The cutting edge is not comfortable, and nor should it be. The thought of opening flagship coffee shops in a city that is already blessed with an exceptional coffee standard is daunting, to say the least. It requires you to be courageous, impassioned, determined, innovative, and trusting in yourself. Choosing who you partner with in such ventures also requires trust. Some people might say that such a journey takes an immense amount of courage. Hemingway would say ‘Courage is grace under pressure’.
In their latest venue touted ‘a love letter to coffee,’ the Barrett family (Sue and Neil with son, Zac) continue to exhibit their grace. From humble hospitality beginnings back in 2013 with Mo Espresso in Trinity Arcade, The Barretts continue to find new ways to showcase their appreciation for all the hard work and decision making made from origin to cup.
A first-step decision made by the Barrett family back in 2013 was to choose Five Senses, and for that we are ever grateful!
‘The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.’
Ernest Hemingway, 1929.
Owner Neil considers this defining to the success of Mo Group.
“We did our research. Looking for the best coffee provider available to us, be it within Western Australia, or elsewhere. Every experience we had at venues supplied by Five Senses Coffee was outstanding. They were also the provider of our favourite coffee machine in the world; the Synesso. Then, when we met with the Five Senses team, we were just so impressed by their enthusiasm for coffee. The training, the experience, and our shared values was exactly what we were looking for.”
Hemingway Café is something else. The venue visually presented a different challenge, but with challenge comes opportunity. Mo Group have pioneered this emerging space to explore innovative barista technology options. The La Marzocco Modbar ABR retains quality and consistency to an exceptional level, while boilers under the counter keep the visuals clean. This allows Coffee Program Manager, Calvin Tang, to present espresso the way it was dialed in repeatedly, and to look good while doing it.
The Poursteady is a fully automatic pour-over brewer with unparalleled parameter control. When considering what equipment to choose, Zac reflected on the original vision he wanted to fulfil at Hemingway.
“Originally the idea was that Hemingway would be a venue where the worlds’ best baristas could come on consignment, make special beverages and talk about their coffee journey. This conversation should not just happen with other coffee people but with the people of Perth; redefining the locality of the best specialty coffee. Perth has the finest coffee makers on the planet and the equipment needs to complement the world’s best baristas. As soon as we discovered [the Poursteady], we had to have it!”
The culinary experience at Hemingway is also designed to subvert expectation. Conceptualised by Executive Chef, Daniel Lim of Café Leadman and Arrival Hall fame, the exciting menu is a worthy accompaniment to the world’s finest coffee. With exceptional coffee, food and equipment in place, Sue Barrett works tirelessly with her team to ensure the most important part of all: connection.
“Each venue, whether it’s Arlo, Jessies, or Hemingway, is not only the story of our family but also the story of our chefs and the space we create for the community to connect with us. If we are true to ourselves, the community will follow. Never try to be someone you are not.”
Fortunately for Five Senses, the Barretts are a family who are brave, impassioned, determined, innovative, and trusting. Hemingway is the collaboration of compatible ambitions and the embodiment of ‘grace under pressure’.
Hemingway is Mo Groups 7th venue, following Mo Trinity Arcade, Mo Allendale, Arlo by Mo, Max & Sons, Balance Espresso, and Jessies (at the beach). Open 5 days a week inside the lobby of Central Park Building, St Georges Terrace.
Photos: Le CaMo Photography