What makes a subject blogworthy? In certain blogs, such as interior design, wedding, craft and food blogging, it’s the photos. There are very few blogs on these subjects that can successfully publish image-less posts. Recipe blogs will almost always feature photos (check out this popular wordless recipe) and even brief reviews of restaurants and cafés will feature pictures of the food and the setting. This makes sense, as in its current incarnation, we cannot smell, taste or feel things through the internet.

Images can illustrate a blog but also act as a kind of pornography. ‘Food porn’ is a common term these days, and a comment made by John on my last post got me wondering- should we be blogging the supposedly unblogworthy? Does only blogging the gorgeous, the visually appealing, the photogenic serve to undermine the genuine, ‘authentic’ feel blogging creates, making food blogs less like personal cookbooks and more like glossy food magazines? I know of a recent example in a certain wedding blog featuring so-called ‘real weddings’ as inspirations for brides which turned out to be a professional photo shoot complete with a six figure budget and models in place of the bride and groom. Hardly a real wedding.

Of course, I’m guilty of blogging only the beautiful. At one stage my recipe content was skewed heavily in favour of desserts, sweets being generally easier to photograph than savoury dishes. Once it expanded to include café reviews I wrote my own brief (cafés I would go to, newish, solid places with a focus on coffee) but soon realised I had an implied brief as well; cafés that would look good in photographs. I know this skews my content in a particular direction and perhaps leaves out some valuable examples of great places to get coffee. But at the same time, I appreciate good interior design and these are the kind of cafés I like to visit, so the implied brief is still a genuine one.

So when I came across this gorgeous description of a new Stanmore cafe ‘Paper Cup’ in Amanda’s blog, ‘the cake + the knife, a love story’ I knew I’d have to get there asap. In fact, I went the very next morning, keen to check out the new endeavor from Clipper Café’s Adriano Matteoni. I was not disappointed.

This place more than meets my self-imposed brief. Firstly, it’s easy to get their by public transport. Right next to Stanmore Cellars, Paper Cup is a 2 minute walk from Stanmore station, so I was there in a flash. Secondly, it has a very limited menu, which might sound like a negative but in many cases, communicates seriousness about coffee (and, as a former barista, is my own personal dream set-up). I’ve always been a big fan of simplicity and Paper Cup has only 5 items on their menu, with additional pastries should you feel like a sweet treat. And finally, the interior is small and bright, edged with exposed brick and crowned with a calculated tangle of red wiring and industrial shades. It’s cute, quirky and photogenic. Perfect.

I order a macchiato and sit. The staff seem very friendly and my caramel-y shot is brought out promptly with a carafe of water and a glass. I’m pretty thirsty as I rushed out of the house to get my caffeine fix as quickly as possible, so I drain the carafe. As I’m eavesdropping on a hideous-yet-I-can’t-stop-listening conversation between two inner-west helicopter parents, I gaze around the area. I’m just in the middle of planning my relocation to Stanmore when I realise my glass is being refilled from a fresh carafe. Service with a smile.

I go inside to pay, have a quick chat and snap a few photos. It turns out Paper Cup has only been open about a month and business is going well. I can see why. The coffee is delicious (they also do cold drip if you’re that way inclined), the decor is just the offbeat side of minimalist and the service is prompt and friendly. As I wind my way home on a caffeine high, past the iron-lace-edged terraces of Stanmore, I know I’ve found another great café to add to my ever-growing list of favourites.

Paper Cup
157/161 Cambridge St
Stanmore, 2048
(02) 9000 0000

Monday – Sunday 6:00am – 4:00pm

Paper Cup on Urbanspoon

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14 Responses to Café Review – Paper Cup, Stanmore

  1. Cute setup!
    Tina@foodboozeshoes recently posted…Jazz City Diner- burgers and all that jazz

    • Lau says:

      It definitely appealed to my love for interior design. I’m beginning to think one of the main reasons I seek out these kinds of places is my house is basically a cave. I need somewhere pretty to sit every once in a while.

  2. Lau, it’s funny that you mention that as that was along the lines of what Nigella was saying at her MFWF show. She didn’t think that we should forget the less photogenic dishes. Clearly great minds think alike! :D
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted…Serpent’s Coil Pastry With Spinach &amp Feta

  3. Now you’ve got me thinking on my own comment. You just took the same thought that popped into my mind. Perhaps it is time to start blogging the un-blogworthy. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine! Be prepared for some mid-week stodge!

    Btw, thanks for reminding me about Paper Cup. Will try & get down there this weekend
    john@heneedsfood recently posted…Tiki Fridays at Zeta Bar – CBD

    • Lau says:

      No worries!

      I would love to see what you actually eat. And what everyone else actually eats for that matter. Maybe we could give it a terrible, drawn-out name like ‘What everyone actually eats Wednesdays’ or something, make a badge for it, put it on our blogs, and make out like we’ve changed the face of food blogging forever! Or maybe I’ve just had too much coffee today.

  4. I thought you just cut back to one coffee a day? Love the badge idea. Will definitely keep you posted on what I eat at home
    john@heneedsfood recently posted…Tiki Fridays at Zeta Bar – CBD

  5. MelbaToast says:

    We ventured ALL THE WAY from Parramatta on Saturday to try this place out and I loved it. I loved the simple menu, the friendly staff and the decor. I wish it was a bit closer to home as it is the kind of place I’d park myself at often.
    MelbaToast recently posted…I ate my way through Cabramatta – Food Tour

  6. Tess says:

    This is my new favorite cafe and being just a two minute walk from my salon on the “other side” of the railway line I look forward to my coffee breaks there. The staff are the best, they know you by name and your coffee is served without you even having to ask for it ( well maybe it is because I go there almost everyday)
    If if if means having to cross over to the ” dark side” as my friends call that side if Stanmore, I’m happy to oblige.

    • Lau says:

      Thanks so much for checking our Corridor Kitchen!

      The dark side? Awesome. Yes I agree their coffee is grand and the staff are super nice and friendly. I get he feeling paper cup isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…

  7. […] place, like many in the inner west, part of a clump of local shops near a train station. A bit like Paper Cup in Stanmore or Cornersmith in […]

  8. wretchdz says:

    I just moved to the area and this is a minute from me. I am going to check this out this Saturday! Thanks for your wonderful blog, it has guided me and my friends many times when searching for great cafe spots.

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