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If this coffee was grown in Broadway instead of just being roasted here, one suspects it would taste quite different. Coffee, like wine, takes its characteristics from the location, and this area has never been a delicate place.

Crime, prostitution, drugs, and booze were its favourite pastimes. Perfect conditions for a character like Robert the Large.

After being convicted of receiving stolen ostrich feathers in London, Robert was put on a boat to Sydney in 1813. It may have seemed like a low point, but in truth things were starting to look up for Robert. He was pardoned after a few years and soon got himself into the beer-making business.

Put it down to Robert’s twinkling eyes or his intelligent wit, but by 1825 he was running a distillery that stretched from St Benedict’s Church right up to the corner of City Road.

In future years Robert would be in and out of bankruptcy court and lose the city election by an embarrassing margin, but the 1830s were golden times.

Fun was on the agenda, and few things were more entertaining than urging your workers to chase a greasy pig.

We’ve never tried this bonding exercise at Toby’s, but then Broadway is a more pleasant spot these days. This coffee is bold, round and sweet, and while Robert Cooper was more of a beer man, we’re sure he’d enjoy the flavour. Especially with good crema.

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