Caffe Migliore

217 Parramatta Road North Strathfield, NSW 2137

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1300 137 696
Opening hours Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm and Sat 8am-3pm

The name means ''better coffee'' in Italian, says one of Caffe Migliore's owners, Tony Nicotra.

Cushions are covered in coffee bean sacks bearing the motifs of exporters from around the world. Sacks have been sewn together and strung up to create a rustic ''wall'' that separates the cafe from the warehouse beyond.

It's a quirky touch for a space that otherwise lacks character, tacked as it is on the side of a commercial coffee-roasting operation. An upper-tier eating area has a kitschy collection of armchairs and sofas, but the homely feeling peters out towards the back of the vast space.

The family business, based in North Strathfield, includes a commercial roasting depot, retail outlet and cafe. Customers can view the coffee-roasting room from a large internal window. Beans and supplies can be bought on site. Barista training is also provided.

The business is known for its blends. ''But we're starting to push single-origin,'' Nicotra says.

The single-origin offering changes monthly. On this visit it's Indian Peaberry, a small latte ($3) of which has a soft sweetness. However, it's less robust and rounded than the Ripe Harvest blend. Nicotra won't reveal the exact components, but it's Rainforest Alliance certified and has Arabica beans from three origins. Customers can also try cold-drip coffee on request.

There's tea, too, by Madame Flavour (teabags, not loose-leaf) and a selection of chai by Arkadia, as well as frappes, smoothies, milkshakes and hot chocolate.

The small food menu includes fresh-cut sandwiches. A chicken schnitzel focaccia is packed with Swiss cheese, spinach, onion, tomato and pesto mayonnaise ($9.50). The herb-flecked bread is nicely toasted and the mayo adds a herbaceous note.

Spinach and ricotta arancini, served with salad ($8), is flush with filling and piping hot. Italian pastries, or waffles dribbled with chocolate, are sweet options.

Customers pay and order at the counter, which means staff don't attend the tables thoroughly and it's a long while before our plates are cleared. Another downside is the outdoor eating area is next to a car park and the M5 expressway. But coffee enthusiasts will be lured inside where the action is. An ebullient Nicotra talks customers through the different blends, while staff competently describe the flavours and qualities of each.

Caffe Migliore
Address 217 Parramatta Road, North Strathfield, 1300 137 696
Open Mon-Fri, 7.30am-5pm; Saturday, 8am-3pm