Spanish for grand-father
Abuelo is an Australian meets South American coffee-house and kitchen in the heart of Covent Garden and the theatre district, serving specialty coffees and teas, and an all day menu of ethically sourced, organic, farm to table, homely meals.
Amidst the bustle of the city it is a haven of calm with its warm earthy colours and materials. Take a seat in the cosy sofa corner or at the 'kitchen table' and connect with friends and strangers alike.
The name 'Abuelo' meaning 'grandfather' in Spanish relates to theme of 'family and home', in the same vein the main room is an interpretation of a home dining room - with the handwoven Argentinian rug running under the large dining table surrounded by antique spindle chairs and bookended by the timber fireplace.
When you come to Abuelo you are sitting at our kitchen table and we hope that you feel as at home at ours as you would at your own
WHO ARE WE?
Abuelo is an independent family owned and operated business. Our background in hospitality began in the 1980’s with five large venues across Sydney and Melbourne (Zigolini’s & Trezini’s), which became some of the most popular independent hospitality venues in Australia at the time. Zigolini's began a new wave in Australian food and coffee - in the 1980's the only places to eat were expensive stuffy French restaurants or Milk-bars which were beginning to feel tired and dated and as a result were falling away to the wave of big American chains.
There was no middle ground, no where you could go to get the casual food and atmosphere of a milk-bar, with the quality and considered aesthetic of the high-end. As a result, the aim of Zigolini's was to preserve the Australian milk-bar sentiment but take it somewhere entirely new by bringing the 'elevated' to the 'casual' - and this developed into what became the Modern Australian cafe culture. Back then we did what we still do today - we brought our architectural eye and food styling, and combined it with the casual, friendly culture of Australian hospitality to create something that was 'high/low'; casual but still thoughtful in its design.
WHY 'ABUELO' ?
The name 'Abuelo' (ah-bwell-oh) was inspired by our grandfather. With barely a word of English, Abuelo was always a warm presence and passed on traditional Argentinian recipes. Despite being a carpenter by trade, every week he baked cakes for the bakery at Zigolini’s from recipes in old Women's Weekly magazines (especially the Australian classics) that became the most popular sellers by far. Alberto also hand crafted timber joinery for the first Zigolini’s in Sydney, which remained on that site for over 20 years. In honour of this, Abuelo Covent Garden will heavily feature unique timber joinery pieces constructed from Australian NSW Spotted Gum.
ABOUT OUR COFFEE
At Abuelo we work with a British Roasting partner who source the best of the best organic, single origin beans for us from South and Central America, directly from small local farmers. Our belief is that good speciality coffee should be simple.
OUR HISTORY IN COFFEE:
Up until when we started in the 1980's coffee was not what it is today - it was all mix blend pre-ground beans vacuum sealed in bricks and imported the espresso and the milk was burnt and there definitely was no such thing as micro-foam or latte art. Coffee as we know it just did not exist at all.
We started our relationship with coffee just before we opened our first cafe in 1983 with a client job for a coffee roasting company who were one of the first in Australia to be growing and roasting single origin coffee. They knew about the roasting but the only problem was they couldn't turn it into a good cup of coffee. As well as doing architectural work for them we ended up consulting on their business, most significantly finding solutions for what we saw as the problems of espresso making, specifically applying our understanding of mechanics and problem solving. And so started what went onto to develop into the modern Australian Coffee.
We even invented the Babyccino at this time (which ended up in a German travel magazine, then a Vogue article, and then popped up all over the world after that). We were dubbed the 'Coffee Kings' of Sydney by The Sydney Morning Herald and after training thousands of baristas through our five venues, this new way of doing things spread across the country, changing the face of Australian coffee forever to what you see today.
OUR COFFEE BEANS:
Single origin, 100% Arabica coffee with a golden syrup, caramel, smooth flavour. This Organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance bean sources from individual smallholder farmers, high in the mountainous Ocotepeque Region of Western Honduras.
La Bastilla, Nicaragua
Single Origin, 100% Arabica coffee with pear sweetness, citrus notes and a caramel finish. Recently rewarded a Cup of Excellence, making it in the top 2% of all specialty coffees entered. Grown in a mountainous natural reserve, all cherries are handpicked according to microclimates.
Single origin, 100% Arabica, Rich, bright, black forest flavour Speciality Coffee. This coffee is grown and processed by a
woman-only co-operative, which aims to increase social empowerment, not only of females working in the coffee industry, but in the entire area
Swiss water Cafetalera
Single origin, 100% Arabica, praline flavour Speciality Coffee. Instead of using chemicals to decaffeinate the coffee, Swiss water osmosis process is used to create caffeine free but still delicious coffee
WHAT DOES AUSSIE COFFEE EVEN MEAN:
Aussie coffee is not a bean grown in Australia, it is how you make the cup of coffee. Australia developed or perfected a number of elements that have now become the standard that is seen in speciality coffee shops around the world such as - the perfect temperatures for heating the milk and coffee, the perfect extraction times (this means the time at which the water runs through the espresso grind in the machine), the weight of the shot and the coarseness of the grind and how these effect the extraction, and most importantly we developed micro-foam (shiney, smooth foam with no big bubbles) which was the starting point for a now standard coffee order: the 'Flat White'. This scientific approach is what creates a creamy delicious coffee that doesn't leave that sour, acrid aftertaste, and instead allows you to taste the distinct flavour notes of the bean.