Scott Bolles

Riley Street Cafe and Wine owner Gabrielle Webster.5th September 2013Photo: Steven Siewert
$2.50 a cup: Riley Street Cafe owner Gabrielle Webster. Photo: Steven Siewert

Are we getting ripped off with our coffee prices? Mauro Marcucci certainly thinks so. While average coffee prices in Sydney slowly creep toward $4, Marcucci and his partners will charge $2.50 a cup when they open Riley Street Cafe today in Surry Hills.

"Travel through Italy and [at] most places you pay about €1 [$1.40] for a coffee, some places around here are already charging $4," he says.

Ben Sweeten, former owner of Joe Black cafe, disagrees: "€1 is for locals who stand at the bar. Once you sit down and the staff know you're not a local, a coffee can cost you up to €7."

Sweeten argues a raft of costs, from coffee to milk prices, rent and labour make the $2.50 coffee unsustainable.

Riley Street Cafe will have more than coffee to sell it. After dark, it'll morph into a wine bar with Marcucci's business partner in the cafe/wine bar, Gabrielle Webster, at the helm.

Her eye and nose is behind the list at Riley Street Cafe's neighbour Baccomatto Osteria, which last week picked up best short wine list at the SMH Good Food Guide Awards. So expect good things.