All posts by Anthony

My day job involves online marketing and running on caffeine. the rest is spent maintaining a few blogs on things I find interesting about the Internet, online marketing and coffee.

Elixir Coffee in Stafford

Elixir Coffee HQ Espresso Lounge
Elixir Coffee HQ Espresso Lounge

One Saturday morning, I stopped off in Stafford on the way to the city. I had been told that there is a cafe just off Webster Road, next to an Ultra Tune, that’s well worth checking out.

In a few ways Elixir is a bit like the Merlo store on James Street. It also stocks a lot of coffee makng paraphernalia, including percolator seals, espresso machines, filters, etc. They also sell their own coffee beans.

Arriving at Elixir Coffee, I ran into David, someone I know through Twitter. Once I ordered my long black, David told me a little more about the place. It turned out that he knew the owners.

Elixir Coffee does not look much like a cafe, and it wasn’t one at first. David told me that Elixir Coffee began life as a small coffee roaster. The owners had always been involved in cafes, starting with the one their parents ran, and so it seems natural that they would have a real enthusiam for coffee, which shows in their product.

They offer a range of different blends, and at least one single origin on offer at any given time. The coffee is the focus, with only a small but varied food menu. And every coffee is served with tasting notes on a small, laminated card.

Espresso and Ice
Espresso and Ice

David suggested that I let the staff choose what I was going to have next. That is how I ended up with a ‘con hielo’ as my second coffee. The crema was impressive, and it was great to try something I hadn’t even heard of before and probably wouldn’t have selected for myself.

Elixir Coffee is worth visiting, assuming you love coffee.
If you don’t, that’s your problem.

Elixir Coffee HQ Espresso Lounge
12 Hayward Street
Stafford, 4053
On Facebook

Coffee at Coffee Hit in Brisbane

Coffee Hit, a Brisbane CBD cafe
Coffee Hit, a Brisbane CBD cafe

In the Brisbane CBD, there is a cafe called Coffee Hit on King George Square. I was in the city early for an Interactive Minds event, and I needed to get some form of caffeine. Coffee Hit looked promising, in a generic CBD cafe way. And they met my expectations, in a generic CBD cafe way.

Coffee Hit's Dollar
Coffee Hit's Dollar

Except for one thing. The change that they gave me for the coffee. The dollar coin was damaged. Well, defaced. Scoured is another good word for it. Ground down would also work, maybe even savaged, if I wanted to use something more emotive.

Both sides of the coin had been very comprehensively scratched, possibly obliterated, you might even say brutally torn into. All trace of the Queen, and the unique Australian wildlife that decorated its once unmolested form had been remorselessly eradicated, like kangaroo genocide. That is completely unfair. I gave them real money for the coffee; it seems a little mean to give me something that almost wasn’t change.  It’s nearly as bad as getting New Zealand money.

The coffee itself was OK. Like a lot of rather ordinary long blacks, it was a little too bitter. Since it was also boiling hot, that wasn’t a real surprise. Like their coffee, the prices were in line with most other CBD cafes as well. Nice location though.

Seriously, what am I going to do with that one dollar coin?

Eros Greek Coffee

Greek Coffee at Eros
Greek Coffee at Eros

I have never thought about how hard it is to get a coffee late on a Sunday. Having spent most of my life in Brisbane, it just was not something I thought about. It was a friend from Finland (he is also doing a blog on Brisbane) who brought it up on the weekend, as we struggled to find somewhere to hang out in West End on a Sunday afternoon.

After a few closing and closed cafes, we ended up at Eros, a neat little cafe that also did Greek sweets and Greek coffee. We ordered a long black with cold milk on the side for Joona, and a medium Greek coffee (1:1 sugar to coffee, apparently) for me.

It was cosy inside, with a continuous bench and some tables and chairs up against the wall, opposite the counter, so we ended up outside where there was more space for sketch pads, phones and the coffees when they came. The coffee was good, and the price was right, and seated outside, it had the Boundary Street feel.

It was just a shame it was a Sunday afternoon, as it meant we never got to try the cakes. By the time we were through the first round of coffee, they were already closing.

76 Boundary Street, West End 4101

My Apps for 2010

My Android Phone
My Android Phone

Last year a lot of cool stuff was released for Android, with a great mix of awesome ideas and great executions for mobile. But as a user, the real test is what ended up on your home screen and which apps you use practically every day.

My Must Haves

The home screen of my phone (Samsung Galaxy S) only has nine icons: three folders and five apps, and the Power Control widget. I left four spaces on the right hand side empty because I have a bad habit of holding the phone there and accidentally opening whatever is there. The apps that made the cut are:

As well as these five there is another I consider a must have, Remote Notifier. It runs on both your phone and your computer, and displays alerts from your phone on your desktop using your WiFi. If, like me, you leave your phone on silent on the other side of the house, a message popping up everytime someone calls or texts or when your phone is running low on power is very useful.

The Useful

There are a couple of other apps that, while I don’t use them daily, are still very handy to have. These are the ones I keep in folders – that extra click to access them isn’t a big deal like it would be with my email.

  • Dropbox
    • Simplifies moving files around in general, and especially for mobile. The app lets you access your own online storage from your phone, through a browser or any computer where it is installed and you can either upload, download or share.
  • Evernote
    • What the name says – you make notes. But you can do with with images, text, audio and files. Then you tag and organise them for access from anywhere, and any machine.
  • Google Reader/FeedSquares
    • I still have not made up my mind on which is the better RSS reader. The Google one seems to perform better, but I love the navigation in Feedsquares.
  • WordPress
    • Write blog post drafts and publish from your phone. Very, very handy.
  • Winamp
    • A very good music player, and it syncs via WiFi with your computer, so you can update your music and playlists.
  • Aura
    • It’s an EVE Online thing. If you want to keep an eye on your assets, market orders and skill queue, it’s great. If none of this means anything to you, don’t worry about it.
  • ThinkFree Office
    • I am sure it does a lot of cool stuff, but mostly I use it for reading PDFs, usually after downloading them from my Dropbox account, and before tagging the interesting ones for Evernote. It does this very well, and fast.
  • Daily Briefing
    • It is synced to my Google Calendar and is a Samsung app that came with the phone.

I, like most smartphone users, have a lot of other apps installed on my phone. Some of them are kind of meh, and others I have not used enough to have an opinion yet. The ones listed above are the stand-outs for me.


If you have an Android phone, this stuff is pretty cool. Check it out.

What are the ones that you love?

Greek Coffee, Served Black

Cooking Greek Coffee
Cooking Greek Coffee

Greek coffee (Or Turkish coffee, or Cypriot coffee, this style got around) is nothing like espresso. The coffee beans are ground to a powder, and cooked in a simple pot with sugar. I learnt how to make this coffee from my grandparents, who migrated to Australia from Kythera.

The Coffee, the sugar and the Briki
The coffee, the sugar and the briki

The ratio my grandmother uses is one teaspoon each of coffee and sugar and per person (and however much water you need to fill the cups you plan to use). Place the pot (or briki) onto the stove, and bring to the boil. Try not to let it overflow onto the stovetop, which it does fairly easily. Taking it off the heat as it comes to the boil, and placing it back on the flame once it has cooled a little once or twice also helps ensure that you get the most from the pulverised coffee.  If you take milk with yours, add the milk after the coffee has been brought to the boil the first time.  Boiling the milk in with the coffee and sugar gives it a richer flavour, much better than just adding the milk once the coffee is already in the cup.

It is very easy to make Greek coffee strong. A tablespoon, rather than a teaspoon, per person is an experience unto itself. Also, don’t drain the cup to the dregs when drinking, as there is a layer of sediment at the bottom which tastes as good as a sandy slap in the face.