If you stumble across the road from the Nexus sculpture on Lake Street (near Newcastle Street), you will find Zebba — a caffeinated oasis in the midst of Northbridge’s increasing daytime bustle.
Not many businesses these days rely solely on word of mouth for publicity; Zebba does, and its growing customer base are testament to its quality coffee and service. Since my introduction to this fine establishment about three weeks ago, it has become a regular hang-out of mine. I can not believe it took me over six months to discover this little niche of happy.
Zebba uses Dark Star coffee — the same brand as The Moon Cafe — and Rod, the affable owner-operator, magics it into a mean skinny long macchiato topped up [well, what did you expect, really? It is my favourite coffee]. As it turns out, Perth is a very small place and I have more than one connection to Tim, Dark Star owner and the cool coffee guy who made his delivery while I was lunching. My sources tell me that Dark Star is indeed wholly Western Australian owned and roasted.
The name struck me with an instant fascination. You may be as interested as I to learn that Zebba was Rod’s late pet rabbit, who ruled the backyard for 8 years. Look around the cafe and you will see at least one homage to its origin; some of the regulars even refer to the cafe as “the white rabbit”, which conjures fantastic allusions to magicians, Alice in Wonderland, and The Matrix.
These are the things that impressed me about Zebba:
- the coffee [of course!];
- it’s basically alfresco, with well-appointed covered space in case of winter. Rod mentioned that the inside table is crammed with sheltering coffee-drinkers whenever it rains;
- the glass-topped inside table is filled with coffee beans for a cool visual effect;
- the menu is filled with simple, delicious food [I have tried the HCT, chicken and grilled eggplant wraps. Next time it will be the omelette];
- the staff are friendly and vivacious — if I had have been game enough, I would have practised the little conversational French I know; and
- Rod built the cafe himself. Seriously. That is pretty awesome.
I hope you visit Zebba and share the same fabulous coffee experience that I have many times now — and, when you do, please let me know.