Bean Brewding’s Flavour of the Month for February, or more affectionately known as our Flavourites, include:
It’s uncanny how sometimes you get drawn to a coffee shop multiple times without intending to do so. Two Trees turned out to be a coffee magnet for one bean this month. The Odyssey Project coffee was beautifully delivered each visit – black, white and filtered. Wonderful service … great vibe. A truly delightful place for delicious coffee!
One Bean sadly has to farewell U&I as it’s workplace local. So a visit was a must to bring back great memories. Sacha had a single origin Colombian on offer and as always did not disappoint. Doppios and schlongs brought out the best in the bean. Thanks again Sacha for the conversations and relaxing coffee treats.
The third bean had a two-hour hair salon photo shoot in Racecourse Road early in the morning—after playing a late night music gig the night before—so a post-shoot visit to Fonzie Abbott just about made this little bean’s month. Simultaneously ordering a latte AND a long macchiato—assumably both on the house blend—this was a most enjoyable saving grace to counteract the ridiculously busy start to the weekend. The coffees were nice and strong and very tasty. Thanks guys!
Heading towards Bear Bones Espresso in Fortitude Valley it was a serious case of déjà vu … their sandwich board was in the exact position where Commodity Cafe once stood. One roller door down provided one more Brisbane coffee experience. The light industrial environment was right up our alley, which is the feel you get as you walk past the spray painted artwork and black walls. At the end of the ‘alley’ is a vast expanse where the green beans and Probat roaster lie in wait.
Bear Bones roast their own House blend which is a pretty even mix of Kenyan, Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Costa Rican beans. It’s early days and Kurtis said, ‘we’re still tweaking it a bit and we have plans for single origins and specialty coffees in the future.’
When we asked for a shlong, one brekky diner nearly dropped her avocado smash on toast when she heard the order. ‘Is that the same as a long black, low tide? I just want to make sure we’re talking the same language’, Kurtis inquired. Upon confirmation, the double ristretto shlong arrived with a latte and a long macchiato.
The house blend is suited to milk and the Maleny milk definitely brings out the chocolate in the white coffees. You can definitely get a hint of fruitiness from the blend in black. After a self-guided tour around the premises, we were keen for the comfort of more caffeine.
Our second round included a long macch, a long black and a piccolo. We sipped and mused about the vibe we got on our first visit to Rouge Coffee and how we sensed a bright future then, as we did now.
Although Bear Bones might seem a bit bare-boned at the moment, there is a sense that the Bear will blossom. Keep your eye out on the Bear Bones progression! Finally, another half-way house between the coffee delights of Brunswick and Wandoo-ful streets. If you’re after a comforting coffee, take the journey down McLachlan street to Bear Bones Espresso in Fortitude Valley … It could be right up your alley!
We score 7.5 bright beans.
Underneath a new set of units overlooking Musgrave Park you will find Merriweather in South Brisbane. Part-owned by the man behind Cup Coffee, part-owned by Mairi MacKinnon you may think Merriweather is the original Cup Cafe all grown up. The other end of Russell Street is West End bohemian, the Merriweather end is not. The interior is suited to the stylish young crowds you will find gathered here along with the Kees van der Westen Spirit Triplette.
One thing you can guarantee is if Cup Coffee is in the hopper then you are in for a special coffee. The House blend is specially roasted for Merriweather, today we had the seasonal Five Star Day blend. At the moment it consists of 50% Ethiopia Wote and 50% Costa Rica Principe Azul. Latte Lad started with his namesake and found the latte to be quite subtle and smooth in flavour, yet without tasting weak—quite an interesting combination of qualities. The single origin on offer was an organic Bolivian Eight Estrellas from farms in Colonia San Juan. We had one long macchiato and one long black. The long macc was smooth and delicate … It was difficult to detect a stand out flavour. The long black made it easier to detect a candy sweetness, bringing the colour red to mind. The barista did justice to the bean and presented really good coffees.
We decided to taste the local fayre, something we have only done once before at Shucked. The food menu has recently been expanded to include more range and high quality ingredients… think duck ham with baby kale. No we are not becoming food bloggers. The wait staff are super attentive with food and coffee delivered fast and fresh. Credit to Mairi for a smoothly run cafe.
Second round of coffees brought Latte Lad a long macc, becoming somewhat of a routine for him. With our host sensing our love for filtered coffee she suggested we order the cold filtered brew.
It arrived in small medicine bottles and was a beautiful brown unlike any other bottled cold brew we had seen. The bottle was labelled identifying the single origin of the coffee. Through Twitter @CupCoffee told us the Kenyan Kangocho AA was brewed hot using the pour over filter method and then chilled and bottled. This was a real winner for the purists, it has no additives and enables the coffee to convey a clean sweet profile by itself. Stay on the look out for a greater range coming soon.
So if you love Cup Coffee and want to see a cafe grow up from one end of Russell Street to the other you should visit Merriweather in South Brisbane.
We give 8 ‘all grown up’ beans.
We had a tip off on Twitter about Contessa by Blackstar in the Brisbane CBD and added it straight on our Coffee Shop Target List as a must visit. There had been lots of action on social media about the new venue but nothing quite prepared us for the unique slice of West End funk in the city.
Somehow the ‘vibe’ of the original Blackstar cafe permeates its younger city dwelling sibling. The A4 photocopy wallpaper, furniture on wheels, projected menu, subdued lighting provides the new ‘funk’ with the familiar links, plus roasted beans in brown paper and bottled iced coffee … not in a fridge but in ice buckets … so cool!
The friendly staff perch behind one of the two Synesso coffee machines waiting to greet you and prepare your coffee. One Synesso is primed to deliver ‘the Rev‘, the other to deliver the single origin through naked filters. The Single on offer was a Nicaraguan Maragogype — the beans were so big they nearly popped out of the hopper.
Latte Lad went straight for his flavourite starter on the Rev. He devoured his latte and was impressed by the full body. It was a long macch and a shlong on the single. A feverish discussion about the shlong, the long shot or the long black – low tide ensued. Donald was keen to take on the shlong and delivered it as a double ristretto. There was a definite colour profile of orange from the shlong and the milk in the macchiato showcased the malty flavour.
Don’t be seduced by the funky surrounds, these guys are meticulous with their coffee preparation—weighing everything and Jade roasting to a profile that best suits the beans and the machines. We blended in with the crowd on the footpath as they buzzed past. If you’re looking for a more subdued experience there is a secluded area beyond the Contessa nerve centre.
It was almost same coffees again for round two, the latte was replaced by a long black and the other original choices were the same, just consumed by other beans! The opportunity to compare notes reignited the conversation. One of our keen followers went to Contessa just after our visit and said, ‘I’ll definitely go back there!’ So if you’re looking for a slice of West End in the city, get yourself to Contessa by Blackstar in the Brisbane CBD … you’ll be glad you did!
We give it 8 funky beans.
Bean Brewding’s Flavour of the Month for January, or more affectionately known as our Flavourites, include:
Well with UJ’s Coffee House closing down, it’s no surprise it was a regular haunt in recent times. Had to get that last hit of sublime coffee from the source … before it disappeared! All is not lost, a new coffee shop with close ties is popping up close by – stay tuned!!! In the meantime some amazing beans to enjoy at home.
Whether buying beans or sitting down for a coffee Mario at Esprosini is a wonderful host. Mario will give you a coffee while selecting your beans to ensure you are satisfied with your purchase. Mocha mate made an appearance and gave the thumbs up to the mocha suited to their ‘Out of Africa’ blend.
One Bean keeps finding excuses to visit this North-side gem … so much so now even his Mrs Bean is doing the same! On their last visit (which was just before the Australia Day long weekend) they had chilli bacon brioche for brunch, two coffees, and left for the coast with a six-pack of cold press, plus 1kg of the Rusty Musket Blend beans!
If you’re flying solo to taste the locally roasted coffee at Solo Espresso in Nundah, the train is the easiest option … unless you’re a Nundah resident navigating the back street labyrinth can be tricky! Of course don’t get off at Nundah train station … whoa that was a lucky check of maps … you alight at Toombul! Enough of the Indiana Jones, Solo Espresso smacks of a corner store, now coffee shop that is light and airy with artistic decor melding. Say what? Yes, decor melding … one bean’s description of the ‘flow’ of the contemporary decor! Too much talk, not enough coffee.
Whatever you think of the decor, we found Solo was a place we could easily chill and reminded us of a modernised CoffeeGuy. We had a chat with the owner/barista/roaster and consulted the coffee menu to decide on our maiden voyage of Solo beans roasted in the on-site 2 kilo electric roaster. There were two blends on offer: the Wild South Blend (Yirgacheffe Chelba, Sidamo Korate, and Guatemala Plan Del Guayabo) and the Fiery Central Blend (Brazil Serra Eleite, Costa Rica Liano Bonito, and Kenya Mukurwe) plus a Guatemalan Plan Del Guayabo single origin.
3 options – 3 Beans – 3 selections: long macch on the Central, latte on Fiery and AeroPress on Guatemalan. The milk based drinks were velvety and flavoursome, the Guatemalan was flat on the nose, drinkable but had no wow factor. Not to be deterred the black bean of our collective tried the Guatemalan again, this time as a self-created ‘Shlong’ or short/long.
For some reason when we ask for a shlong, it’s closely followed by polite weird looks. With directions darting everywhere, the first solo attempt of the shlong at the La Marzocco machine took flight and delivered a much brighter aroma and more delightful experience for the palate. Latte lad backed up for long macch on the Fiery to round out the second course … with the long macchiato being particularly flavoursome with sweet notes both at the start and also in the aftertaste.
The people at Solo Espresso are truly focussed on the locals and strive to meet their coffee needs. We’ve found a number of suburban coffee roasters have that ‘local’ view … Octane Coffee Co. springs to mind. We were joined by a Bean Brewding Coffee tourist, who was toying with the thought of making Solo Espresso his regular half way house on his afternoon trip back to the Peninsula.
The pièce de résistance of the visit were the parting cold drip iced coffees on the Central blend. This was off the radar when making earlier selections. What a way to finish the day … a real highlight, delivering delicate chocolate and berry flavours. So whether you’re flying solo or meeting up with friends, channel a local and enjoy the trip to Solo Espresso in Nundah.
7.5 Melded beans
With iced coffee proving a big hit in the heat, it seemed the next logical question was, ‘what about coffee iceblocks?’ After making home-made cold brewed and sparkling spiced iced coffees, it was time to break out the ice cube tray! ‘Are you serious?’ replied the eye-rolling Mrs Brewder. Mmmm … make ice blocks out of the coffee concentrate and use in iced coffees – both black and white. The idea being, that instead of watering the coffee down with standard ice blocks, the coffee ice blocks would continue to provide slow release coffee … a new take on a double shot!
But surely the coffee ice blocks would be cool in lots of summer drinks! Sitting down one evening to enjoy an Affogato with Frangelico – a caffeine induced epiphany! ‘What about coffee ice blocks in a healthy slug of my favourite liqueur?’ But wait there’s more … the mind was racing! Frangelico, lime juice and ice makes an amazing cocktail … a Romano (a double espresso with a twist of lemon) has provided some amazing taste sensations in the past … I can feel a new coffee cocktail coming on! Caffeinate and Intoxicate … what a double!!
After a little playing around the FA Brewder was born!
The FA stands for ‘freaking awesome’ … apparently one Bean Brewder uses that term heaps, when describing coffee experiences! Essentially it is Frangelico, coffee ice cubes and lemon juice! You might need to play around with amounts to suit your palette. Use the recipe below as a starting point.
Add 6-8 brewed coffee ice blocks to chilled glass
Pour over 1-2 nips Frangelico
Squeeze in juice of 1/4 lemon
Add a lemon wedge
Wait until the liqueur turns chocolatey in colour
Sip & Savour
If you try it, please let us know what you think … either by Twitter or commenting on this post. So if someone asks you, ‘what about about coffee iceblocks?’ … be prepared and have some in your freezer this summer!