A remarkable story was volleyed around the internet earlier this month, concerning American tennis great Serena Williams being served an in-game espresso at a match in Perth, Western Australia. At the macro level this isn’t much of a story–”American visits Australia, enjoys good coffee” is hardly news at this point–but the sports world loves a good comeback, and here’s one that was quite clearly fueled by an enabling shot of fine espresso.

The Associated Press [smurfed by NY Daily News] has a recounting of the events that borders on fabulous:

Feeling lethargic and jetlagged, Serena Williams decided a coffee might perk her up after losing her first set 6-0 at the Hopman Cup.

It did the trick.

Williams recovered to beat Flavia Pennetta 0-6, 6-3, 6-0 on a sweltering day in Perth, John Isner followed up with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over Fabio Fognini and the American pair combined to win the doubles for a 3-0 win over Italy in Group A on Monday in the international mixed team competition.

Williams later joked it was “miracle coffee.”

Miracle coffee, indeed! The Hopman Cup live footage team captured the whole thing on video.

We really appreciate how polite and self-aware Serena Williams was in ordering her espresso, and the jolly, jovial response from the chair umpire is priceless. But the events left us with more questions: whose coffee was she served? What, was there no ceramic available at the arena? Will this be Serena Williams’ new thing? Could we figure out a way to finagle an espresso-related interview out of her?

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The first of those queries we answered with a little digging, and we’re delighted to report that Serena Williams’ miracle espresso at The Hopman Cup came from none other than our proud Perth-based advertising partners at The Northbridge Coffee.


Ms. Williams’ espresso triumph was rightly well-received amongst the Northbridge staff, who were keen to fill us in with more details. To that end we spoke digitally to John Ferrari, manager of Northbridge Coffee, from his company’s headquarters in Perth, Western Australia.

Hi John! First things first, who pulled the shot? And how many shots was it, a double or single? 

The shot was pulled by one of the baristas we trained from the AEG Ogden catering team at the Perth Arena. It was a single shot espresso from what I’m told.

Was the espresso a blend or single origin?

The espresso was made with our Braziliano Coffee SuperBarista blend, a blend we created some years ago to acknowledge and honour the baristas that go that extra mile to excel in their craft, a bit like Serena Williams does with tennis I guess. We decided to refer to these guys as SuperBaristas, with the official spiel going something like this: “Excelling in every facet of the art of coffee making, the Braziliano SuperBarista exudes passion, unswerving commitment and the utmost price; the culmination of a collective, exacting effort. The Braziliano SuperBarista performs a balancing act between innovation and perfection, efficiency and craft which results in the enjoyment of coffee that pervades history and the globe.”

The espresso Serena Williams was given would have been exactly the same as what any other patron at the Hopman Cup would have received.


How long has Northbridge been the coffee of choice at the Hopman Cup?

We’ve been involved with the Hopman Cup on and off over the last 20 years. More recently, just over two years since the event moved to the new Perth Arena.

Do you know of any other tennis players that are mad for espresso?

Not that I know of but after Serena’s comeback after downing a shot of our “miracle” coffee, we’re thinking there may be a few more coming on stream real soon!

How did it feel watching her magical comeback, knowing that your coffee helped fueled her dazzling success?

The whole team at The Northbridge Coffee Roasters was absolutely thrilled. This was not just because we helped Serena Williams turn her game around, but also, because later, when talking about her somewhat strange request, she referred to the espresso as “miracle” coffee for helping her win. She also made a point of saying, “I wanted a coffee, and whatever coffee it was, it was really good.”

We were even more chuffed then because her compliment was on an espresso, experiencing what we do in its purest form–and let’s just say, we’re purists!

This method of espresso consumption encourages aeration. Via.

Did she tip? She is American, after all. 

Not from what I know. I guess she was rolling with the “when in Rome” line of thinking.

To help Serena out in future, we had one of our Brew Specialists personally deliver a pack to her, filled with some of the ‘miracle’ Braziliano SuperBarista Coffee and some really cool portable brewing gear–like a 3 cup percolator, an AeroPress brewer, a Japanese ceramic grinder and some cool little green espresso cups. We can’t wait to hear when she gives them a go.

Top photo courtesy of ABC News

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