There is yet another small cafe on Brunswick Street towards New Farm called Death before Decaf. One of my sister’s introduced me to the place as somewhere that makes a very good black coffee. Aside from a very appealing name, the cafe has a very certain character, with a metal/punk look and feel from the logo on the take away cups to the look of the cafe itself and the proprietor’s interest in tattoos.
The coffee itself has a nice strong flavour and lacking in bitterness or any other sign of being poorly made. The cafe does have a few chairs, but to me seemed Death before Decaf still be more of an espresso bar and take away place than somewhere to linger. Though this in itself is hardly a real problem anyway.
There is one other thing that makes this place interesting, and that is the opening hours. They are long. Death before Decaf stays open late, very late. In Brisbane this is a rare thing, and it is often very hard to find somewhere to grab a coffee in the early hours of the morning.
Take away coffee
Does a good black coffee
Very distinct character
Death before Decaf Facebook page
760 Brunswick Street,
Rhino Espresso is now open next to the Wooloowin train station too. There is another Rhino Espresso open in Northgate, and by the looks of it, the one in Wooloowin is very much the same. Rhino Espesso is very much a commuter cafe. Located right next to a train station and across the road from the car park, the cafe gets it’s share of early morning customers. It is even on the right side of the road for inbound traffic to stop and pick up a coffee.
The cafe itself is open to the street and is loosely defined by a bar just in front of the counter. If it was not for the tables just in front of this, it would more or less be an espresso bar. They use Piazzo Doro beans, and beyond that there isn’t a lot to say about the coffee. The large long black with an extra shot I grabbed that morning was not overpowering or watery. Rhino Espresso also offers a range of food. As I didn’t try anything from their menu, so I can’t really comment on it.
Rhino Espresso is almost the ideal commuter cafe. It is in a great location, while not brilliant, the coffee is good. The prices are unremarkable and in line with most other cafes and there is no reason not to grab your coffee there if you do plan to catch a train from Wooloowin. I just don’t think I would go out of my way if it was the weekend.
BYOD should mean more than just using your own phone or tablet for work related tasks. This should really be extended to the swarms of coffee machines appearing in offices everywhere. For a while Nespresso machines owned the “I want to save money on cafes” office worker market, but over time more and more easy to use and maintain pod machines have appeared on the market.
ALDI has released their own, using their own pods, as has Nescafe with their Dolce Gusto machine. Another brand, Bellini, has also entered this market. Unline the ALDI and Nescafe machines, the Bellini (sold by Target) is compatible with Nespresso pods, and therefore also with Nespresso-compatible pods, like those produced by Piazza D’Oro.
Until recently I used the floor’s Nespresso machine, with Piazza D’Oro pods. It was alright, though I suspect it was in dire need of descaling. However thanks to a recent reshuffle, I am now two levels away from the coffee machine. Obviously I needed to get my own.
This is where the Bellini machine comes in. Nespresso machines start in the three figure price range. The Bellini was about $80. It also took Nespresso and Piazza D’Oro pods. It was not a hard decision in the end. The weekend after I saw it listed online I had one to bring into the office.
It does make coffee. It does little else. There are three buttons to interact with. Power, long shot and short shot. There is also a lever for loading pods. The shot length is preprogrammed and you can not change it (though you can manually stop it) and unsurprisingly if you want to froth milk, you may need to get a different machine.
Its greatest issue is its boiler. The longer you run a shot, the hotter the water gets. Unless you are a masochist, this pretty much rules out long shots. Unless you like the taste of throughly killed coffee you are better off using the short shot button. Fortunately it seems to be able to do these with a reasonable level of consistency.
While the Bellini is most certainly not a Nespresso machine, let alone a decent manual coffee machine, it does make for a good cubicle buddy. For the price and the fact that there is more than one store where you can get compatible coffee pods, there is little reason to recommend other machines over it at this price range.
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
Brendale is a long way from Teneriffe. It is a long way from the CBD, from Park Road and from West End as well. Brendale is certainly an outer suburb. Brendale is not somewhere you would generally associate with good or interesting cafes. Cleanskin Coffee Co won’t help with this either, as it is actually a roaster. They just happen to also serve coffee.
South Pine Road runs through a light industrial area in Brendale. It is almost rural; you actually pass fields when you drive there. However, between the machine shops and mechanics lies Cleanskin. Originally they were based in Teneriffe, but apparently they moved to their new location just over twelve months ago now. They roast beans under their own label for sale and for a number of cafes.
There is nothing about the building that stands out from its light industrial setting. Inside is a little different. The cafe is starkly white with a tiled floor and there is a large glass window separating you from the roasting room. There are a few long tables set up for customers, as well as a number of chairs and a bar set up across the window facing the roasting room. They also have an arcade machine.
Unsurprisingly I had a long black, and also not too astonishing considering who they supply coffee to, it was good. The blend they were using was smooth, with minimal bitterness and was prepared well. Cleanskin also makes and stocks cold press latte in a bottle which I bought as well as some of their Saint Espresso blend beans.
Long way from most of Brisbane
Another unexpected cafe in a light industrial area
Primarily a roaster, with many cafes stocking their beans