We got a hot tip to get to Pourhouse Espresso in Newstead to ride coffee’s third wave. Open for five weeks Pourhouse is pouring specialty coffee from the loading dock. The Florence Street building reminded us of a New York art house featuring artwork on the walls and a cleverly constructed stairway. Our very friendly barista is a keen Bean Brewding follower and nearly dropped his group handle when he found out it was us!
We were invited into the lobby area and instructed to ‘shout down’ our orders to the loading dock. We had a bird’s eye view of the pour over bar, row of Chemex apparatus, Yama cold drip tower and La Marzocco GB5. We learnt Pourhouse is a concept store to test the market, the idea coming from a coffee merchant for the likes of Two Seasons Coffee and Espresso di Manfredi. The Piazza d’Oro branded water glasses gives him away. Is this a second wave board trying to surf the third wave? Maybe a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Enough of the conspiracy theories – time to drink coffee.
With a Bean Brewding wife as our guest we sampled the Chiaro House Blend (Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Colombia and Brazil) from Espresso di Manfredi, a smooth easy drinking piccolo. The single origin El Patillo Estates from Costa Rica roasted by Two Seasons hinted chocolate and almond, a well made piccolo. We had to milk the grinder dry of the single origin Yirgacheffe the guys purchased from Dandelion and Driftwood on a recent visit. Served in large cups, certainly the largest we had experienced kept us buzzing all morning. The flavour seemed smoky to begin with, closing the eyes brought about an orange haze and almost packed the punch of an espresso. When left to cool the citrus orange developed.
While our dedicated barista carefully poured over the grind we poured over the latest on Bean Hunter. Topics included new coffee shops like The Tiller Coffee and established coffee shops like Cleanskin. They certainly have a wealth of knowledge on the Brisbane coffee scene. He mentioned that he studied construction, now he constructs the perfect coffee. Pourhouse has an ever-changing coffee supply, just last week 3rd Crack Coffee Brokerage (commonly known as Uncle Joe’s) beans were in the house.
To finish, a long macchiato on the Costa Rican from Two Seasons. “How do you take your long mac”, the barista asked. He said it saves everyone’s time by asking upfront – we agreed that the long mac is a hazard of the industry. He then explained his travels across Australia and the diversity the long mac brings. In some States it’s basically a double shot latte, one State has never heard of it!
Pourhouse espresso in Newstead has plenty of 2nd wave and plenty of 3rd wave, is this a winning combination? Find out for yourself.
We give 8 out of 10 cleverly constructed beans.
Bean Brewding’s Flavour of the Month for November, or more affectionately known as our Flavourites, include:
The Tiller’s shipping container coffee shop has been a frequented hangout for one Bean in particular during the month of November. Enjoying everything from long macchiatos made on a one-off delivery of Proud Mary beans (all the way from Melbourne) to savouring a highly fragrant and delicious Honduran cold drip on a hot spring day. Visits have included a pre-Melbourne Cup function coffee hit, seeing a friend off before a two-month trip to Canada, plus a few visits just because it’s great coffee made by two exceptionally passionate and talented owners!
Superb Goblin on Bali single origin. Looked like cola tasted like chocolate. Oh and another wonderful chat with Shaf about photosynthesis and coffee trees … with a double shot of enthusiasm, just like the Goblin!
Nessun Dorma is quickly becoming our South side office. Tasty Indonesian single origin. If you haven’t bean there, the secret is out. Last two meetings, people have said, ‘I found this great coffee shop at Yeronga Village. Let’s meet there.’ No arguments there!
Cleanskin Coffee Co.
For one Bean Brewder Cleanskin Coffee beans are on the menu at home. Kenyan Machure filter roast has been through the AeroPress and cold pressed for 24 hours. Both methods result in honey sweetness with floral notes particularly evident in the cold press. Another sublime roast from the blokes at Cleanskin.
Better late than never is a very apt saying when it comes Fort Specialty Coffee in North Lakes. We were all geared up for a visit many months ago and our plans went asunder. On the upside it was great to experience Fort as an established coffee venue. There were very high end bicycles standing sentry at the rear of the Fort … mmm a bit of bike envy! Coffee and cyclists … often more accurate than a Beanhunter review!
Inside there are funky things to please the eye … Like comic strips on the ceiling, interesting collectibles and cross stitch silhouettes of the operators on the grinders. There was a real vibe that was palpable. To please the palette there is the Rusty Musket blend – 70% Guatemalan, 30% Brazilian, specially created by Cup specialty coffee, and a selection of Cup single origins. After a lot of chatter and catching up with the ‘Doogs’, Bean Brewding coffee tourist, it was time to test the coffee.
Despite the busy morning, Fort staff were keen to offer advice and field our questions. It was a latte kick start on the Rusty and an AeroPress on an El Salvador Cup of Excellence. The latte was beautifully presented and extracted a treat from the original Cleanskin La Marzocca GB5 – it headed one bean’s day in the right direction after his maps app didn’t.
When the AeroPress was served in a milk jug we were delighted and said in unison, ‘it’s just like home’. Just goes to show every man’s home is his Fort. The filtered El Salvador was delicate. It was like a silk sheet dancing on your tongue. Tried as we might, it was difficult to detect a prominent flavour, maybe our palettes are not sophisticated enough to appreciate the true value of COE coffees. We had a laugh when one suggested apple and one suggested pink on the colour wheel – so we agreed on a Pink Lady. It was delightful at every point from hot to cool, as it cooled its fruitiness intensified.
When it was time for another coffee we decided to be the three Musket-eers and sample the cold iced coffee on the house blend as the temperature was starting to rise. I think there was another latte chaser in there somewhere. It was creamy and tasty. Our black bean officianado went for the El Salvador single origin as a long black to finish off the day. This time there was plenty of punch for the punter’s palate.
There were some subtle touches to round off the Fort theme like water being served in rum bottles. What vibe and a hive of activity … Strange but you somehow felt relaxed in your own little part of the Fort. Coffee shops that can ‘do it’ when they’re busy is the hallmark of people who know coffee. Get on your bike … Head to Fort Specialty Coffee in North Lakes.
We give Fort 8 beans out of 10.
Part of our impromptu all morning visit to The Coffee Roaster involved checking out their mini computerised hot air coffee bean roaster. Sitting right there in the middle of the café was the industrial looking roaster, containers full of all sorts of different varieties of green coffee beans, plus a keyboard, touch screen and computer with state of the art software that controls everything during the roasting process. The smaller machine is available for customers to be able to roast their on selection or blend of beans to the specifications that suit their coffee making equipment and personal tastes (this machine is separate form the main much larger roaster that the professionals at The Coffee Roaster use to roast their bigger batches of beans). In theory, once someone has found a bean and roast setting that they like, the staff can save the exact settings into the computer and bring up the customer’s settings again next time they come in for more beans. They can even email you the roasting log! It’s all very cool.
Anyway, back to our roasting adventure. We decided that all three of us Beans would like to try a single origin as a filter roast first, so we measured out 1250 grams of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (grade 3, natural special prep.), then with the help of the staff set the computer to a roasting air target temperature of 245ºC and a bean target temperature of 221.5ºC to give the beans a nice light roast. Once all the settings are in (including telling the computer what variety of beans are going in) we poured the 1250 grams of beans into the top of the roaster and closed the lid. Then we hit ‘proceed to roasting’ and ‘start’ on the computer, and the roaster fired to life and soon the whole café was filling with the magnificent smell of roasting coffee beans! Watching through the tiny windows in the roaster we could see the beans blowing around in a circular motion and gradually getting to a nice golden brown colour. Once the computer had decided that the process was complete, the roaster stopped and the computer signalled for us to open the chute at the bottom and let the freshly roasted beans out into a container. The staff then took the piping hot beans into the next room where they were arranged onto the cooling machine. After cooling the beans were bagged and labeled with name, date and also a detailed print out of a graph showing the bean and air temperature that had been used to roast the beans. A very nice touch!
We could have ended there and been quite satisfied … but the thrill of doing our own roasting meant we couldn’t leave before giving a custom Bean Brewding developed blend a go! So, we picked out the Guatemalan Antigua ‘Los Volcanoes’, the Brazilian ’Toffee Cerrado’, some Kenyan ‘AA’ Lena and finally some Ethiopian ‘Yirgacheffe’ grade 2 … and then undertook the strangely difficult task of creating desired ratios of each that still added up to 1250 grams total. Now you’d think three grown men wouldn’t have any issue working this out, but as it turned out even to this day, none of us are entirely sure the exact ratios that ended up in the final blend! Maybe we should have had more coffee before we attempted such a task!
We eventually got the scales to show exactly 1250 grams and we repeated the roasting process, except this time we opted for a darker espresso roast so we had something to try in our home espresso machines. Since Ben was the Bean that was doing the scooping and measuring of the beans, the blend became affectionately named as ‘Benny’s Blend’ … which became official when our individual bags of beans came out after cooling with ‘Benny’s Blend’ proudly written across the front! We’ve since had the Benny’s Blend as everything from espresso machine doppios to AeroPress and plunger and we reckon we might be onto a winning combo.
After the coffee roasting extravaganza, we each had one more espresso to finish off what was a surprising and most enjoyable morning. We’ll definitely be making a trip back to The Coffee Roaster sometime soon to try our hand at roasting coffee beans once more, and maybe by popular demand we’ll try our hand at recreating the Benny’s Blend.
Bean Brewding’s Flavour of the Month for October, or more affectionately known as our Flavourites, include:
Rouge Coffee’s Roastery Cafe
The delectable range of cold drip iced coffees provided the perfect anecdote for the hot Spring days this month. Rouge has always been a great place to chill, now you can get chilled coffee!
The Coffee Roaster
How this place has bloomed since our review. We’ve been enjoying a range of delectable single origins as espressos recently but had the opportunity to have our first bean brew through the Bunn Trifecta!
The Single Guys
The Single Guys are a Kenmore stand out, their house blend is outstanding. We have been enjoying their beans on the espresso machine at work. The corridors have been filled with fresh coffee aroma. It’s almost a pleasure to go to work!
Only at The Tiller Coffee at Alderley can you sit in a shipping container and watch trains pass through three mile scrub. Here you can catch the breeze and savour a cold drip coffee on a stinking hot Spring day. A tiller can be a lever used to turn a rudder and steer a boat, clever name given the shipping container. There is a beautiful hand crafted wooden table and bench to sit at in the courtyard which is currently under expansion. This is not just a quaint space for your takeaway coffee, Chris and Charlie provide plenty of coffee options and will soon offer food prepared in-house.
The house blend named ‘Three Mile Scrub’ is referring to the neighbouring Newmarket located three miles from the city. Freshly shipped out of the Wolff Coffee Roasters roastery, Chris says he is privileged to be sending the Wolff to the burbs. Single origins are sourced from local and not so local roasters, so you can guarantee you get something different each time. Plenty of methods being tilled such as espresso, AeroPress, Chemex and homemade cold drip. Chris enjoys coffee experimentation, just ask what he has been up to lately. With Charlie behind the La Marzocco lime green FB/80 you are in good hands. The youthful enthusiasm for coffee reminded us of Two Trees Espresso Bar.
So to the tasting, first up El Salvadorian cold drip to cool off a train station pilgrimage in trousers. On the nose chocolate stood up reminding us of Kahlua. In the mouth caramel and brownish fawn on the Uncle Joe’s colour scale. Shorty’s poured as ristretto’s on the Honduran Ovidio Gomez, one with a stain, one without also cruised to the table. These were sticky sweet and easy drinking, we could have easily had another. We had to move on though and requested the Chemex be warmed up and the house blend be ground up.
The Three Mile Scrub house blend is a quartet of Kenyan, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Guatemalan and Brazilian beans. Served up as a long black we encountered our first ever HWOS (Hot Water On the Side). This way you can add as little or as much water as you like. What a great idea. Charlie says their blend is best as long black, unconventional… we love it. The Yirgacheffe shone through pleasing its consumer.
We watched the bloom as Chris poured over the Chemex, it was lively and showing signs it should be a good one. Another single origin shipped out of the Wolff roastery this was a Sumatran Sidalogan honey processed. Light fruits upfront, dark fruits later on and earthy spice to finish. The earthy spice definitely detectable… and delectable.
Alderley locals made room for the Tiller Coffee and I bet they are glad they did. Specialty coffee in the burbs with a great outlook across the scrub should make anyone happy… if that doesn’t the hospitality will.
We score 8 well shipped beans.
For many working people, Pourboy Espresso in the Brisbane CBD is an easy to access Mecca for their morning coffee. It also provides easy access to Mecca coffee in the heart of Brisbane. For 3 little beans who work out of town, it was an adventure to immerse ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the Brisbane morning rush hour. Thankfully a quick dart up the stairs in Wharf St and there is coffee sanctuary.
It is amazing how the staff at Pourboy seem to take the frenzy in their stride – they seem relaxed and cheerful and more than happy to patiently chat about their coffee with 3 frazzled little beans. Given our recent sampling of the Dark Horse blend at Shucked Coffee House, our visit became a focus on filtered coffee.
What to have? The coffee menu was surprisingly substantial. We thought there was safety in numbers, so we decided to share two tasty treats. The first was a batch brew via the Moccamaster on the Guatemalan don Antonio, roasted by Fifth Battery Coffee Roasters via Brother Espresso. It’s colour was rich and dark and it provided smooth, easy drinking … with one bean impressed by its Toffee-esque flavours.
Next up was a Kenyan Karagoto AA roasted by Mecca and prepared by using the Clever Coffee Dripper. It was a complete contrast to the Guatemalan, both in colour and flavour. It was more a honey colour and the delicate citrus flavours prompted one bean to remark, ‘I haven’t had my grapefruit juice this morning … Until now!’ The coffees couldn’t have been more different. It still amazes us how one commodity can bring so many distinct flavours.
Independently we have enjoyed some wonderful milk based coffees at Pourboy, so it was wonderful to collectively experience their filtered options. So if you’re rushing around the city anywhere near Wharf St, slow your momentum and indulge yourself in delightful coffee with people who have a zest for preparing and serving it. Pourboy Espresso in the Brisbane CBD is another great reason to venture into the heart of Australia’s coffee capital.
We give it 8.5 zesty beans.