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.
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.
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
You can never get good coffee on a plane. The tea is tolerable, but the coffee isn’t. Thus, the first thing I looked for after leaving my bags in the hotel was a decent cafe. It wasn’t just for coffee; Qantas’ breakfast was only slightly more adequate than their tea.
As it was a Friday, and the hotel was just on the edge of Sydney’s CBD, finding a cafe wasn’t hard. And this is why I am writing about a coffee from VIVO in Sydney. Like many Brisbane CBD cafes, VIVO had a lot of glass, seating both inside and outside and food, with the main difference being that it’s bigger than most cafes found in Brisbane’s CBD. They also use a recognisable (and Brisbane-based) coffee brand, Di Bella.
The coffee was strong and had a good crema. Due to the amount of tea my girlfriend received, I had two coffees while I waited for her to finish. The food was also good; I had a tasty and generously portioned bircher muesli and they were more than happy to swap the eggs for bacon on my girlfriend’s order.
The cafe also has a WiFi hotspot which worked as well as any other free WiFi I have tried, and the only thing I was lacking was somewhere to charge my phone. But I don’t know of a single cafe that offers that, which is a real shame.
Racecourse Road is not a good place to go for coffee; there are not many places that can do a passable long black. You can find dining, a Coles Metro and occasionally even large numbers of drunk people with a temporary interest in horses, but finding a good coffee is harder. Unless you go to a small espresso bar called Fonzie Abbott, just next to Vagelis.
Fonzie Abbott is named for the first pet and first street that one of the owners lived on, just like the pornstar name meme. I can only assume that this is somehow related to the rooster in their logo.
The cafe is more of an espresso bar, with a small footprint and not too many seats. The coffee they serve is not just the best on Racecourse Road, but compares well against cafes in other areas too.
Fonzie Abbott uses both blends and single origin beans, with the single origin beans changing regularly. There are a few light meals and a selection of beers available as well, and apparently they also do Espresso Martinis on Fridays.
There are not many places on Racecourse Road that can do good coffee, and fortunately Fonzie Abbott is an exception. The decor tends towards hipster, with its second-hand aesthetic and the mix of blends and single origin beans. It is my pick of the street if you want a good coffee, long black or otherwise.
Better than the other cafes on Racecourse Road, because…