Somewhere Coffee Bar – Introduction
Somewhere Coffee Bar is the newest addition to Hobart’s thriving coffee scene. Situated in Elizabeth Street next door to one of our favourite wine bars, Sonny, this pleasant space has been designed with care and attention to detail and with comfortable furniture.
But it is the coffee that is the attraction at Somewhere Coffee Bar and the owner (Brian) has obviously given a lot of thought to the sourcing of his beans and to the processes necessary for the transition of those beans into the final product to place before his customers.
And this is not a trivial matter as he specialises in one of the most difficult and most rewarding forms of coffee making, namely pourover coffee. However, he also has an espresso machine for those who want a quick hit of caffeine or their coffee and milk combination of choice.
Somewhere Coffee Bar is also open at the weekend, including Sunday. Brian has recently been closed (slack off) on Wednesday as well as Tuesday.
Somewhere Coffee Bar – Pourover
We thought we should explain why we are so excited about the quality of the pourover options here.
First, it is possibly the best technique for ensuring that the true nature of the coffee beans can be enjoyed if all parts of the technique are implemented with skill.
Making a pourover begins, obviously, with the selection of beans that have been chosen for their quality and for the processes that have been used to nurture the beans during their transition from a fruit growing on a coffee shrub to a green bean that has been extracted from the fruit and dried ready to be transported to the roaster.
There are two main processes that are used: the washed process and the natural process. The washed process involves using a lot of water to wash the fruit off the beans. This is fine in areas such as South and central America where water is in plentiful supply, but is difficult in the cradle of coffee – Ethiopia where the climate is incredibly dry.
The alternative is the natural process which sees the fruit being placed on mats in the sun and allowing the fruit to dry, which makes it easy to remove from the central beans. This process used to produce coffee beans that had some harsh flavours that were regarded as faults. However over the past five years a lot of experimentation has taken place with natural fermentation leading to some very exciting natural coffee beans.
The coffee industry has even adopted techniques from the natural wine movement and we now see producers in places such as Costa Rica, Brazil, Honduras and Ethiopia turning to carbonic maceration to produce a much gentler fermentation process of the beans. There is also a variation of the natural process called “honey processing” where some or most of the fruit is removed using a machine designed for this process. If most of the fruit is removed it is called the white honey process and if only a small amount is removed it is called the black honey process. This allows the fruit to provide interesting compounds during the fermentation.
Once the beans have been fermented the next process in the chain from coffee fruit to coffee cup is the roasting of the bean. We usually look for a lighter roast because this leads to a bean which has all of the flavour compounds intact without aggressive notes being introduced by too much roasting.
So, selecting roasters who understand how to get the most out of the beans they are transforming is vital and this is doe well at Somewhere, with a wide selection of beans always available. In fact, the owner of Somewhere Coffee Bar is so keen to source the best beans that he has gone to the extraordinary lengths of bringing some of his range in from Norway.
While this may seem strange, it is entirely justified. The Norwegian roaster is called Fuglen and we have enjoyed their coffee in some of the best coffee places in both France and Japan.
One of the best places for coffee in Paris is the tiny, tiny Boot Café where they serve Fuglen beans exclusively. In Tokyo, where coffee is revered, Fuglen has set up their own venue which is insanely popular. Once again, we have thoroughly enjoyed the Oslo coffee there.
At Somewhere Coffee Bar we have also seen beans sourced from Market Lane in Melbourne, Almanac Coffee in Brisbane and Skittle Lane who roast their beans in Bondi, Sydney. From further afield we have also enjoyed coffee from Manhattan Coffee Roasters in Rotterdam
Somewhere Coffee Bar, therefore has the selection of the roasted beans under control. Without going through all the complications of pourovers the next set of processes involves the correct grinding of the coffee (must be fine but not too fine), the placing of the grounds in the filter so that it is just right for pouring the water over (not too thick, not too thin in the filter), getting the water temperature exact and then wetting the grounds to cause them to swell ready for the next step which is for the additional water to extract the flavour compounds.
All this is done effortlessly at Somewhere!
As we have mentioned above, on our first visit we thoroughly enjoyed the naturally-processed Ethiopian beans from Banko Calcale, which is a 13 hectare farm at an altitude of 2019 metres, run by Bogale Turkey. (This farm is almost at the same altitude as the top of the highest mountain in Australia!!) There are three different varieties of beans that were used in this blend which go by the unhelpful names of 74110, 74112 and 74165.
These are variants of heirloom varieties which abound in Ethiopia that have been bred by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC).
On the second visit we chose beans that had been roasted by Fuglen in Oslo. This time we chose the Costa Rican red catuai beans that had been processed naturally using the black honey process. It was an absolutely delicious coffee.
If any of the above descriptions leave you wondering about which coffee you should try, don’t worry. Just explain to the owner what type of coffee you prefer and whatever he chooses for you will be perfect!
The music chosen by Brian is always mellow and never invasive. On a recent visit we enjoyed listening to Rain Song, a collaboration between long-running Korean hip hop group Epik High and R&B/rapper Kim Hee-soo (known as Colde).
Venue: Somewhere Coffee Bar
Street: 5/118 Elizabeth St
Town/Suburb: Hobart, 7000
Opening hours: Mon 7:30am – 2pm, Thu – Fri 7:30am – 2pm, Sat 9am – 5pm, Sun 9am – 2pm
You can read more about coffee and its production on our international website:
You can read more about coffee in Tasmania at the link below:
You can find their opening hours on their Instagram page.