107 Main St, Mittagong, New South Wales, 2575 Open Monday to Friday 6am – 3pm, Saturday 7am – 2pm, Sunday 8am – 1pm

Underneath the lush green ivy concealing a heritage sandstone building lies a unassuming specialty coffee shop in the small country town of Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

With a population of 12,000 people, Mittagong is fortunate to wake up to a treasure trove of delicious brewing coffees each day thanks to Ryan Tierney’s commitment to bring specialty coffee to rural Australia.

The pro golfer turned café owner has lived in nearby Picton for nearly eight years, and is passionate about showcasing the area’s local produce. Unlike city menus listing every milk category imaginable, Ryan serves just one style at his – Country Valley unhomogenised milk.

“Milk-based coffees make up such a large portion of the Australia’s preferred consumption, so we need to celebrate this. Milk quality is something I don’t compromise on. You can fill your menu with the most obscure beans from around the world, but it’s easy to forget where your milk comes from,” Ryan says. “We make no excuse in saying that the produce will change because of how fresh it is. One week our milk might have higher protein levels or fat levels, which results in a different texture, but that’s just the nature of real milk.”

Unlike modern coffee shops that celebrate local produce like a mission statement, Ryan says his café has always shared that approach, and not because of the paddock-to-plate philosophy, but because he didn’t have a choice.

“Being rural, it just made sense to use what’s close and available to us. We couldn’t get an organic local sourdough supplier

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