Where to get the best coffee in Brisbane
Take it from someone who walks past not just one, but seven other coffee shops to get her perfect cup of joe every day – because a person’s relationship with their barista is so much more than just transactional.
It’s as scientific as the farming, processing, roasting and grinding process that goes behind each cup of coffee. And that’s because one does not simply leave their first sip of the nectar-of-the-gods to chance, do they?
You need e-Harmony for Brisbane’s best coffee, which is why we’re spilling the beans on our top picks for beaut brew experiences around the River City.
Go on, give ‘em a (double) shot.
1. Blackstar, West End and Brisbane City
The little coffee-cart that once served up cold-pressed brews at the Davies Park Markets has grown up and graduated into a chain of grungy brewing houses, roasting some of Brisbane’s best beans. Their brews are 100% hot, delicious and fair-trade organic, so your heart-starter comes with a shot of do-gooder.
From their flagship West End cafe, “Thomas St”, you can expect vintage-style furniture, music and crockery that ooze eclectic charm. In the city, they kick things up a notch at Contessa, which is so enviably trendy you’ll feel cool just sipping the black stuff from this hole-in-the-wall.
2. Bunker, Milton
Nestled in the inner-city sanctum of Milton, Bunker lures passing coffee-addicts with the promise of coffee served out of a converted WWII air-raid hideout. Sitting pretty just near Milton train station, this is the perfect pit-stop to bunker down for your daily dose of liquid gold.
More than just a morning pick-me-up spot, their cake cabinet is stocked daily with a selection of tasty morsels from local baker, Alphabet Cafe. Pair a pastry with coffee, and you might have to pinch yourself to check you’re not in Paris.
3. Di Bella Roasting Warehouse, Bowen Hills
Don’t just drink the coffee, dig deep into its roots with a crop-to-cup tour at Di Bella Coffee, Bowen Hills. After all, coffee tastes all the more sweeter when you know where it comes from. Di Bella ensures their beans are grown ethically and sustainably, sourcing them directly from growers around the world.
When you do get stuck into their coffee, Di Bella’s award-winning blends take your taste buds on a totally unique journey through the use of oriental spices or rich caramel and hazelnut flavours. Or, for the health-conscious, the ‘Organic’ blend is an all-natural coffee that’s made without chemicals or pesticides. We’ll take a refill!
4. John Mills Himself, Brisbane City
Cafe by day, bar by night, John Mills Himself is the Batman of the coffee world, with an alter ego that comes out after dark. I mean, where else can you pick up a cappuccino on your journey to the office and a cocktail on your way home?
Set within a foyer of exposed brick, the line of corporates that always winds out the door is evidence enough that the high-tech Hario V-60 filter is a good way to start your day.
More than just coffee specialists, they are hot chocolate aficionados and we recommend treating yo’self to one of their 70% dark, dairy milk, or white hot chocolates and, for the adventurous – one infused with chilli or lemon myrtle.
5. Fonzie Abbott, Albion and Brisbane Airport
Sweet FA takes on a different meaning at this beacon for why Brisbane brews beans best. What started as a boutique espresso bistro in Hamilton is now part of the two-fold Fonzie Abbott spread that spans Albion and Brisbane Airport, with stockists of FA pouring all over the state. Quick expansion hasn’t stopped these coffee specialists from staying grounded though.
Their three signature blends – Highside, The Boxer and The Drifter – are still found on the menu and the food is simple and scrumptious – think brekkie wraps, ham and cheese croissants and chocolate brownies. Their imported beans will stamp your espresso passport with a range of international tastes – all roasted on site, while you lounge on the recycled furniture that fills their cafe’s interior.
6. QRoasters, Stafford
The clue is in the Q(ueensland) when it comes to this holy grail of coffee and speaks to the local charm that comes with your cuppa at the northside brewhouse. Their brew is organic and fair trade, dishing up a range of international blends worthy of a very large blackboard menu.
Located in the backstreets of Stafford, what this warehouse lacks in street appeal it makes up with serious coffee culture inside. You’ll find the likes of house-baked bagels and sourdough sandwiches on the menu if you’re looking for a side of food too.
You could put your return visit down to deja-brew, but a better guess is that you’ll be hooked on this roaster’s fruity flavours.
7. Coffee Supreme, Woolloongabba
Coffee Supreme’s squeaky-clean minimalist interiors are a stark departure from the trendy hipster/alternative/Triple-J-playing/Birkenstock-loving cafes that dominate much of the Brisbane coffee scene. And in minimalism, we trust.
Tucked away in a corner of Woolloongabba, coffee is the hero of this cafe, which has a food menu that happily plays a supporting role. Think: loaded croissants and toasties, and delicious baked goods that dominate their counter daily.
All staff happily give you the 411 on the flavours composing your cuppa – with each coffee coming with a one-pager of tasting notes that will set the 2000-odd taste buds on your tongue alight.
8. Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, Rainworth and Albion
If you’re feeling despresso with a latte going on (boom-tish!), Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters promise love at first sip. Just like a double shot, they pour out of two premises: Rainworth and Albion, ensuring the north-western suburbs of Brisbane both know their neighbours.
Their house brew, labelled the Store Keeper’s blend, makes this coffee shop worthy of more than just a quick caffeine catch-up. In fact, you won’t just find the typical latte or flat white on the menu here – you can tour your taste buds with floral aromas and hints of melon.
The Albion roastery keeps the breakfast and lunch menu simple with house-made banana bread, Reuben sandwich or vegan sandwich with mushroom and eggplant; while Rainworth General serves up a rotating specials menu. Either way, there are more tasty options than The Bachelor has single ladies to choose from at these cafes.