Grown, West End, Queensland © Savannah van der Niet
Brisbane’s best coffee shops
Take a wander through city streets, trendy laneways and leafy neighbourhoods to discover some of Brisbane’s best coffee shops.
By Carolyn Beasley
Although later to the caffeine party, Brisbane’s coffee scene is booming, and the city now supports a thriving café culture to rival Melbourne and Sydney. Here are some of our favourites to wake you up and power you through the balmy Queensland days.
Where: 40 Fox Street, Albion
Fonzie Abbott is a coffee wholesaler, sourcing beans directly from farmers and roasting onsite in the inner-northeastern suburb of Albion. Pull up a café chair in the factory where it all happens to sample the rotating signature blends of Highside, Drifter and Boxer, or try their selection of single origin coffees with the all-day breakfast. Under the same roof, you’ll find the Fonzie Abbott Brewery and Wishbone Spirits Distillery, and the venue opens into the evening with heartier options like burgers and woodfired pizza.
Black Sheep Coffee
Where: 109 Norman Street, Woolloongabba
Here, in the industrial estate of Woolloongabba, (not far from famous cricket ground The Gabba), you can drink your coffee where it’s roasted and almost taste the passion. Selling beans to some of the best Brisbane cafés, Black Sheep is also a café. Sustainably and ethically produced green coffee beans are sourced from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ecuador and more. Drop in to the shop to buy some beans or Black Sheep merchandise as a souvenir.
The Maillard Project
Where: 119 Charlotte Street, Brisbane
Created by the coffee aficionados at Coffee Anthology, the Maillard Project allows die-hard coffee fans to learn barista skills for themselves. Have a go at roasting, making espresso, or cupping with the experts. Or just sit back and enjoy a coffee with tasty specials like the kimchi pancake loaded with beef bulgogi and poached eggs.
Where: 160 Mary Street, Brisbane
A secretive hole-in the wall under some fire stairs, this tiny café is accessed through a laneway off Mary Street. Take a seat on the tiny deck at Anytime and try the house blend, Coffee Supremes’ Five Star Day, or one of the rotating single origins. Batch brew created in their Fetco coffee brewer is also a highlight, especially paired with a selection of artisan bakery goodies.
Where: 215 Montague Road, Brisbane
In the eclectic West End, the pastel pink interior (even the ceiling) creates a wow-factor on arrival at Superthing, and there’s plenty of retro ambience to absorb while drinking your Padre coffee. If croissants are your super-thing, this is your super-place, with scrumptious varieties baked onsite daily.
Where: Shop G3, 21 Buchanan Street, Brisbane
Sustainability is front and centre at Grown, with an emphasis on ethically sourced produce. Their locally roasted coffee is by Dramanti Artisan Roaster and filter coffee offerings showcase other local roasters. The menu is plant-based, mostly from several local producers. The café closes the loop on food, with all food waste composted back at the farms.
John Mills Himself
Where: 40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane
Situated in the heritage-listed ‘John Mills Himself’ building, this café-cum-evening bar features exposed brick walls and a tiled floor, in a nod to the building’s history as a print hall. It may be a little hidden, but if you head down the driveway from Elizabeth Street, you’ll find some of the most serious coffee people in town. Two coffee grinders here churn out the house blend (Five Senses Dark Horse) and rotating feature coffees including Small Batch and Parallel Coffee Roasters.
Where: 126 Margaret Street, Brisbane
Right in the city, Coffee Anthology is a stalwart of coffee excellence for curious caffeinators. The espresso menu features diverse beans (like Disciple Coffee Hustlers’ Ethiopian from Idido village) and periodically changes, along with cold drip and brew coffee. Breakfast is available and home-baked specials rotate daily. If you’re lucky, you might encounter the mochi and raspberry nama roti bun, oozing with white chocolate raspberry ganache.
Campos Coffee Long Island
Where: Gasworks Plaza, 76 Skyring Terrace, Newstead
For ethically produced coffee, head over to Campos flagship store in Newstead. Campos is founded on trading directly with farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda and Equador. The company invests in improving the lives of whole communities, through building schools, funding heart surgery and supporting farmers. Try the rotating featured brews and buy some beans to take home.