Early on a Saturday morning I was on the way out of Brisbane with my sister to Warwick for a family function. She is a pharmaceutical rep, and consequently is used to living her work day from her car. She gets her breakfast on the run, buys coffees for her doctors from whatever chain is local to their surgery, and gets her morning coffee from a drive through. This Saturday, it was a McCafe drive through.
My sister and I ordered our long blacks. At this point my expectations were very low. McDonalds just does not exist in my mind as an option for coffee at all. After we had placed our orders at the drive through, we were then directed to park just off to the side. Once the vehicle had stopped we were set upon by a rabid surveyer intent on asking if we would buy more coffee from them at a location near where we live. Why they needed to know name, email address, phone number and blood type for this was beyond me. The coffees arrived before she had managed to climb into the car with her maps, pad and pens and we were on our way.
I actually did not mind the coffee. Maybe my expectations were set very low, or I just was not in the mood to be contrary, but it was OK. It was a little watery, and I suspect that even in a large cup they only use one shot, but it was not burnt and I did not regret having it without sugar. I have had worse in the past. For fast food coffee it was acceptable, and as long as you are not expecting a Sirianni’s or Illy coffee, it won’t disappoint.
If you travel near Edinburgh Castle Road in Wavell Heights on the way to work, Retro Espresso is a great place to grab a long black. On Friday each week I drop in and grab a strong regular long black that can usually see me through until lunch time. Assuming I do not get bored and make another just to break up the morning. They use Segafredo beans and make a strong coffee.
On the weekends Retro espresso is a popular morning destination. The café attracts both people cluttering the side of the road with their cars, and a significant number of dog walkers. They do a decent breakfast even though they have no kitchen facilities, but they do well with their range of sandwiches and coffee.
If you live in Wavell Heights or you go through the area on the way to work, it is a great place to grab a takeaway coffee. Parking is easier than at the well known cafe spots, and you will be back on the way to your desk fast. If you are a local, for a weekend coffee in the morning, you will struggle to find somewhere as good locally too.
Campos is located just next to the James Street Market, though you would not know it if you were there. There is no way to walk straight from the James Street Market to Campos. You have to walk back out onto the street to get there. I can only assume that this is to encourage the dozens of people spending their money there to go to Spoon instead. Shame that Spoon is not that great.
Back to Campos. With their alleyway location and nifty fake plastic grass and crates, it is a cool little cafe with a bucketload of character. My takeaway long black, made on their own dark roast blend, was good. It tasted fine and did not lose too much for being served in a paper cup. Coffee in hand, I continued to wander around for a bit longer. If it wasn’t for the crowd, I would have stuck around for breakfast too.
A decent cafe, if you can get a seat. The coffee is good and it is out of the way sitting off Wandoo Street. Better than Spoon as far as the coffee is concerned, and cosindering the size of the servings that Spoon does, it can’t be too much worse for food.