While I was killing two or so hours before my flights after a work related event, I discovered just how hard it is to find coffee and breakfast on a Sunday morning in the Sydney CBD. Practically everything is closed, and so after checking out of the hotel, I found myself struggling to find somewhere to sit down and have a coffee and something to eat. I spent about half an hour wandering around before giving up and heading towards the malls.
I ended up finding a small place in a Westfield in the walkway between a number of shops. The seats looked good enough, I was slightly tired and looking for a cafe was getting a little boring. Also, the tables looked large enough to set up my laptop. The cafe in question was called Cafe De Lucca. The coffee they served was reasonable and the breakfast was very acceptable. The prices were good and they let me swap my eggs for something edible without any problems.
Cafe De Lucca was a surprising nice place to wait and recharge my phone from my laptop before heading back to the hotel to head out to the airport, especially considering how hard it was to find somewhere that was actually open.
The Sydney CBD is dead on the weekend.
Cafe De Lucca
Store 38G, Level 2,
Westfield Central Plaza,
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 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.
Takeaway orders move fast
Good coffee, better if you like it with milk
307 Queen Street
Brisbane CBD, 4000
ph: 3221 0101
St Patrick’s Day is a bad night to try and find a quiet coffee in Brisbane’s CBD, even if it is to say farewell to a friend over coffee. Fortunately Cafe Mondial on Albert Street looked free from green hats. We were directed to a table by one of the staff, and ordered a pair of long blacks, one with milk on the side, and some wedges.
European Black Coffee
My friend is from Finland, and as it turns out, adding cold milk over black coffee is pretty common in Europe. A number of other people I know have also seen the same in Germany and other northern countries. As both coffees came with a small jug of milk, I decided to use mine.
A long black with milk added is different to a flat white: the milk is cold and added over coffee with water. As most cafes in Australia tend to serve black coffee very hot, it was still warm after the cold milk was added.
The coffee does not change that much, and seems more like a compromise between a long black or americano and a flat white. The milk takes the edge off any bitterness in the coffee and would be better suited to beans with a naturally harsher flavour.
Cafe Mondial’s coffee is still as good as it was when I used to eat there while at university. Their menu does not seem to have changed much from what I remember either, aside from the prices, which are higher, and for some items, a bit over average.