*Thank you to Cru Espresso owners Matt & Sam for inviting us to their espresso bar to try their coffee and food selection.
Tucked away on Gladesville’s Victoria Road resides Grand Cru’s Cru Espresso, a small bar-style coffee house that encapsulates the ‘espresso bar’ theme to a T. They’ve been open for around two months and invited us for a coffee & food tasting.
Cru Espresso has been around for five years as a wholesale coffee bean business. The Cru crew have been looking to set up their own front of house cafe to showcase their beans firsthand whilst still maintaining their wholesale business. As a result, the espresso bar we found ourselves sitting in was born and seems pretty popular with the locals.
We step into the bar and are greeted by Matt, co-owner of Cru Espresso. He invites us to sit down while he prepares our coffee literally right in front of us.
Cru’s Espresso bar is very intimate and uniquely designed. It’s a very small space, designed for the Grab N Go commuter who wants great quality coffee within a few moments of ordering. There is a limited amount of seating area opposite Cru’s coffee machine, which seats about a half dozen people. As we sat, we felt almost a part of the action while we watched Matt grind, press and extract our black gold.
It didn’t take long before our coffees were ready, a nod to their focus on speed. Making coffee fast isn’t hard, however making quality coffee fast is. Without a doubt Cru does it, and they make it look almost easy.
|Bean Tasting #1 – Grand Cru
Our first tasting came – a long black based on Cru’s ‘Grand Cru’ – their most popular blend of coffee beans. An earthy chocolate kick-started our senses and left an enjoyable mouthfeel as we worked our way through the brew. The Grand Cru had a slight citrus finish though was pretty balanced overall.
|Bean Tasting #2 – Brawn Douglas
Next up was a noticeably darker bean than the Grand Cru we tasted previously. Matt explained this is because the beans in Brawn Douglas are roasted longer. He prepared the beans espresso style to really highlight the different characteristics in the brew. We detected dark chocolate with a nutty presence which lent some real character to the coffee. The strength of the brew also left a bit of a tingle on the tips of our tongues, reminding us of a Granny Smith apple.
It wouldn’t be an Eatventure without some food, so we checked out Cru’s food display after our coffee.
They keep things really simple and like their coffee, focus on the Grab n Go style. Currently, Cru offers two types of wraps and a small selection of cakes.
|Cru Wraps – Breakfast Wrap & BLT Wrap
Cru’s Breakfast Wrap is simple, practical and tasty – a toasted and crisp wrap filled with scrambled egg, bacon, mozzarella and some BBQ sauce that is totally designed for the hand of a rushing commuter. Scrambled egg instead of fried is perfect for the morning commute – whilst we love egg yolk, we hate it ending up on our OOTD!
Mozzarella cheese provided a soft texture without it becoming a melted mess. The bacon was more on the soft side, whereas we prefer our bacon crispy. However, it was still tasty and comforting just like bacon always is. Never change, bacon. The BBQ sauce lent some nice smokiness to the wrap and helped prevent dryness.
The BLT Wrap is your standard bacon, lettuce and tomato combo but still provides the same level of practicality as Cru’s Breakfast Wrap. The bacon was cooked the same way as the Breakfast Wrap and so was a little soft, however the wrap itself lent some crunchy texture to each mouthful. The lettuce in this instance was baby spinach. It was a little mushy but it’s only spinach so it wasn’t a big deal. The tomato though made itself known to our taste buds, providing some fresh and awakening acidity.
Matt then invited us to try Cru’s selection of cakes and desserts. We shared a brownie, caramel slice, a fig and nut slice and a blueberry friand.
Brownie – A soft and gooey centre had us reaching back for more. There were some macadamias scattered through the brownie which lent a nice crunch.
Caramel slice – A crumbly biscuit base and milk chocolate top, with a decadent smear of condensed milk and caramel in the middle made for a winning combination.
Fig nut and grain – Very soft and sticky texture. A healthier option to the previous two.
Blueberry friand – Fluffy and buttery texture was enjoyable. The blueberry flavour really shined through and went quite well with the coffee.
We had a really nice time at Cru Espresso, and it’s immediately clear what the Cru crew’s passion and focus are from the moment you step into their space – being your ‘go-to’ barista delivering quality coffee fast! If you spot a few Gladesville commuters dashing with a coffee in one hand and a wrap in the other, chances are they’ve come from Cru Espresso.
Written by Lachlan Munings (@mister_eats)