We all know that Australian’s love their coffee. So what can I, a non coffee-drinker enjoy instead? Well, besides from picking up an addictive caffeine habit, I decided to find the best chai lattes in Perth. Here are the ones I tried and what I did and didn’t like about them. Enjoy!
Before we get started, here are a few general notes on what I learned about cafes in Perth.
- There’s much more emphasis on having your coffee to go. There isn’t the same cafe culture that you’d find in Melbourne where customers sit in and maybe grab a snack too. People like to get their wake up juice and run! This is especially crucial at the moment where cafes are only open for takeaway in WA.
- Some places offer delivery too. Check out their websites or Facebook accounts to see who is open at the moment.
- Some of these coffee shops can hardly be called shops in fact, many were just a small kiosk. It’s a real change from cafes I’m used to where you sit in and maybe read or get some work done. This is all about the beverage itself.
- Talking of which, there are NO Starbucks in Western Australia. That’s how seriously they take their coffee. Many coffee shops will pride themselves on the brand and roast used. Too bad it means nothing to me… The chai is still good though!
- Cafes in Perth open early, and thus are closed pretty early too. Many are open from 6am to latest 3pm. This was quite a change from London where you can grab a cup o’ Joe at like 11pm.
- Baristas know their stuff. Their chai lattes are made with just the same care as their coffees!
Supporting Local Business
Sadly, cafes in Perth open up and shut down all the time… There isn’t always a website for these businesses in Perth either, so a Facebook page may have to suffice for providing info and knowing if they still exist or not. It’s really hit and miss as to which places are still open and which have closed. It’s a problem found across Perth retail spaces, but one that can only be helped by supporting your favourite places.
It is a sad truth that often a beloved cafe in town will close down when you least expect. I’ve seen it happen already! Especially in turbulent times, it’s so important to support your favourite local businesses to keep them going. If you especially love their brownies, or think they make the best chai latte, or think they have the friendliest barista – buy something from them! Show that you don’t want them to go anywhere and keep contributing to the success of their small business. They’ll certainly appreciate it more than you’d think.
If you don’t, you risk losing out too. And sure enough a new owner will come swooping in and who knows if they’ll be any good!
Note: this list was compiled between June 2019 – February 2020, so I can’t for sure say which are still around and which are not but I have done my best to check.
Best Chai Lattes in Perth’s CBD
Here is a run down of all the chai lattes I tried in Perth’s central business district. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are so many other places around here to try! Many of these are very small coffee shops focussed on fuelling the office workers around the city, so expect lots of kiosks and small shops.
Overall, I found the quality of chai lattes in the CBD pretty average. Nothing too special but often a higher price tag. It did the job though and I had no complaints.
Holmes & Co. – Murray St – $4.20
- Fresh spices
- Comes with own teapot to pour several glasses
- Very drinkable
- Limited froth
- Great atmosphere
- Very friendly staff
Bonus point: This is my very favourite coffee shop in Perth! It’s tucked down a small alleyway and they serve amazing breakfasts, and have a bar too.
The Deck – St Georges Terrace – $5
- Creamy and thick, gold foam, full of flavour.
Bonus point: They offered skimmed milk.
Milktooth – Barrack St – $5
- Sweet and flavourful but not as thick or creamy.
Recess – Barrack St – $5
- Sweet, almost honey taste
- Good creaminess but less spice flavour
- Cosy atmosphere inside
- 50c off drink with own cup
Bonus point: Offered in a variety of sizes and asked about preferred milk.
Game City – William St – $4
- Good spices
- Could be hotter, went cold quickly
- Decent creaminess
- Large is more like regular
Bonus point: Really cool little space with a gaming theme. Definitely enjoyable if you like quirky places.
The Shoe – Yagan Square – $4.00
- Very hot (burned my lil tongue!)
- Good froth
- Not that much flavour
- Friendly staff
Bonus point: Also a bar in the heart of Yagan Square which offers food. The red velvet cake was pretty average though.
Gelare – Murray St – $4.5 (Small)
- Options of vanilla, spice, matcha
- Vanilla is sweet
- Drinkable immediately
- Almost like hot chocolate in texture
- Lots of froth
Drip House – Hay St – $4 (regular)
- Very sweet with honey flavour
- Pretty average overall I can’t recall much about it to be honest
Wolf Espresso – Wolf Lane – $4
- Verrrry hot (too hot!)
- Good spice from initial taste
- Kinda ruined by burning my tongue
Bonus point: They sell yummy brownies!
Mary Street Bakery – St Georges Terrace – $4.5
- Very creamy
- Almost no spice except for cinnamon on top so lacked flavour
Bonus point: Really nice cafe though – good cake and pie selection and a few shops around the city.
La Veen – King St – $5 (large)
- Large to have in was well presented
- Creamy and good froth
Best Chai in Northbridge
Northbridge is the fun, edgy part of town over the railway lines. While some parts feel a bit rundown and dodgy, it’s a popular place for bars and restaurants. As such, coffee shops take a bit of a backseat in Northbridge. The few places I visited here were nice enough and had a lot of character. Some were more suited to students due to the nearby university accommodation, but that means the price is more appealing!
Flo Espresso – Aberdeen St – $4.50
- A bit watery and lacking spice
- Could be creamier
Cutting Board – Pier St – $4.50
- Good quality and well mixed
- Not too sweet or bitter
Artrogers Coffee -Pier St – $5 (Medium)
- Asked about sugar preference (went for “normal”)
- Sweet enough without more sugar
- Good level of smooth and creaminess
- Not spicy at all really
- Nice and hot
Bonus point: Higher price sitting in but they do have WiFi.
Kafka – Fitzgerald St – $5 (medium)
- Came with mini cookie!
- Very hot
- Spicy but not too sweet
- Shame that it was a bit grainy at bottom
Bonus point: Friendly staff who made light conversation and asked about milk preferences.
Chai Lattes in East Perth
East Perth is a great location. There are plenty of coffee shops on your way into the city, and many of them have a lot of character. You can also take your chai latte to Langley Park to enjoy its warmth sweetness in the sun! I’d say these most closely resemble what I know and love about coffee shops: great atmosphere, nice food options, and great hot beverages!
Ravenous Cafe – Adelaide Terrace – $5 (Medium)
- Good temperature, drinkable immediately without going cold
- Compostable lid – nice touch despite being takeaway cup
- Decent sweetness without overpowering the flavour
- Great foam that didn’t melt immediately
- No grit – always appreciated
- Nice cinnamon coverage on top
Bonus point: Really friendly staff who gave me a loyalty card in a cute cafe with good food choices. Overall loved the location right next to Langley Park.
Woogi Espresso – Adelaide Terrace $4.50
- Light but good flavour
- Can tell it’s fresh rather than a premixed powder
- No foam but still nice and creamy
- Hot but drinkable
Bonus point: June the owner was super friendly. Asked about milk preferences and optional honey. Went above and beyond to show me how he makes it and explained about his imported chai mix (costing $50 per kg!).
Duo Tone – Hay St – $6
- Oat milk advertised but costs extra
- Strong ginger taste which was too overpowering
- Oat milk made it creamier which was great
- Good temperature to drink right away
Bonus point: Fun interiors of the cafe with good food options. You can get a massive cookie for $4!
Cucina on Hay – Hay St – $3.5
- Hot but drinkable right away
- Pleasantly sweet
- Light spices but good dusting of cinnamon
- Very drinkable
Bonus: Casual interiors and it’s also a proper restaurant with lovely food. They do delicious dairy free banana bread which is very moist and chewy.
Bench Espresso – Hay St -$4.5 (Large)
- Quite hot, not over the top but nearing too hot
- Bit flavourless to be honest. Zero spice in there
- Basically hot milk
Bonus point: They’re open until 5pm which is practically unheard on in Perth! The staff are super friendly too.
Chai Lattes in Other Places Around Perth
I tried my best to venture out a little further, but only managed a couple of coffee shops. Nonetheless, there are LOADS out there I’m still yet to try!
Arteen Cafe – Cottesloe – $5 (medium)
- Sweet but not distracting from the spice flavour
- Quite milky, but lacked creaminess
- Nice temperature but it did go cold quickly
Bonus point: The staff are friendly and the cafe is decent enough. Definitely not the best in Cottesloe though.
Foam – Leederville – $4.50
- Milky and creamy
- Could have more flavour overall
So there we have a run down of some of the best chai lattes in Perth, broken down by area. If you’re after a quick pick me up on the go, the cafes around the CBD will likely be your first choice. If you want to explore a little further into East Perth and Northbridge these coffee shops will have buckets of character and may be cheaper.
I would highly recommend browsing their social media and websites to see where is currently open and who can deliver too. Cafes in WA are (as of April 2020) only open for takeaway – so have your reusable cup ready!
Got a favourite coffee shop? Let me know where else I should try to find the best chai lattes in Perth.
Take a look at these tips and facts to know about cafes in Perth to make sure you don’t make any faux pas!
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