REVEALED: Best coffee in Emerald, as voted by you

REVEALED: Best coffee in Emerald, as voted by you

CQ News readers have voted for their ‘top place to grab a coffee in Emerald’ and the winner – announced this week – is local Italian restaurant Le Porte Rosse with 37% of the votes.

Susan Leyland, who owns the restaurant with her husband David, said she was “really proud” of her six baristas and their passion for serving “amazing” coffee.

She said more than 100 Dimattina coffees were made each morning from 6am, with baristas Caitlin Wicks and Brea Riley focused on the perfect brew as well as a chat with their customers.

“Caitlin and Brea have always got a big smile for people.

“It’s always ‘good morning’ and they always have time for a chat.”

Le Porte Rosse star barista's, Brea (B) Riley and Caitlin Wicks.

Le Porte Rosse star barista’s, Brea (B) Riley and Caitlin Wicks.

Training baristas, Ms Leyland said, was an important ingredient in serving top-quality coffee.

“For me, good coffee comes down to two things – the coffee brand and the baristas.”

Ms Leyland, originally from Melbourne, said she loved the coffee culture in Australia and she has enjoyed bringing a taste of the Melbourne coffee scene to Emerald.

“I’ve drunk coffee all over the world, and my favourite place for coffee is probably Melbourne.

“I can’t start the day without my morning coffee.”

She said it was important to not only serve top-class coffee, but to provide a meeting place or hub for locals.

“Emerald is an amazing town and it’s very community-minded.

“It’s not a tiny town so you don’t know everybody but you certainly get the feeling that everybody cares about each other and we know what’s going on in each other’s lives.”

Ms Leyland, who buys local produce whenever possible, said Emerald was a “supportive” town and the restaurant often provided sponsorships to other local businesses.

As the morning coffee crew arrive – with the most popular orders being cappuccinos and caramel lattes – Ms Leyland said groups of friends and locals had the chance to meet up while ordering or to mingle and enjoy a catch-up.

“We also have outside dining and you often see groups of people getting together. It might start as two people, and then suddenly there’s eight.

“We’ve seen a few dates start here too.

“We have a high bar that customers can sit at. Often they buy a takeaway coffee and end up drinking it there for a chat.”

Ms Leyland said the morning coffee routine was not just about customers getting a caffeine boost, but it was about “boosting their whole day”.

“It’s about setting up their day.”

She said coffees served at the end of breakfast were also important.

“We sell an enormous amount of coffee. For breakfast, our creamed mushrooms are very popular, so are the smoked salmon hash cakes and the old favourite, eggs Benedict.

“We do a large breakfast trade and our coffees bring in the breakfast trade.

“If you’re serving a bad coffee you don’t get that trade.

“The coffee reflects the restaurant.”

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