At Campos, a cramped corner of coffee-crazed Sydney, the baristas are as much a part of the action as the black magic elixirs that draw connoisseur crowds from all over Sydney. Three men in black - half man, half machine - move as one to background jazz, arms thrusting, wrists snapping, hands thwacking like trip hammers and torsos twisting with the effort of finding and grinding, tamping and clamping.
"Speed, calm, passion, power," says owner Will Young, who founded Campos seven years back. Young is a believer that the perfect coffee is "40 per cent bean, 40 per cent barista and 20 per cent machine - the ultimate aim for all baristas is to make coffee taste as good as it smells." Campos strives for that by experimenting with beans, upgrading machines and guaranteeing that each barista on staff can make 36 perfect coffees in 16 minutes and maintain Campos' staggering turnover of 200 coffees an hour! They draw on an arsenal of over 10 blends, including our pick: the new Obama Blend - a strong, slightly syrupy but eloquent coffee, blending beans from Africa and the Americas. Go Obamarama!
Food? There are sweets, but who needs a meal when the air is so thick with roasting coffee you can carve it?