We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“very expensive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Three Bean Espresso

Three Bean Espresso
Beaumont St, Newcastle, New South Wales 2303, Australia
(02) 4961 2020
Improve this listing
Ranked #67 of 339 restaurants in Newcastle
Price range: $8 - $17
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Doing business, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Wingham, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“very expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

food was ok though compared to others in the area way too expensive

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben A, Owner at Three Bean Espresso, responded to this review, August 5, 2012
Hi there,

Thanks for your feedback, we've had a bit of a think about our pricing and have introduced a new special that we have been running for the last week priced at $15.

What we have done is create a simple dish around the poached eggs that does not add too significantly to our actual food cost on the dish - it does take some labour though.

The specials thus far have been;

- Poached eggs on toasted sourdough with Nasturtium & walnut pesto. ( I have a lovely Nasturtium plant at home, I made that on a Sunday night.)

- Poached eggs on toasted sourdough with bacon jam (made in house) and topped with our chutney which we also make in house.

I have added photos to trip advisor for you all to see.

I understand that many people find us expensive, and perhaps I could offer some understanding as to why.

On a standard day shift (Monday - Friday) we have in staff; 2 waiters, 2 baristas, 1 Supervisor, 2 qualified chefs, 3 apprentices and myself. Saturdays you can add 5 waiters to that and an extra 25% in the staff's pocket. (we don't have a surcharge by the way)

The reason for us having significantly more staff is due to the nature of our customers being predominantly time poor professionals that appreciate our ability to serve coffee under 5 minutes and meals under 20 minutes. We are usually significantly faster than that and if anyone mentions that they are in a rush we'll jump them straight to the front.

We also use eggs exclusively from two farms Papanui & Cornucopia Biodynamic Farm in NSW that treat their chickens with respect and dignity, this comes at a financial cost to the farmer, then to us, and finally you the customer. I won't tell you how much we pay per dozen for our eggs, but I know for a fact it is 3-4 times as much as other suppliers and we also cannot just order on demand, we have to commit seasonally to enough eggs to supply in excess of a large week so we never run out. This means we are constantly either thinking up ingenious ways to use eggs and often just giving them away. Which is nice, but expensive and part and parcel of our commitment to support these farmers.

Also served exclusively in Three Bean Espresso is Morpeth Sourdough which is a "real" sourdough as opposed to the sourdough flavoured breads that are served in a lot of cafes. This offers you all the health benefits as well as supporting a local artisan baker. The cost of this bread is 2-3 times that of what a normal white or turkish style bread would cost. Same as before; producer pays more, we pay more, and if you like it or your interested - you pay more.

So, I guess in response to being expensive......I think we do cost more, but if we are 20 - 30% more I'd be surprised, but to those 'others in the area' the area that sit $2 - $3 under me, with less staff, cheaper eggs & cheaper bread. Well, to me - that's expensive.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

39 reviews from our community

69% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great 2 excellent !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012 via mobile

This little cafe is hidden away in Hamilton. Alround they have got it right. Not a table staff member over 25 but they truly are excellent - I always think this means excellent management - well done guys !
Food - all of ours was great I has the savory mince - just right. My wife the salmon and eggs , again very good!
Try this it may surprise you.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Busy, friendly, great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

Breakfast with some friends, large tasty servings, good coffee, but parking is a problem

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Best breakfast around town!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

Best breaky in Newcastle! Service sometimes slow but that's because they are so popular!

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nyngan, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Average food - extraordinary price”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

I think there are people in this world who are fooled by marketing. They see 'open range eggs' and figure they must be some magical step above free range They see 'our special smoked salmon' and expect it to be hand caught by eskimos then delivered by limousine to the chef when in reality it's bought on special at Woolworths, boiled until pink and then served up as some gourmet experience.

We went to Three Been for breakfast. I like Eggs Benedict so ordered the closest thing I could find which, at $21, was significantly more than I've paid in other cafes around the country. Rather than thinly sliced smoked salmon (uncooked) as is standard, I got a steaming lump of cooked salmon which appeared to be straight out of a pot of water. No sauce, hollandaise or other.

I ordered a side of mushrooms for $6, my friend ordered a side of bacon for $6. I would have thought $6- might have resulted in more than a single slice of bacon but that's all he got - a single slice of bacon for $6-!!! Maybe if this slice of bacon was something special, perhaps sliced lovingly by a tribe of virgins from the side of a pig descended from one raised by Genghis Khan - but this was a piece of bacon fried in a pan and dumped on a plate.

Maybe I'm expecting too much but bacon and eggs for two with a coffee each would normally cost around $40- at some great Sydney cafes, but at Three Bean it was $60- with no noticable difference in quality.

The waitress was pretty.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Three Bean Espresso, responded to this review, July 16, 2012
Thank you for your feed back on price, It’s rare to be offered an opportunity to educate our customers with such a pointed delivery of your assessment of our cafe. Thanks for the chance to do this.

You’ve addressed marketing and it’s ability to fool people, which it can, but in this case I believe if anything we are under marketed because we have not made it obvious why our use of the term “open range” is used on our eggs. If your interested in some education on the topic explaining why our eggs are a “magical step” above free range there is a wealth of information to be found at www.humanechoice.com.au/1500hens .

Currently our eggs come from two farms; Cornucopia Biodynamic Farm, Lostock, NSW and Papanui, Merriwa, NSW. Both farmers have been finalists and winners of the Vogue Entertaining Producer Awards in recent years. I know both farmers personally and have inspected their whole properties to ensure that the picture that you the customer has in your mind is the same as the reality of their farms. It is. The price of our dishes reflects the costs of our eggs, I guess you either value it or you don’t. I do and I’m willing to pay for it.

In response to the confusion over our Smoked Salmon, it is hot smoked - in contrast to cold smoked. We do it on purpose that way and have done for 8 years. Our salmon is purchased fresh from our local supplier, brined for 12 hours and then smoked in boxes on top of the stove. It is not a preserved product as is found in supermarkets but a fresh product which we go to great lengths to protect. We use it specially in our Creamed Eggs & Salmon dish because it flakes beautifully through the eggs imparting a delicate, natural smoky flavor. To date it is our most popular dish and will never leave the menu. The salmon is in no way boiled.

I understand that you, and others, have tried to create what you believe is Eggs Benedict by picking sides from the menu and making your own version using salmon. Just for the record Eggs Benedict is made with ham, here and everywhere that knows its history. Check this link out if your unsure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggs_Benedict
We are always happy to make Eggs Benedict - No Ham, Smoked Salmon instead, providing you are happy to let us use our own ‘Hot Smoked Salmon” as we don’t stock the “Woolworths on Special” variety. If your salmon was “steaming” then I can only assume you asked for it to be heated, as we alway serve it cold.

Eggs Benedict is displayed prominently on our menu, for $21. Here are the reasons why it is great value at that price.
2 Slices of Morpeth Sourdough Bread
A generous serving of freshly sliced ham - we slice it ourselves which is very rare in a cafe but we find the flavor and consistency better.
2 soft poached “open range eggs”
Freshly made hollandaise (not the tetra packed version that is widely available and served.)
It’s served by a team of Chefs and a parade of waiters.

You either like it or you don’t I guess.

In response to your disappointment in over the cost of your mushrooms & bacon sides both costing $6.

Our bacon is cut thick by us with the rind left on for added flavor as opposed to delivered sliced, rindless from a factory. Thats why it costs $6
Our mushrooms are $6 because they are Field mushrooms, peeled by hand then cooked with truffle salt and sherry vinegar. I can assure you that they are not a high profit item.

It’s funny you mention our waiter was pretty, they all are. They are also people and are all studying and all far smarter than me. Amongst our waiters are artists, teachers, accountants, lawyers, writers, psychologists physiotherapists, school captains and more. To date Three Bean Espresso has had over 100 waiters in the time it has been open and all that chose to leave did so because they were moving on to better things. I am grateful to have been able to support them through their studies.

Our ability to survive is due to our staff and faithful customers. The reason our prices are the way they are is due to the quality of staff & produce. We pay the true award and collect and pay all of our GST. All around NSW cafes and restaurants are closing leaving behind unpaid superannuation with both creditors and staff out of pocket, thankfully we are not at risk of doing so. This is simply because I charge the standard industry mark up for my menu and do not discount or compete on price.

Anyway, that all said, I guess I’m glad you prompted me to write this response, it gave me a lot of time to reflect - I’m proud of what I offer.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Three Bean Espresso also viewed

Newcastle, Greater Newcastle
Newcastle, Greater Newcastle
East Maitland, Maitland
Newcastle, Greater Newcastle

Been to Three Bean Espresso? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Three Bean Espresso, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.