A DIRT track winding towards the back of a Hazelmere nursery leads to a tin shed that produces, according to coffee app Beanhunter, Perth’s best coffee, roasted using an old-fashioned Aussie barbecue.
Bolt Coffee is the brainchild of Midland resident Steve Lomax, a self-confessed ten-pound pom who came to Perth when he was just four years old.
His step-father was in the US Navy and moved his family to Colorado, and eventually Mr Lomax joined the US Navy before settling once again in Perth.
In 2001 he was made redundant from his sales job, but that seeming misfortune gave Mr Lomax the opportunity to chase his real passion – coffee.
“As a wedding present I’d been given a Gaggia coffee machine, and I’d always loved coffee,” he said.
“I got a six-week payout from my previous job and I thought I’d spend that on learning how to become a barista.”
After working as a barista at several cafes, he scored a job at Fiori Coffee where he learnt the art of roasting coffee.
When that job fell through, a chance encounter led to the establishment of his own café and roasting business Bolt Coffee, behind the Trillion Trees nursery (formerly Men of the Trees).
“The manager at the time was living four houses down in my street in Midland and she walked past with the kids one day and I asked her if they had a shed I could rent, and she said she thought they did.
“That’s kind of where it started, because I brought my roaster in and started up.”
Now serving roughly 1000 customers a week, Bolt has become a hit on Beanhunter, an app designed to make good coffee easy to find – and Bolt is nothing if not very good coffee.
“We have customers that come from Ocean Reef, Pinjarra, Kalamunda and Mundaring, and I’m not that surprised by that because people will travel for a good coffee.
“We were second in 2017 on Beanhunter and I didn’t realise that until it came out.
“You open it, and you can be in Hamilton Hill and it will find you the best reviewed, best tasting by the public, and it’s voted me that, which is fantastic.
“There has been a bit more business since the Beanhunter news came out, but I think it’s also because I wanted Bolt to be a destination and a nice time.
“It’s a relaxed space, there’s live music on the weekends and we’re very unassuming.
“We’re hidden away and I think we’re a hidden gem.”
Echo News wants to know – what is your favourite coffee shop in your local area? Do you have a hidden gem that you can’t get enough of?
Email your recommendation to [email protected]