Tag Archives: coffee

Queen Bean Office Coffee

Long Black at Queen Bean Cafe
Long Black at Queen Bean Cafe

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.

TL;DR

  • 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

Queen Bean Espresso
http://queenbean.com.au/
545 Queen Street
Brisbane

The Queensland Museum has a Cafe

Dinosaurs and Coffee
Dinosaurs and Coffee

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.

TL;DR

  • Reasonably good Lavazza Coffee
  • Located in the Museum
  • Not as cool as dinosaurs

Queensland Museum South Bank
http://www.southbank.qm.qld.gov.au/
9:30am to 5:00pm daily
Phone: +(0)7 3840 7555
Corner of Grey & Melbourne Streets, South Bank
South Brisbane

Grindhouse Coffee

Grindhouse Espresso Coffee
Grindhouse Espresso Coffee

How many cafes would you walk past to get a cup of coffee? With Grindhouse Espresso in Stones Corner, it is about five, depending on how generous you are with the definition of cafe. Grindhouse can be a little hard to find with just the street address. Tucked out of sight just off Logan Road, I walked past it about three times the first time I tried to get to it. Fortunately the cafe explained how to find the place through their Twitter account.

In a small space dominated by the coffee machine with only a few tables and no real menu Grindhouse is almost an espresso bar. It is a good thing they do it well. Grindhouse Espresso roasts their own beans and sells specialty coffee beans as well as by the cup.

Grindhouse Espresso so far is the best, most consistent cafe I have found in the area. While it is not really a lunch or breakfast destination, if you need a coffee and perhaps even somewhere to sit to enjoy it, Grindhouse is a safe bet.

TL;DR

  • One of the best cafes in Stones Corner
  • Can be hard to find
  • Doesn’t really do food
  • Do roast their own beans

Grindhouse Specialty Coffee
http://grindhouseespresso.com.au/
Facebook Page
@GrindhouseSC
Shop 9/360 Logan Road, Stones Corner
Brisbane

Coffee at Espresso Boutique

Long Black at Espresso Boutique
Long Black at Espresso Boutique

Right next to the train station. There are few places as good for a cafe as that, and Espresso Boutique’s location just next to Eagle Junction railway station is pretty spot on. It looks like a hole-in-the-wall cafe at first glance, at least until you go inside, or see the menu.

Espresso Boutique is a cosy cafe, with a large table dominating the space, and a number of smaller ones scattered around it. There is a bookshelf (with borrowable books) and a few small tables up against one wall with the specials board. The cafe also features a decent kitchen, and the lunch and breakfast menus reflect this. The big breakfast was not as full-on as it is at Campos, but the price reflects this as well. There was no trouble swapping out the eggs for extra mushrooms either.

Espresso Boutique Big Breakfast, minus eggs
Espresso Boutique Big Breakfast, minus eggs

Espresso Boutique serves Schibello coffee and does a respectable long black, and stocks T2 tea served in nifty teapot-cups for those people who like soggy leaves. Appropriately, above the counter there is an espresso menu, listing single shot, doppio and ‘con panna’, espresso served with a dollop of whipped cream.

The specials board looked interesting, with items like zucchini and sweet corn pancakes and a spinach, bacon and goat’s cheese tart. The food in the cabinet looked fresh and seemed to confirm Espresso Boutique’s claim that they sourced their ingredients fresh from the Brisbane and Clayfield markets.

Tea and the awesome cup
Tea and the awesome cup

We did not try the lunch menu, but it did look impressive. From the layout to small touches like bag hooks under each table, Espresso Boutique’s attention to detail was noticeable. It did not appear to be as much of a coffee specialist as some other cafes,  such as the Coffee Guy, but the cafe certainly succeeds as somewhere to grab a light meal on the weekend. I would be surprised if Espresso Boutique isn’t as good when you’re grabbing a coffee on the way to the train as well.

TL;DR

  • Great commuter location
  • Breakfast was good
  • Menu looks great
  • Cosy and attractive interior

Espresso Boutique
www.espressoboutique.com.au/
Shop 6, 260 Junction Road, Clayfield
Brisbane
PH: (07) 3357 6313

Gourmet Cellars at Sydney Airport

Coffee at Gourmet Cellars
Coffee at Gourmet Cellars

Airport coffee doesn’t actually have to be good coffee. In fact the bar is set very low for food and coffee in airports. I suspect it has a lot to do with access to a captive audience waiting for a flight. When you are boarding in 30 minutes, you are unlikely to shop around much.

Gourmet Cellars in the Sydney Domestic Terminal is actually not too bad. The cafe is located just near a bookshop tucked away from the main concourse. As the name implies, they had a surprisingly substantial wine list, even if they were light on food.

The cafe uses Vittoria coffee and does a reasonable job with it. My long black was more or less OK, and was only slightly too bitter. Considering what some cafes do to Vittoria coffee, this was better than I was expecting. Unfortunately for me, their cake selection was poor to nonexistent and their food selection was just as slim. They did stock some biscuits and a few other nibbles, but nothing that appealed to me.

The seating was OK, but like so many other places in an airport, they were short on power points. The day a franchise makes power points available at the table for their airport locations, they will make a killing. Unfortunately for my phone’s battery, Gourmet Cellar was not going to be the one to start this.

TL;DR

  • OK coffee, not like you have much choice
  • Very light on food
  • I am sure their wines are lovely
  • Why don’t airport cafes offer patrons power points at the table?

Gourmet Cellars
http://www.airportretail.com.au/gourmet-cellars