Saltwater Coffee, Our Story

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.