“I’m from Seattle. I’ve grown up in the coffee industry AND I’m a red-headed step-child.” Needless to say, clichés are my thing. That being said, let’s start this post with an extra-cheesy quote. Authenticity is defined as “The quality or condition of being trustworthy or genuine”.
In specialty coffee, authenticity is often used to describe successful businesses (cafes and roasters) or industry leaders (barista champions and café owners) who stay true to who they are or, as an American analogy would have it, those “who stick to their guns”. However, true authenticity in any industry is hard to come by. With the growing interest in specialty coffee and its rapid innovative developments, finding a truly authentic café is a rarity. Luckily for us, there are a few shining stars in our backyard.
That’s where Scout’s Honour, a slim twenty seat café which exudes a sense of community, comes in. Nestled in a row of shop houses just off George Street in Redfern, Scout’s Honour has a simple, consistent and quality-focused approach to being truly authentic. The café opened just over a year ago by Georgia (George) Woodyard, a former paralegal whom over the past ten years worked in and out of F&B. George has always been pulled by the engaging culture of hospitality and her original plan for Scout’s Honour was to be a bar. Lucky for the local coffee enthusiasts, the building had the perfect bones for a neighbourhood café.
When asked why the café was named Scout’s Honour, George smiled and pointed to a picture of herself as a child, fully decked out in a Boy Scout’s uniform.
This genuine and straightforward approach to staying true to where she came from is reflected in the café’s ambiance. There’s simply no need for frills or gimmicks — Scout’s Honour does a good job at keeping it straight to the point with the ethos of delicious made simple. Georgia’s team are amazing — super kind, super engaging and consistently able to pull the rich, heavy bodied espresso profile that works great either through milk or as black coffee. Using a three group Synesso Sabre, they’re currently serving the Crompton Road blend and have a rotating single origin in the pipeline. Plus with the heat of the Sydney summer just around the corner, a cold brew option could be up for grabs too.
Not only does Scout’s Honour have a great cup being served daily, they also change up their lunch menu every two weeks, keeping their food fresh and interesting. From beautifully flavoured salads and sandwiches to slow roasted ‘succulent’ proteins, the menu is kept small, fresh and locally sourced. There is also a nice selection of pre-lunch items which are perfect for a quick dine in or a take-away en route to the nearby Redfern train stop. If you work in the neighbourhood, you might also find the Scout’s team serving great food in and around the suburb as they help cater for the local studios — a side business which grew out of a desire to support their neighbourhood with great food and coffee.
Even though Scout’s Honour is fairly new to the Redfern suburb (which is itself an up-and-coming neighbourhood), the feel of the café, the great team on the ground and the frequent visits by regulars all give the location a clear sense of community. The café reflects a fresh approach to doing food well without unnecessary frills. So despite the clichéd definition at the start of this article, the word authenticity still clearly comes to mind.
For those whose ears perked up when I mentioned the word ‘bar’, you might be in luck too as I heard there is talk of a second project underway… Try this one first. It’s good. Scout’s honour!
118 George Street,
Redfern NSW 2016
Monday — Friday 7:00am — 3:00pm
Saturday 8:00am — 1:00pm
© Photos provided with permission by Tim Pascoe. All rights reserved by photographer