Tag Archives: Black Coffee

Coffee from the CoffeeGuy

Long Black Coffee at the Coffeeguy
Long Black Coffee at the Coffeeguy

After weeks of being told about the place, I finally visited a great cafe/coffee lounge in Wooloowin called CoffeeGuy. It was not until a friend and I arranged to catch up on the weekend there that I finally got around to checking the place out.

The cafe is near Rhubarb Rhubarb, a resturant that at least two other guys told me is a great way to apologise to an aggrieved partner, and when you walk in, the first thing you notice is the space. The place is large, and the tables, chairs and couches are spread out, creating a completely different experience from most other cafes. It did not take long for one of the staff to notice my confusion, and with their assistance I ordered a pair of long blacks and found somewhere to sit until Chris arrived.

Yellow Bourbon Beans
Yellow Bourbon Beans

Once Chris arrived, I found out that I had ordered the wrong coffee. According to Daniel, the owner, I should have ordered one of the single origins, because that is what Chris usually got, and not their regular blend. Fortunately he saved me and brought out another pair of long blacks to replace the ones I had chosen. It was a dry prepared Brazilian bean they roasted themselves.

In fact they have a small roaster off to the side of the cafe. The owner was more than happy to talk about the coffee he had, including some Yellow Bourbon Camocim Organic he had just got in. Like the other exceptional baristas and cafe owners in Brisbane, Daniel clearly loves coffee, and even has his own cafe recommendations he is willing to share.

The cafe is a great place, the coffee is exceptional and the cafe itself is unique, though a Finnish friend of mine did say they had coffee lounges like it in Europe. There is really only one thing that I can find to pick on, and that is the lack of a kitchen. There are cold snacks and biscuits available though, and that is more than enough to make CoffeeGuy a great place to spend a Saturday morning.

TL;DR

  • Open floor plan and a lot of space between customers
  • CoffeeGuy is purely about coffee, there is no kitchen
  • Good service
  • There is a roaster in the corner
  • They know coffee and have a changing range of single origins

The Coffeeguy
http://www.Coffeeguy.com.au
CoffeeGuy, Shop 2, 85 Kent Road
Wooloowin
Ph: 07 3357 4440

Long Black & WiFi at Bar Moda

A Long Black Coffee at Bar Moda
A Long Black Coffee at Bar Moda

It is hard to find a good coffee in the city outside of normal work hours. After 4pm, almost all of the cafes close, leaving just a handful huddling around the mall, nothing like the number of options available during the workday.

Bar Moda is an office hours cafe. Sitting in the foyer at 307 Queen Street and surounded by other office blocks, it is not likely to get much foot traffic on the weekend. During the week is another matter entirely though.

Bar Moda has two counters, one facing out of the building and another inside. There is seating near both, but most importantly, the two counters keep the takeaway orders turning over fast. The coffee is strong and good, though the latest one I had was pretty hot for black coffee. I imagine it would have been fine as a milk coffee.

There is one more thing: they have free WiFi via CafeScreen. The service looked interesting and it ran an image insert/replace in some RSS feeds within Flipboard. Twitter and email were fine, but I did not stay long enough to try it out properly.

TL;DR

  • Takeaway orders move fast
  • Good coffee, better if you like it with milk
  • Free WiFi

 

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Bar Moda
307 Queen Street
Brisbane CBD, 4000
ph: 3221 0101

Coffee Cupping at Campos Brisbane

Campos Cupping Room
Campos Cupping Room

I only know of two dedicated cupping rooms in Australia, one in Sydney and another in Brisbane. And both are in Campos cafes. The one in Brisbane has been open for a few months now, and at least from what I’ve heard, has been popular. There isn’t much about it on their website, and I only found out because I saw the cupping room at the cafe, and some discussion on Twitter.

Aprons
Aprons

I had never been to a cupping session, and I had no idea of what ‘cupping’ even was. Dandelion and Driftwood sell cupping journals. When I first saw them, I had absolutely no idea what they were for. However, as this session was being held at one of my favourite cafes, which is also a local roaster, a group of friends and myself booked a Saturday session.

The Cupping Room

On the day, the five of us were shown to the meeting room out the back, where we were given aprons (apparently spills are not uncommon) before heading into Campos’ dedicated cupping room. It was very cool. The light fittings were made from coffee cups. The lights were low and the room seemed full of coffee paraphernalia, though no more so than the rest of the cafe.

What is Cupping?

Removing the grinds
Removing the grinds

The brief description of cupping that I got from Coffeeresearch.org is that:

Cupping is a very specific coffee tasting technique, removing as many variables as possible to make it easier to compare different beans.

I learned that it makes it possible to compare coffee beans on their own merits. The tightly controlled preparation method means the tasters know they are experiencing exactly the same thing as the next taster, be they in the same room or in another country. It makes it a lot easier to talk about the coffee if you can remove all other variables.

The Coffee We Tried

Campos had six different coffees for us to try: five single origin varieties from Kenya, India, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Ethiopia, and a commodity coffee for comparison. Each bean was served in a small bowl, with water heated to a specific temperature, left to brew, and then stirred, and then brewed some more, before the grounds were scraped off the top. It seemed to be a fairly involved process.

The whole time the coffee was being prepared, and during the tasting itself, everything about the beans was explained. They covered how each of the beans were processed, where they came from, who grew them, and a lot more.

The highlight of the whole session was being able to compare so many different varieties of coffee. Each was distinctive and had its own qualities, with the Indian Malabar Monsooned beans being the most unique. The only comparison more striking than the Malabar and the rest was between the single origins and the commodity coffee.

Why it was Cool

At just $11 it is cheap, and if you pay $20, you walk away with 250 grams of the coffee you liked best. If you like coffee but did not even know what a cupping session was until you read this, then go and do one. It is a great experience, and Campos has taken a commercial activity and turned it into a great customer experience. If you already knew what cupping was, you are probably already interested in booking a session.

TL;DR

  • Try many kinds of coffee
  • Find out more about said coffee
  • Take home the coffee you liked best

Campos Coffee
http://www.camposcoffee.com/
11 Wandoo St
Fortitude Valley QLD
Ph: 07 3252 3612

@CamposCoffee

A Coffee Van Long Black

Work Desk Coffee
Work Desk Coffee

Industrial estates are not known for cafes. Currently I work in an office in Eagle Farm, and unlike when I worked in Spring Hill or Milton, getting a decent coffee is all but impossible. Barring work-supplied instant coffee, the only other options are to bring in your own takeaway coffee, bring what you need to make it yourself, or the coffee van, which turns up most mornings around 9:30.

The Coffee Van
The Coffee Van

In case you have never seen one, a coffee van is pretty much just that. A van, with an espresso machine and an amusingly spelled or phrased name, whose purpose is to drive around selling coffee and light snacks.

The coffee itself is usually acceptable and the prices are fairly reasonable, comparable to what you would expect to pay in a cafe. Which is good, considering the lack of alternatives closer than a ten minute drive away. The one that stops by my office is a Cafe2U franchise van, which fills the cafe gap as well as can be expected. If you have a chance, go to Corporate Coffee and enjoy the real taste!

It never is just about the coffee though; cafes are more than just a well placed espresso machine. A coffee van is not something you can go to for lunch, or a destination for a coffee run and a chance to leave the office. A coffee van does not come close to replacing the ‘Cafe Closest To The Office’ experience.

For those who have been consigned to the office denizen nether hells of a suburb in the middle of nowhere, the coffee van is a rare glimpse of how things could be, if you worked somewhere else.

 

TL;DR

  • If you work near a good cafe, treasure it.

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?