Moor, 33 Hunter St, Newcastle East, Tue-Wed, Sun: 7am-4:30pm, Thu-Fri-Sat: 7am-9:30pm.
Every so often I meet a Newcastle barista who is such an integral part of their workplace that it is difficult to imagining the lights going on in their absence. The first attribute that these employees possess is a heavy duty work ethic – a durability that can withstand every early morning weekend of the year. An uncommon passion for coffee and all of its derivatives. A palate for every unsweetened espresso. A fascination for the slow burn aesthetic of the cold drip. A friendly suspicion for anybody who only drinks tea.
On fewer occasions is it possible to sit down with a barista who has successfully bound all of his passions and talents together with the threads of imagination and creativity. The head barista at Newcastle café and restaurant Moor is one of those professionals. A glance at the coffee menu that Angelo Luczak has created reveals an insight into what makes not only a flavoursome coffee but a memorable one.
I doubt that you would ever hear Angelo brag about what he has put together at Moor, but the simple fact is that no other café in Newcastle can boast of a coffee menu like this one. The single lot espressos and milk-based blends supplied by Byron Bay roasters Marvell St are carefully processed and should be sampled for the quality of their origins alone.
An espresso ($4) first born at Gora Kone in the famous Sidamo region of Ethiopia is a delicate combination of dark chocolates and cherry. It is but one of several black coffees that Moor serves with every confidence in who farmed the beans and in what sustainable and reputable fashion those beans made their way to the roastery.
Awarding attention to all the small things forms a large part of the philosophy at this establishment. In the summer months they don’t just open the soft drink fridge and grab you a plastic bottle of cold brew in here. Angelo would much rather spend 18 hours before adding agave, ice and milk to his own carefully prepared concoction ($6). The coco brew ($9) takes things a step further by adding coconut milk, ice cream, and chocolate to the cold brew base. There is even a creation named the golden latte ($5) using cold pressed turmeric, ginger, spices and honey.
Unusual and inventive flavours such as these are very much part of the language spoken at Moor. Chef and co-owner Shane Brunt may have spent decades travelling the world and wearing thin his apron strings, but there is nothing tired or complacent about the way he talks about his restaurant and his menu. Uniting the influences he has discovered in Middle Eastern, North African and Spanish cuisines is a selection that prioritises freshness and inventiveness above all else. As a chef he bears similarities to Angelo as a barista. Committed to imagination, reinvention and creating a space where his passions can be fostered and shared.