying his coffee for the foreseeable future.
"So that's how that blend has come about. The result is it's really sweet, it's really fruity, it's really well suited to black coffee and it's really good in milk."
A range of single origin coffees will also be on rotation at the cafe.
Josie Coffee grew from a simple love of coffee.
Edden named the business in honour of his cousin Josie, a passionate barista who was tragically killed on her way to work at Melbourne's Code Black Coffee Roasters in 2015 after she tripped and fell into the path of an oncoming truck.
"I understand why Josie loved hospitality and coffee," Edden says.
"You meet a lot of good people through hospitality. You get to see a lot of those people every day and you can build a customer base with people who you often become friends with.
"I really wanted to create that here. We have a pretty serious coffee set up and we have some really exotic coffees, but we aren't snobby about it.
"We are into coffee and we want to get people into coffee, but we aren't pretentious about it. It's about trying to make people feel comfortable and take them on their coffee journey."
Edden runs the business alongside his wife Kate (she handles the designs) and Greg Watkinson, who works full-time in the roastery and coffee bar alongside a small, tight-knit team.
"We have a small staff but it's a good team of people that I have came across in circles," Edden says.
"For me, as a business owner, it's about finding good people. Josie Coffee is all based on good people. We have fun here and we work hard, but it's all about the people.
"The staff, our suppliers, our coffee. Having good relationships with people is invaluable."
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