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Saltwater was founded by Lee and Sid, a couple who grew up in Sydney, Australia. Having moved to NYC in 2011 to pursue careers in design and finance, they struggled to find a homey neighborhood coffee shop in the madness of New York, where they could truly relax. They missed the Australian-style coffee reflective of the lifestyle back home; where it is a way of life and is uniquely intertwined with leisure rather than a fuel for work. In the late summer of 2013, an idea was planted in their heads.

Fast forward to 2017, with support from their friend Toby, whose mutual love for coffee in Sydney developed into a solid partnership and friendship, they decided to open up Saltwater, a shop that brings the Australian Coffee Culture to East Village, NYC.


To bring the leisurely experience and broader sense of coffee community to life, designer Lee paid close attention to detail when she envisaged and designed the physical space of Saltwater.

For Lee, the Saltwater idea was centered on creating an extension of her own kitchen, a welcoming place where family and friends would enjoy company, and the fruits and flavors of the kitchen. It would be a unique and personal space, a sort of city sanctuary, for friends, family, and locals to start their day, catch up, share in the rich ritual of Australian coffee—even switch off for a second or two from the eternal New York buzz.


OUR COffee


Our beans are sourced from The Little Marionette—a Sydney, Australia based boutique roasting outfit owned by three great friends, master baristas, and self-proclaimed coffee nerds, Ed, Kirby and Wes.

Since its Sydney beginnings, The Little Marionette offering has branched out to the UK, and now the US—it seems everyone is enamored with these beans. Little Marionette treasures the simple, though refined Australian ritual of coffee. It is laid back, and without airs and graces. It’s a philosophy centered on creating coffee that people will love, with elements of new and ever so slightly wilder and interesting flavors sewn in.

We are proud to be the first coffee shop in the US to serve these beans. From master Sydney roasters who understand the coffee process from procuring beans to roasting, crafting, and pouring—The Little Marionette’s specialty is in creating a milk-based espresso that is sweeter, with a fuller body. Caramelizing the sugars is the priority, the low acidity that follows is a soothing consequence.

Ed, Kirby, and Wes take their roasting very seriously and will continue to partner with us, imparting the riches of their knowledge, education and training to our team to enable us to extract the full flavor of their exquisitely roasted beans. It’s our commitment to perfection.