Rewind to a few years ago and coffee in Brisbane literally blew hard and did not live up to the “aura” of Australian coffee. In fact rewind to about 6 months ago and the same was true. While Melbourne and Sydney have always had an established coffee culture, Brisbane standard of quality was way behind the leaders and was mediocre at best. Now things have changed. Upstart little boutique roasteries have started to appear, and there is also diversity in choice of coffee (a la direct-trade models) and diversity in equipment used. Now Bris is catching up and pushing it just like Perth and Adelaide.
Buzz has been hot on a few places (kinda like NSA buzz on jihadist movements) and today I had a chance to visit two of them.
One Drop in Fortitude Valley
Espresso: House Blend
Machine: La Marzocco FB 70
Tasting notes: Bright fruit, _???_
Description: This was pulled very Australian. Double ristretto, huge syrupy body. However I believe this was a bit detrimental to the overall experience because the origin was muddled and hard to identify. There was also dark streaks on the crema which probably translated to astringency in the cup. I mean it wasn’t a terrible shot and I kinda found the syrupy body quite pleasing. However it did not quite live up to the fanfare brought on by our handy NSA phone taps.
Chic Espresso in Spring Hill
Espresso: SO Brazil something something from Five Senses
Machine: Synesso Something (like many a Synesso I’ve seen in Oz, it has not paddle activators but rather volumetric buttons)
Grinder: Mazzer of some sort
Tasting notes: Unroasted almond with some funk, kumquat finish
Description: The espresso was made more like what goes down in the 403. More approachable, balanced and lets you taste some origin. Now this espresso wasn’t really amazing but I think I was able to taste it for what it was (one word: mediocre). Probably want to drown this guy out in some milk but at least I got a fair representation untainted by preparation inadequacies.
Summary of the crawl: Maybe I’m a dick. I started off the post with “Brisbane has finally caught up in coffee!!! HOORAY!” and then my reviews ripped it all apart. However the real take home message is that coffee culture is changing here and probably for the better. People are challenging whats already here and looking for something different, better. Today was good, not JIMP good but good. The selection of better than average coffee pwns Calgary (and at least you can do a decent coffee crawl here).
Happy drinking and hopefully more posts to come.