A film student and coffee enthusiast who adores Brisbane almost as much as I love writing about it. <3 Film, coffee, travel and writing.
Published July 9th 2012
Many people may think that all coffee tastes the same and yes, I admit Brisbane has its lot of great coffee, however this makes it all the more easier to spot a bad one out of the line up.
I have explored Racecourse Rd in Ascot on the North side up and down and successfully tried at least one coffee from everywhere that sells it. Here are my ratings of some, so that on your next visit you will know exactly where to go or not go without wasting any time. I know how these addictions can be.
Sweet FA deserves its own feature article (that which it will have soon) because this small coffee nook attached to Vagelis Cafe is my absolute favourite. I am crazy about their self roasted boutique beans that give each beverage its own personality.
Fonzie Abbott is so trendy and relaxing, you can sit there all day and read or write or even chat to the awesome staff. "What's your coffee" is what you will be asked on arrival which is the exact thing I would like to be ask. Being a caffeine-d I take my coffee very seriously and yes I do have my own coffee, it's a skinny flat white with none, thanks for asking.
Tassels - Bitter be careful not to burn the beans.
Oh the potential. I left Tassel's till last with its shiny table settings and fancy looking customers only to walk away with a less than fancy flat white. I hate to say it, but one sip and it was the bin for my depresso espresso. Well it would have been if my good heart didn't keep wanting to give it another chance only to soon find an empty cup in my hand. Okay, look I was desperate and yes the beans were burned, bitter and undrinkable but maybe the barrista was having a bad day or maybe she was sleepy which is understandable, who'd wanna drink their coffee? Unfortunately I don't dare give Tassels another chance on the coffee front (I am in no way disregarding the rest of their menu), but maybe, better luck next time, hey.
68 Racecourse Rd.
Gio's - My kind of Happy Hour.
Gio's is a simple but nice Italian cafe where they use Merlo beans and that's all I have learnt from the menu, need we ever know more? I can't say Gio's coffee was particularly impressionable, but it wasn't too bad either. Merlo is strong but not bitter and certainly helps give you a buzz in the morning.
Now, I would choose a few other places for coffee over Gio's, however the clever bastards have ruined me with their 9-11am Happy Hour where all take away coffees are 15% off. Of course, they are cunning in the fact that most normal people are at work in these hours, but no not me, she who has nothing better to do than judge hot water poured through beans beneath hot milk will head over there for a $2.50 cappuccino because that's my kind of Happy Hour.
1/143 Racecourse Rd.
Thorobread Bakery - Campos, that is all.
It took me a while to head here for a latte, but these guys have mastered the art of fine coffee simply by using the best coffee beans in Brisbane, Campos. Campos is organic and aromatic and the best I have had that wasn't from a boutique roaster like Fonzie Abbott. Of course, it does help that they aren't run off their feet usually and do have the time and dedication to make a delicious crema. So for my pick of the best brand on Racecourse and espresso-ly lovely service I choose Thorobread Bakery .
160 Racecourse Rd.
Lick My Spoon - Doesn't do much for the place's self e-steam.
Lick My Spoon literally just makes it onto Racecourse Road and my list as a coffee destination. I suppose its an alright cafe with "we're cool and individual" band, play and movie posters plastering the walls, artsy reading material and those "trendy" free post cards you see everywhere, but its not really very welcoming. I have only been once and truly hope the food is something memorable because the coffee wasn't. In fact it's so unmemorable that I can't even think what to write of it. I am sure a lovely young lad with the ability to click in a percolator and a steady steaming arm made me a fine latte, although not quite fine enough to need to return and "Lick their Spoon" or whatever it is they need me to do that their dishy can't.
1/160 Racecourse Rd.
The Coffee Club - It's been done, but for those who like to stick with what you know.
The Coffee Club, kind of the McDonalds of coffee places; you always know what you're gonna get so you probably won't be disappointed. So for those who like to go out for a coffee but aren't too picky it's a great choice and usually open late which is convenient. But do me and you a favour and take a step out to try some of those crazy places that specialise in caffeine, don't worry they're not crazy, they're just buzzing.
I had barely even ordered my coffee when the service brightened my day. Zest is a funky cafe with a crazy-cool opening in the wall where you can chill on a stool and wait for your coffee to be handed to you, delicious coffee at that. It's the perfect combination of smooth, creamy milk and mild beans to warm a cool, winter's day in Brisbane. The "zesty" colours of the cups and the epic sizes just bring joy to my life, and right in front of my local supermarket too! Zest is friendly, professional, convenient and never disappoints.
111 Racecourse Rd.
I encourage you all to go and try some place new today or tomorrow and see if you can't find the best coffee in your area. Or if you like, you can roll out of bed and roll up Racecourse for a morning pick-me-up - let me know what you find!