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Bonobo Espresso

Home > Adelaide > Art | Breakfast | Cafes | Coffee | Lunch
by Marie Vonow (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer who enjoys exploring Adelaide and nearby regions, usually travelling by public transport. I particularly appreciate street art and other free to view art. I blog at
Published August 9th 2017
The Art of Awesome Coffee
Recently I was walking toward the Adelaide Railway Station, down Bank Street, wondering what the area will look like when the upgrade is finished. Outside Bonobo Espresso I noticed the sign, 'SALA art inside. Plus awesome coffee'. I enjoy looking at art and the promise of awesome coffee was impossible to resist.

sign, coffee
I couldn't resist the promise of art and awesome coffee

I entered Bonobo Espresso and ordered a cappuccino and a piece of toasted banana bread. The owner, Derek Crozier, served me and was quick to mention the banana bread is 30% bananas, baked locally and served spread with organic butter. This made me feel virtuous about eating that delicious banana bread, instead of guilty.

Derek is passionate about coffee

By the way it was awesome coffee, not just an empty promise.
So the next day I returned. Even though I had no need to come into the CBD, I found a reason just so I could return to Bonobo.

Derek remembered I liked a cappuccino, extra hot, but I was intrigued by the idea of a Nutella latte so that's what I ordered.

When a coffee supplier suggested adding Nutella to coffee, Derek had been dubious. However, he experimented with the idea and iced nutella latte proved to be the most popular drink of the summer. I can assure you the hot version hits the spot on a cold winter's day.

Next time I am going to try the Bounty latte, made with coconut milk and said to taste like a Bounty bar, but in a liquid form. If you haven't guessed, Derek likes trying out new flavours, listens to feedback from his customers and pays attention to detail.

latte art, coffee
Latte art adds something special to a cup of coffee

Derek's positive personality and a passion for good coffee were evident as soon as we started conversing. He has an extensive background in the coffee industry, having started out as a barista back in 2001. Derek spent several years as a film producer reporting on barista coffee competitions around Australia and did cafe reviews for the Adelaide Review.

Other ventures included manning a coffee van called Combi Coffee, which did the rounds to various events such as WOMADelaide, and advising folk setting up cafes and training their staff. With these varied experiences in the coffee industry behind him, Derek opened his own cafe in 2016.

Bonobo Espresso opens at 7am Monday to Friday so city workers can grab their favourite hot drink and perhaps breakfast on the go as they head off to work. As well as a variety of hot and cold drinks, there are breakfast foods, packaged lunches, snacks and cakes available.

cold drinks, snacks, refrigerated unit
A selection of bottled drinks, snacks and light meals are available

There are a couple of tables so you can sit and sip your coffee or other hot beverage if you are not in a rush. I noticed there were magazines to read but I would recommend chatting to Derek instead.

bonobo chimpanzee, cafe
I enjoyed relaxing as I drank my coffee at one of the tables

Wherever possible Derek stocks local produce, supporting companies such as Fleurieu Milk Company, Balance Bodies, Goodies and Grains, Moo Yoghurt and Flinders Street Project. He uses Kommon Grounds coffee which is roasted and ground at McLaren Vale.

Derek offers soy, almond and coconut milk as alternatives for customers who have allergies or just don't like the taste of dairy. There are also gluten free and vegan products available.

milk varieties
There are several alternatives for those who want to avoid lactose

Derek is mindful of the environment, using fully biodegradable cups for his takeaway beverages. These cups break down completely in compost in three months or less.

Until the end of August, as part of SALA, artwork by Yana Lehey is on display. The exhibition is called, 'Meet the Locals.' Yana is a talented local artist who sometimes works at Bonobo. What makes Yana's artwork different is that her paintings are created with espresso coffee, so it's very appropriate to have this art displayed in a cafe.

As I understand it, the process is to get a double shot of espresso, allow some evaporation to occur so the product thickens and then paint with it.

art display
Artwork created using espresso coffee

Some of the artwork is of creatures found living in regions where coffee is grown.

artwork painted using espresso coffee
Espresso painting of an animal found in a coffee growing area

Other pieces were inspired by the motifs seen adorning the surface of a cup of awesome coffee.

fern, espresso art
Some of the artwork features motifs used in latte art

If you are looking for an unusual present or a treat for yourself, consider the earrings and cufflinks featuring Yana's artwork.

cufflinks, espresso art
Check out the unique cufflinks for sale

If you are on your way to work and need a takeaway caffeine fix, pop into Bonobo Espresso. Alternatively, next time you are in Bank Street and feel like sitting down for a great coffee and something light to eat, visit Bonobo Espresso. I would recommend starting a conversation with Derek to brighten your day. If you are curious about the name, 'Bonobo' and the mural of a chimpanzee drinking coffee, Derek will be happy to give you some background. Also, if you have questions about coffee, just ask. Derek knows coffee and is able to describe the characteristics of a particular blend the way a wine connoisseur talks about a fine wine.

Bonobo Espresso is all about great customer service, connecting with people, using local products and awesome coffee.

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Why? Awesome coffee and great customer service
When: Mon to Fri 7am to 4pm
Phone: 0478 807 916
Where: 16 Bank Street, Adelaide
Cost: standard
Your Comment
Interesting article - the Bounty Latte sounds delicious, I'll have to try it!
by Reductio ad absurdum (score: 2|225) 1290 days ago
Bank St. will become a popular "lane" for food/coffee enthusiasts ,once the upgrade is completed.It has always carried a lot of foot traffic,being on the way to the oval ,Festival Th. and Railway Stn. etc.I look forward to calling in for a beverage and a perhaps some fruit loaf with butter ,if they have it.Excellent article!
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 1290 days ago
great article Marie
by May Cross (score: 3|7796) 1294 days ago
I will have to stop walking through the station arcade all the way to Hindley St and take a detour.
by Justc (score: 2|139) 1290 days ago
Yes!!! indeed a great place and totally agree coversation with Derek will take over magazines and newspaper.
All stars for the place.....
by priya (score: 0|2) 1292 days ago
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