September 5, 2016

A Coffee Shop Tour of Brisbane, Australia


Australia: the country where Starbucks struggles, where the flat white may have been invented, and where local coffee culture provides inspiration to cafés all around the world. And while coffee tourists may head straight to Melbourne, there are plenty of other cities down under that are worth a visit.

I live in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, otherwise known as the Sunshine State. “Brizzy” has a rapidly developing speciality coffee culture and is beginning to forge its own unique identity. And I’ve created a coffee shop tour that’s sure to satisfy the strongest of thirsts.

SEE ALSO: Melbourne vs Geelong: Do All Third Wave Cities Have to Be Homogenous?

Reverends Fine Coffee

Pure style at Reverends Fine Coffee. Credit: Reverends

Why These Coffee Houses?

This list contains my favourite café’s in Brisbane, but by no means is it the list to end all lists. As we all know from the coffee industry, taste is subjective and cafés will evolve over time.

That being said, each of these will offer excellent coffee, friendly baristas, and a great introduction to Brizzy’s coffee culture. So in no particular order, here are four of my city’s must-visit coffee houses.

Single Guys exterior

It might be called The Single Guys, but you won’t feel lonely in this Brisbanite coffee spot. Credit: Ben Graham

1. Coffee Anthology

For coffee geeks, this place will feel like coming home. Coffee Anthology has an extensive coffee selection – quite literally an anthology of them – and offers some of the tastiest names in the game.

The café’s reputation is so strong that those yet to visit might be wary – it wouldn’t be the first renowned coffee house to have developed a level of arrogance, after all. Yet I was impressed not just by the exceptional quality of service but also by how humble the staff were. They were happy to explain their coffee selections to me, as well as which coffee is best suited to each brewing method.

Owner Adam Wang has built a business that serves great coffee, hosts some of the best baristas in the industry, and holds regular coffee events for budding baristas and straight up coffee enthusiasts alike. It’s one not to be missed.

Where 126 Margaret St
Espresso Machine Specialty coffee haven
Methods Nuova Simonelli Black Eagle
Grinder Nuova Simonelli Mythos One, Mahlkönig EK 43, and Compak
Coffee Offerings Rotating coffee selections – Padre, Coffee Supreme, and Seven Seeds are just a few of many
Food & Other Drinks Yes

Coffee Anthology exterior

Coffee Anthology is a home away from home for a coffee geek. Credit: Annie Ke Blog

2. Reverends Fine Coffee

It may be reminiscent of grungy backstreet cafés you come across in places like Melbourne, but Reverends Fine Coffee is a place that takes it coffee seriously. The first sign of that is the beautiful Slayer they have; it practically purrs. And whether it be a syrupy espresso or a fruity filter, your tastebuds are going to thank you.

This place has a super laid-back atmosphere, making you feel at home straight away. They’ve been slinging great coffee for a while now, making them highly knowledgeable as well as happy to talk coffee with you.

Where 372 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Atmosphere Small and cosy
Espresso Machine Slayer
Grinder Mazzer Kony, Mahlkönig EK 43,
Coffee Offerings Vintage Coffee Project and other single origins
Food & Other Drinks Food and beer on tap!

Reverends Fine Coffee

Reverends Fine Coffee is fine coffee indeed. Credit: Reverends Fine Coffee

3. The Single Guys

A clean and sophistic interior for clean and sophisticated coffee, The Single Guys is a must-visit spot. The coffee tends to have a delicate flavour profile that is simply delectable.

What’s more, it has a friendly, communal vibe that makes it a great place to sit down with a laptop and chill out. What’s not to like?

Where 2/2051 Moggill Rd, Kenmore
Atmosphere Warm
Espresso Machine La Marzocco Linea PB
Grinder Nuova Simonelli Mythos One, Mahlkönig EK 43
Coffee Offerings The Single Guys Coffee
Food & Other Drinks Incredible food

Single Guys pour

The Single Guys has great coffee, great latte art, and a great atmosphere. Credit: Ben Graham

4. Strauss

Tucked away in a side street, this little gem happens to be just five minutes’ walk away from Coffee Anthology. You may want to consider visiting the two of them in the same morning or afternoon.

Strass boasts one of the nicest coffee machines on the market: a Kees van der Westen Spirit. It’s a barista’s dream machine. And speaking of baristas, the ones here are meticulous. Even their loose leaf tea has been weighed and timed during brewing.

An industrial style design featuring exposed brick and timber beams makes this spot aesthetically pleasing. Its tall ceilings don’t prevent it from having an intimate vibe either.

Where 189 Elizabeth St
Atmosphere Intimate
Espresso Machine Kees van der Westen Spirit
Grinder Nuova Simonelli Mythos One, Mahlkonig EK 43
Coffee Offerings Rotating – at the time, they were serving Supreme Coffee
Food & Other Drinks Yes

Strauss coffee

You can expect excellent coffee from Strauss’ spirit. Credit: Nicholas Berndt

Honourable Mentions

Got a little more time in Brisbane? Check out these up-and-coming cafés.

  • Josie North

This place hasn’t been open that long, but it has all the markings of a great café. We’re talking about some of the crispiest interior design around, great staff, and rotating coffee selections from the likes of Seven Seeds and Reuben Hills.

Josie North 1

Josie North measures up. Credit: N. Berndt @__pitcherperfect

Nodo Donuts

Nodo Donuts has recently opened its second store, and is well worth a visit. Built on a reputation for health-conscious treats, the café also offers a solid coffee experience thanks to great baristas and beans from Proud Mary’s.

Nodo Interior

Nodo Donut’s: order your coffee with a side of donuts. Credit: Deelan Dolan

A trip to Brisbane is sure to leave you caffeinated and content. This coffee shop tour will give you a great introduction into the local coffee culture, demonstrating that there’s more to third wave Australia than just Melbourne and Sydney.

And if you have a little more time in my city, why not explore some of the other options available? You’re sure to find some great spots.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.