Recently, a friend recommended coffee at Bench Espresso – namely their carbonated iced coffee. I love iced drinks and was a little perplexed at the thought of carbonated coffee so naturally, I wanted to try it. Seeing as though I used to work in West Perth and Bench Espresso is located on the east side of the CBD, I found it difficult to visit Bench Espresso, which is only open on weekdays. Luckily, A and I had a Wednesday off and decided to take the opportunity to try a carbonated iced coffee and one of their cakes.
Due to my current diet of minimal wheat, I’ve been interested to see the options for folks who are gluten free. A and I ordered two takeaway coffees to start with – a skinny cap and a flat white (Large is $4.30 and small is $3.70) and also ordered a gluten-free White Chocolate, Nut and Apricot slice to nibble on. When we were at the till, I asked about the carbonated iced coffee and was told it is still being chilled and wouldn’t be available until lunch time. At that time, it had just passed 11am, so we decided to wait.
Bench Espresso has large windows as walls with no blinds on one side. It was a very hot day when we visited and at first we sat at one of the tall handmade benches near the window. However we soon moved after it become unbearably hot from the sun. Luckily, the venue is spaciously designed for it’s tiny premises so we were able to comfortably sit at one of the tables overlooking the till area that was a little out of the sun’s reach.
We didn’t wait long until our coffees were ready. Both A and I enjoyed our coffees, as they were well made and tasted very smooth. While we waited for lunch time, A and I drunk our coffees and spent a bit of time talking and watching people come in and out. We both really liked the decor and spoke a little about that as well.
The decor is neutral but with a touch of colour. The benches at the side of the cafe are hand made by Jarrimber and are a lovely feature to the venue. There’s special features of hanging lights and beautifully crafted furniture. It is a lovely fit-out.
There are a lot of food options available at Bench Espresso, including cookies, cakes and lunch options that are outlined on a tiny little chalkboard. The White Chocolate, Nut and Apricot slice was moreish and was definitely a highlight of our visit. The contrast in flavours of the white chocolate, nuts and apricot was delicious and the cake was delicate and lightly coated in icing sugar.
The time ticked by and I ventured back to the till to order the carbonated coffee I had made the trip for. I ordered it as a take away, as our parking was due to expire shortly after and we needed to be on the road (one downside of Bench Espresso – parking is a bit of a hindrance if you drive). The carbonated coffee was very strong in flavour and the carbonation was a lot weaker than I imagined. It wasn’t a fizzy iced coffee like I expected, but an iced coffee that tasted as if weak soda water was added to it. It wasn’t as milky as I expected as well, and I have to say I was a little disappointed.
In saying that, I like the concept of Bench Espresso. The fact that they are trying something different (which would also be deemed quite difficult) is appealing and the regular coffees we ordered were definitely well made. I would return again, especially for the delicious slice and for a try of their single-origin coffee. I recommend a visit and a try of the carbonated coffee if you are a coffee buff. It might not have been to my liking, but I am sure it could develop a fan base regardless.