The two chaps behind Sticky Chai and Blind Man Coffee have rolled up their factory door to reveal a front-of-house cafe. So now you can sit down, have brunch and knock one back with the boys behind your brew.
Which is exactly what we did.
Meet the two chaps behind our caffeine hit: Piero Pignatti Morano (ex-Deus ex Machina) and Richard Maxfield (coffee roaster).
They initially used this old brick factory in Marrickville as a place to manufacture their Sticky Chai and Blind Man Coffees. But as these things go, it didn’t stay that way. Instead, it quickly evolved into a local’s stop-over for their daily coffee, tea, chai and pastry hits.
“We originally were serving takeaway coffees from just inside our roller door,” says Piero. Then, three months ago, they turned this ‘stop-over’ into a ‘destination’, fitting a fully functioning kitchen at the back and recycled timber benches and found stools for the hungry at the front.
While the name of the outfit is obvious (two chaps, duh), there is another meaning behind it. “We’re on Chapel Street,” says Richard. “So the name Two Chaps was an easy one to come up with.”
As for choosing a location for their outfit? Yeah, that came just as easily.
Piero calls Marrickville the “creative hub” of Sydney. Amidst the roller doors and factories, it boasts quality culinary boutiques like Coffee Alchemy, Cornersmith, Batch Brewing Co. and the newly renovated gastropub, The Henson. “It’s just up the road,” says Piero, pointing in emphasis, “and it just won the Pub Food Guide’s Best Newcomer award.” It also won best schooner.
Two Chaps are serving teas, chais, coffees and baked goods in Marrickville. Here are the details:
The vibe: Super casual.
Ideal for: Parents, family, tradies, locals
Try the...Choc Hot Cross Buns, $3.50
By the way...They make their coffees and chai on site, all of which are available to purchase. There’s also a game of backgammon available to play.
Find them on Facebook: Two Chaps
We’ll be down soon to test it for ourselves, but for now, we’re nursing a cuppa at Two Chaps.
As it’s the boys’ speciality, the one to try is their Sticky Chai. It’s a honey soaked blend made by hand on the premises. Originally, Richard started the business solo with this tea, but “about a year ago, actually,” he recalls, “I asked Piero to join me, so I sold half the company to him.”
Then, there’s the coffee. At Two Chaps, they rotate three blends, serving at least one single origin each day.
These coffees (called Blind Man coffee) along with their Sticky Chai are both available for purchase at Two Chaps. “We call it Blind Man because we don’t use modern technology to make it,” says Richard. “It’s all blended by the senses.” So they feel, smell and taste each blend to heavenly coffee perfection.
In natural progression of cafes, following teas and coffees come pastries and lunch meals. The breakfast and lunch menu is seasonally driven, completely vegetarian and different every day.
Then, there are the pastries. These are baked on the premises by Piero every morning and are a fresh selection of breads, biscottis, cookies and scones. But, as it’s Easter, today we arrive to find chocolate hot cross buns calling to us from the counter, too. And we answer. Oh yes, we do.
Piero asks if we’d like ours toasted and being the typical reviewers that we are, we reply with, “Well, what do you recommend?”
“I’d toast it,” he says smiling, “And I’d put some Nutella on it too.” We lick our fingers like 10-year-old kids in an attempt to savour every last morsel as we witness, to our dismay, the bun and all its choc hazelnut addictiveness, disappearing off our plate.
We’re sad that we’ll have to wait a full year for their return, but Piero hints he may bring them back later in the year. Looks like we’ll just have to have to keep returning to Two Chaps for our chais and lattes so we don’t miss out when he does.
It’s a tough life, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Address: 122 Chapel St, Marrickville
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-3pm