Downtown Recommends: Two Hands

by | Jul 28, 2015 | Dining, Health & Fitness


All photos: Courtesy of Josephine Rozman

More foreign than the country from which it originated is the concept of this Australian café. The English dictionary defines a café as an establishment that primarily serves coffee, and may also serve light meals.

To Australians, cafés have a different denotation, and Sydney natives Giles Russell and Henry Roberts are bringing this fresh philosophy in the form of Two Hands.


Co- founders Giles Russell and Henry Roberts

“In every café in Australia amazing coffee is the standard, and there needs to be amazing food along with it. You would never go to a café without both,” said co-owner Giles Russell.

Two Hands offers quality coffee with equally delectable dishes. Russell and Roberts extensively searched for “the best coffee in the city,” and decided on Café Integral. The Nicaraguan-sourced coffee is sustainably farmed and brewed in New York.

The passion and dedication that emanates from the intimate process was what Russell and Roberts desired in their coffee program.

Two Hands’ menu features basic drinks: espressos, cold brews and lattes — to the Australian staple, the flat white. The flat white is microfoam (steamed milk made from fine bubbles with a velvety finish) poured over a shot of espresso. Flat whites have a dominate espresso flavor, harmonized with the milk.

Coffee stages

In addition to its excellent brew, Two Hands serves simple, yet healthy food. Ingredients are locally sourced and organic to the largest extent possible, and contain little to no sugar.


“America has access to amazing quality produce, which is grown organic, local [and] consciously with the consumer in mind. Unfortunately, it’s easier for an American to go out and grab something that is full of sugar, corn and wheat, just like dead nutrients,” Russell explained.

Russell said his mission is to make “food easy, approachable, and attainable for people, which means making it affordable.” To do this, one ingredient should be able to speak for itself — a noteworthy example being the “Avo Toast”.


The famed avocado toast with egg

The “Avo Toast” is a hearty piece of bread topped with a gracious layer of avocado, sprinkled with black pepper, chili flakes and olive oil. Ingredients arrive daily: the bread is baked in the city every morning, while the organic avocados are delivered fresh.

From a holistic perspective, Two Hands’ healthy, approachable food and coffee are simply components to the overall experience. Russell and Roberts strive to emulate the warm hospitality found at home.

Russell describes Sydney as a friendly, open city that gives an uplifting experience to anyone who visits. This experience is what he tries to incorporate into his café.

“If we can create a space in the city where people feel at home and they can walk out with their day being made then we’ve done our job,” Russell said.

-by Nisha Stickles


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