Beanhunter, a somewhat awesome website and an essential app featuring user submitted cafe ratings and reviews. Their app is incredibly useful when you are travelling and need to find a half way decent cafe somewhere new, and the quality of the reviews that come from the community is very high. Based on their community’s input, Beanhunter have recently released their top cafe lists for 2013. This lists cover cities from around the world and Australia including Brisbane.
It has taken me ages to get around to writing this. One of my friends has been telling me for ages to check out Cup Coffee. The cafe is in West End on Russell Street, just a short walk from Vulture Street. With a high roof and a large open roller door, the cafe looks like it was built out of an old workshop. A gentrified old workshop, with seats, coffee machines and some interesting robot themed artwork on one wall.
Cup Coffee roasts their own beans, and not just for their own use. According to their website they supply about nine other cafes. They produce blends and single origins, available through their own cafe and their business customers. Us normal people can buy their coffee either at the cafe or online via their site.
The cafe itself sells coffee, unsurprisingly, and a limited range of food. The coffee itself is good, some of the best I have had in Brisbane. They certainly didn’t do anything wrong when they made it, and the bean’s flavours were obvious. Though like a lot of other cafes, the single origins offered seemed to tend towards fruity.
Brisbane, like most cities, has a lot of cafes in the CBD. Most of them are also pretty boring. And what is even stranger, not all of them are open early. Fortunately for those who sometimes end up heading to work far too early in the morning, the Cremosa espresso bars are.
Cremosa is a hole-in-the-wall style espresso bar at the bottom of the Aurora Tower on the corner of Wharf and Queen Sts. According to the internet the espresso bar opens from 6:30am on weekdays, though I am sure it was not that early the first time I was there.
It is a little different from what you would expect in an espresso bar, as there is actually a decent number of tables just outside. Service and the coffee were both good, and certainly worth going back for. The coffee I had was made on a traditional espresso style blend, and Cremosa also serves single origins.
There are a number of Cremosa espresso bars in Brisbane, making it a rare decent chain cafe. If you were expecting a huge pile of fried meat to go with your morning coffee, I would imagine that Cremosa would, like any espresso bar, disappoint you. However, if you just want a good coffee I don’t think you would regret it.
It is an espresso bar with chairs
There are currently three of them in Brisbane
They don’t have a kitchen, not that it even matters
One of the best things about working in Brisbane’s CBD again is that there is no shortage of cafes, even out towards the Valley. It is hard to be more than a block away from a cafe in most buildings, and some office blocks even have their own on the ground floor. The building where I am working is one of those.
The cafe is called Queen Bean and occupies a largeish space just off to the side of the building’s foyer. The coffee was not remarkable one way or the other, but the food is good. The cafe’s layout caters to their takeway and sit down customers, though in the morning rush it does seem to get crowded around the counter.
The coffee they serve is from a company called Green Bean Coffee, though unfortunately the roaster’s website has turned into a domainer’s landing page recently. The coffee has a lighter flavour than most commodity coffees, and does not become overpowering with every extra shot.
Queen Bean Espresso is a nice cafe, and if you are tired of wall-to-wall Di Bellavazza d’Oro, the brand of coffee is different enough to be worth trying. The worst I can say is be careful that when you order an extra shot, you don’t end up with a mouth scaldingly hot coffee.
Their coffee is OK, the food is good
They do not use one of the more common coffee brands
Apparently ‘extra shot’ sounds a lot like ‘extra hot’ at times
It was my second favourite place in the museum, just after the dinosaur exhibit and a little ahead of the gift shop. The Museum Cafe is located in next room to the Muttaburrasaurus mount on the north side of the museum, and opens out on to the Whale Mall.
Even though the Museum Cafe serves Lavazza coffee, and does well with it, the Giants of the Past exhibit is going to remain my favourite part of the museum. Even the combination of a respectable long black and the view over GOMA and the State Library just cannot complete with extinct charismatic megafauna.
Even though the cafe does cake and seems to have a good range of food, the impressive Muttaburrasaurus mount, the Minmi, new finds from Winton and the cast of the Mesozoic stampede footprints are hard for a black coffee to beat. Perhaps if they moved the Dunkleosteus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus skull casts into the cafe, it might help.
Unfortunately, the Queensland Museum’s cafe at South Bank is only ever going to be my second favourite part of the building. Considering that there are some nice Australian mammal megafauna mounts and a few other good natural history displays, this isn’t too bad.