The two Nicks, as they like to call themselves, set up Studio Movida, a caf and fitness centre, five years ago, writes Leanne Tolra.

Studio Movida

14:34:PM 08/12/2010
Leanne Tolra


Coffee and exercise: for many of us they are the ultimate daily fix. The patrons at this Kew fitness studio arrive for their regular dose, ordering skinny caffè lattes and short blacks as they file out of class. Dog walkers, out for their own morning constitutionals, line the footpath with their brew of choice. Everyone seems to know someone.

The two Nicks, as they like to call themselves, set up Studio Movida, a café and fitness centre, five years ago. Nick Raftopoulos is a personal trainer who had been living in Greece, and Nic Michaelides left a high-profile corporate position to pursue his interest in coffee. They’ve created their own little paradise.

The studio runs pilates, indoor cycling and weight-training sessions and offers Veneziano coffee as a seasonal daily blend and two single-origin beans.

A short macchiato will arrive in a small wide-topped glass with a slender spoon. It is expertly extracted with a delicate six-petal daisy etched into its stain of milk. It’s an Ethiopian bean from a farm called Sidamo, says the cheery barista. Kew locals are lucky.


Daniel Lowen worked in bars and restaurants as a waiter and behind the bar. But the best part of his shift, he decided, was making the coffees at the end of the meal. When he came to Studio Movida four years ago his coffee knowledge was raw, but he worked long and hard with Michaelides to hone his skills.

Now the café’s head barista and manager, his proficiency is obvious. Lowen likes the technical aspect of making coffee and working to ensure each cup is presented at its best, but it’s the customer feedback he appreciates most.

He’ll even heat the milk above 65 degrees if that’s the way his customers like it. He says it goes against everything he knows about making coffee, but he likes them to be happy.

Sip this

Studio Movida, 138 Cotham Road, Kew

Barista Daniel Lowen

Coffee Veneziano

Barista’s choice Piccolo latte or ristretto

Open Monday-Friday 7am-5pm; Saturday 8am-3pm

Phone 9817 4954


The compact shopfront space on busy Cotham Road is tucked into a nondescript set of shops. It’s the branded coffee umbrellas out front that herald quality caffeine. Inside, recycled timber tables, pale apple-green stools and chocolate-brown couches fill the space. There are coffee and cream-coloured walls and practical, bare concrete floors. Fresh flowers sit on each table. There’s a small grill operating in the kitchen, and a glass case filled with a healthy array of cakes and pannini. The order-at-the-counter service works well here – just make sure you time the lulls between gym classes.

Studio Movida on Urbanspoon

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