Recently I found myself on the Carnival cruise ship, Legends, for a night recently. It was the first ship I had ever actually been on, so I was not entirely sure what to expect. As far as I can tell, the cruise ship experience more or less looks a lot like being on a large, long hotel that happens to float. That and people really don’t like it when you call it a boat.
I was only on board for a single night as it sailed out of Sydney did a quick loop, and came back. There were a lot of things to check out on the ship, including the buffet and the pizza place that didn’t appear to close. Unfortunately I also tried the coffee. Before getting off the boat, I paid for a long black from the small cafe in the buffet. I was a truely remarkable, egregious coffee. Possibly one of the truely exceptionally bad coffees I had ever tried. It was burnt. It was very burnt. It was burnt like coffee was a cancer and must be purged. I could barely hold the cup.
Unfortunately I was fairly tired and so I tried one of the free coffee machines. I could not tell the difference between either the free coffee or the one I paid for. Both of the coffees were pretty much exactly like the commodity coffee examples from campo’s cupping. The coffee lacked flavour or any other redeaming feature. It was coffee purely in the sense that it was brown and hot.
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.
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.
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