There is an art to running a cafe for the early commuter crowd. Opening up on the correct side of the road is generally important, as is making coffee and actually being visible. Choosing somewhere busy enough is another. Dopstop is a coffee cart on the inbound side of Gympie Road outside of an Indian restaurant that does fit these criteria quite well.
Dopstop uses Supreme Roasters coffee beans, which seems to be working for them as the coffee is rather good. The long black I tried had a slight cocoa, bitterish flavour with little aftertaste. I also tried an iced coffee they make themselves on a Tanzanian single origin. Unlike most it was not overly sweetened, and that’s another reason why I liked it.
The cafe itself is a coffee cart set up on a small raised area just off the footpath. As focused as its setup is towards takeaway customers, there is also a collection of benches and stools just off to the side. Unsurprisingly there is a bit of road noise, though this was not enough of a reason to just get my coffee and go. The guy who was running the cart is worth stopping to chat with as he’s fairly knowledgeable about coffee, and Dopstop even made the Beanhunter best 2013 Brisbane cafe list at 83.
A lot of cafes serve long blacks too hot, as if the shot is poured into boiling, rather than hot, water. It seems to be a matter of preference; I know more people who prefer their black coffee super hot than those who don’t.
One place that doesn’t kill a long black with heat is Amici Deli, a newish Italian deli on Gympie Road in Chermside. Amici specialises in imported Italian products and smallgoods. They also have a coffee machine, a few tables and chairs and use Di Bella beans.
Amici Deli offers some dine-in food as well, though its menu is not as extensive as most other cafes. Sandwiches, frittatas, quiche and arancini make up a lot of the selection currently, but they seem to be adding more options all the time. There is also a decent selection of sweets, from cheesecake to cannoli.
Cibo Espresso is a small Adelaide-based cafe franchise with a number of stores around Brisbane. One of them is in Westfield Chermside, in the northern foodcourt near Woolworths. They do coffee and a variety of Italian pastries and gelati. As a cafe the coffee is OK, but for food court coffee it is exceptional – it all depends on your frame of reference.
There is nothing extrordinary about the price, so I can’t even recall it. I think it is fair to say that unless it is either very cheap or really expensive, it is hardly a factor like taste and location. It is the location that I like with Cibo Espresso. There are two food courts in Chermside currently – the large one with McDonalds, KFC and a dozen or so more shops, and this smaller one without the fast food giants. Coffee-wise, the larger foodcourt has a Gloria Jeans and a Muffin Break, while the smaller one is where Cibo Espresso and a Starbucks is located.
Why a Cibo Espresso long black?
So if you’re stuck in a shopping centre and looking for a coffee Cibo Espresso works out fine, though the food is overpriced for what it is. But compared with the other foodcourt coffee options, it comes out on top.
It should not be as hard as it is to find a place that makes a chicken sandwich with a decent amount of chicken on it. Unfortunatly it is. Gallery Cafe does make a decent chicken sandwich. Their coffee is not much to talk about, and they are typical of most other cafes based in Westfield Chermside shopping centre.
The cafe is located opposite Borders, just outside of David jones, and has some of the oddest and least comfortable clear plastic chairs.