It’s the most watched event on the planet. It’s intense. It’s competitive. And it’s downright un-Australian to miss.
No, not the MasterChef grand final. I’m talking about the Olympic Games. The only problem is the daily dose of live action starts when most of us are still in our flannies.
If, like me, you’ve been staying up ‘til all hours of the morning to watch Team Australia set the latest ‘silver-is-the-new-gold’ fashion trend, then you’ve probably found yourself occasionally snoozing on the job.
So if you lack the long-distance stamina of an Olympic athlete skip the little blue pill and boost your endurance with 10 of Queensland’s best performance-enhancing coffee experiences.
1. Drive-Thru Drip
Drag yourself away from the TV and get a quick caffeine fix at the Di Bella Drive Thru in Brisbane’s Bowen Hills. It’s operated by well-trained baristas who can make a cup of coffee in less than two minutes.
2. Coffee Connoisseur
From clueless drinker to coffee snob, fine-tune your tastebuds with a Merlo Coffee Appreciation Session at one of their five roasting factories across south east Queensland. At each hour-long session, which costs $25, you’ll learn how coffee is grown, sourced, blended and roasted.
3. Bowl of Brew
If there’s one thing better than coffee in a mug, it’s coffee in a bowl. Three Monkeys Coffee and Teahouse in Brisbane’s West End have been supersizing their coffee for more than 15 years and with four shots in every bowl, you’ll even be able to stay awake during the most tedious of Olympic sports (handball anyone?).
4. Cool Runnings
The folk at Dandelion and Driftwood in Hendra are serious about coffee. The café’s single-origin brews and bean-loving baristas have won a swag of awards since opening. For something different try their cold drip coffee – an Asian brewing method where cold water and ice drips into the ground coffee beans for 24 hours, is refrigerated and then served over ice.
5. Conscience Coffee
For coffee with a conscience try Sunshine Coast label Montville Coffee. They use only 100 per cent fair trade organic coffee beans and provide employment for local youth in New Guinea, East Timor, Africa and Indonesia. But you don’t have to travel that far – Montville Coffee is stocked in cafés from Noosaville to as far west as Cunnamulla in Outback Queensland.
6. Top-Shelf Drop(pings)
It takes an Olympic effort to produce Queensland’s most expensive cup of coffee. Visitors to Hervey’s Range Heritage Tea Rooms outside of Townsville can tick one more item off their bucket list by sampling their infamous $50 cup of Kopi Luwak – otherwise known as ‘cat poo coffee’. The Asian Palm Civet – a cat-like creature found in the jungles of Indonesia – passes the coffee berries through its digestive tract to produce the sweet blend.
7. Farm Fresh
Skybury Coffee in Mareeba, an hour west of Cairns, holds the record for Australia’s oldest coffee plantation and is the largest exporter of home-grown coffee. Take a tour or drop in to their coffee centre which sells the beans done every way possible, plus coffee liqueur and chocolate-coated coffee beans, and too-good-to-stop-at-one freshly-baked scones. You may even run into Farmer Mark if you’re lucky.
8. The Works
If the coffee served at Coffee Works doesn’t wake you up, the riot of colour will. Tucked away in the back streets of Mareeba in Tropical North Queensland, Coffee Works dishes up a decathlon of full-bean experiences. There’s a museum of coffee making treasures, a chocolaterie (with beans) and of course, lots of piping-hot brew.
9. Hipster Hideaway
Do as the cool kids do and order a DRPL (Double Ristretto Piccolo Latte) from Caffiend in Cairns. This trendy little café, hidden down a graffiti-laden alleyway off Grafton Street, does more than just quality espresso. It’s also well known for supporting the local arts and music scene and regularly hosts live gigs, as well as one-on-one barista training.
10. Retro Blend
Everything old is new again at The Junction Cafe in Mossman. Coffee comes in mismatching old china with retro spoons, served with local Atherton Tablelands milk. It’s a popular spot with locals and day-trippers on their way to the Mossman Gorge or Cape Tribulation and the Daintree.