Where: 282 Sydney Rd, Coburg
When:7am-4pm 7 Days
Contact: (03) 9386 2315
Haloumi Burger with avocado, ajvar relish, baby spinach and slaw on whole grain ($10)
You can’t get much more different than from the outer reaches of Sydney Rd to the jungles of East Timor, but a new café in Coburg is impressing the locals with it’s point of difference.
Wild Timor Coffee was established by four ex-soldiers who were part of the peace-keeping mission in East Timor in 2012. While they were there they discovered that the coffee grown by the locals was being traded unfairly by middlemen taking a huge cut of the profits. The soldiers set up Wild Timor Coffee Co. and raised enough money to begin trading the coffee to Australia and paying the farmers a fair and equitable price for their product. So now you and I can enjoy the incredibly fresh and powerful Timorese coffee along with traditional flavours of the region like Portuguese custard tarts (choc, berry or original), spicy avjar relish-licked burgers and a range of Timorese cakes. Plus you can feel all nice and good about yourself for helping such a great cause simply by stuffing your face.
The coffee, as you would expect from all this hype is truly excellent and in the hands of very skilled baristas. The flavours are quite acidic, almost fruity and stand up really well to the strength of almond milk (available for an extra 0.50). Don’t freak out though, they have cow and soy milks as well. You can even get pots of interesting teas like rose and double mint. Or exotic smoothie concoctions, including green ones if that’s your thing.
Toastie with Avocado, cheese, ham, relish and spinach ($7)
As well as incredible coffee beans for sale for you to brew at home, Wild Timor Coffee Co. offers an impressive range of raw sweeties with exciting ingredients that most people are too lazy to shop for let alone squish into something fantastically delicious. There are raw cakes like the Purple Haze made with lavender essence and the Banana Rama which apparently tastes just like a chocolate cake. I opted for the Peppermint Twist which had a wholesome, lightly sweetened biscuit base topped with a pillowy layer of mint and raw cacao nibs. The mint layer was so delicate, almost foamy, but had an invigorating kick to it. Also devoured was a traditional custard tart ($3.50) which had that caramelised finish they’re famous for and quite a sweet filling.
If for some reason, you require more than caffeine and dessert in your daily diet, Wild Timor offers toast or muesli jars for breakfast and a range of quiches for lunch. They will also do you a toastie with three things in it for $5 or four or more things in it for $7. Options include cheese, ham, tomato, avocado, baby spinach and relish.
The big-ticket item on the menu is the Haloumi burger with avocado, ajvar relish, baby spinach and slaw on a nice little wholegrain bun. I shared a toastie with the lot (sans tomato) and the burger with a lucky volunteer and we were both really pleased with the freshness and uniqueness of both. The winning factor all round was surely the ajvar relish; a fiery orange sambal with a creamy base which gave a very savoury, sophisticated edge to both meals. The toastie certainly could have been hotter and on better bread but it boasted plenty of filling. The side of juicy yellow pickled chillies with the burger were especially appreciated.
Original Portuguese Custard Tart ($3.50)
Ambiance-wise the place has a homely style with chortling blues and photographs of East Timorese and the troops on the walls. However there aren’t any comfortable seats, only metal stools (high and low) with the exception of a wooden bench with a throw over it, which didn’t look much better. There is a highchair and a couple of kids’ activities as well as plenty of space to park a pram, but you likely won’t want to be sitting around for too long. For now, Wild Timor Coffee Co. feels more like a take-away/ eat-and-run sorta place.
So with lovely service, competitive prices and products which taste as good as they make you feel, the only thing left to do is see how many times a week you can have a toastie for lunch. I’m betting…lots.
Peppermint Twist Raw Cake ($5.50)