Profile: The Brew Lab Cafe

Brew Lab Cafe Penrith

Cat’s Pyjamas coffee, mouth-watering waffles & chilled vibes in downtown Penrith. What’s not to love?

Penrith doesn’t often get compared to inner-city Melbourne.

This Western Sydney hub is better known for black panther sightings than laneway cafes.

But the stereotypes are easy to forget when you walk up to Brew Lab, with its hole-in-the-wall laneway vibes and impressive coffee menu.

Since taking over this former waffle restaurant in 2017, owner Nathan has turned this spot into a local specialty coffee destination. With an array of brewing devices, origin coffees and mouth-watering brunch menu – the locals can’t get enough.

That’s not to say that things were easy from day one. When he first took over, the business was struggling to get people in the door, “it was really bad, it had a bad name from the previous owners” recalls Nathan.

But Nathan got to work turning things around, starting first by hiring manager/barista Steph. Together, they made changes to the design, the menu and slowly, the locals started coming back.

Nathan’s business journey started years earlier at age 19, when he bought a coffee van.

At first, he kept his day job and worked the van at events on the weekend. Over time, mobile coffee became his full-time focus until finally, this opportunity came to settle in to a permanent location in Penrith.

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So. Much. Coffee.

With a name like Brew Lab, you know what to expect: lots of coffee.

They certainly don’t disappoint, offering a huge range of brewing options, including: cold drip, syphon, V60 & espresso (on their brand-new Sanremo Opera 2.0 espresso machine).

The baristas don’t miss a beat with the house blend, The Cat’s Pyjamas. It’s velvety, sweet and the perfect place to start.

Alternatively, you can take the road less travelled and try one of the single origin or guest blend options.

Either way, you’ll be thoroughly & deliciously caffeinated.

All day breakfast, burgers & waffles…

Just because they specialise in coffee, don’t think you’ll go hungry.

In the kitchen, Erin is kept busy whipping up a menu featuring burgers, all day breakfast & waffles – a legacy of the previous business. “People would still come in asking for waffles, so we thought, why not?” Nathan explains. With toppings like maple bacon, stewed apple & melted chocolate, it’s not hard to see why they’re so popular.

And it’s not just the weekend brunch crowd that’s loving the new menu, Brew Lab also has a growing business in home delivery through Ubereats. “They order anything and everything” Nathan explains, “breakfast…even just coffee”.

Yes, coffee by home delivery. I say why not, when it tastes this good.

The Brew Lab Cafe

Shop 1, 138/134 Henry St,
Penrith NSW

Mon – Fri: 6:30-2:30
Sat – Sun: 8-2

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Ben Irvine
From owner / operator of his own coffee business, to product development for a coffee multinational, to consulting with independent cafe owners, Ben has been involved across a wide range of the industry over the last 20 years. When he isn’t brewing coffee, or writing about it, Ben is likely to be annoying his kids with 90’s music trivia.