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Death Before Decaf

Home > Brisbane > Cafes | Coffee | Takeaway
by Damsel Martin (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer, blogger and animal wrangler living in Brisbane's western suburbs. Many of my stories offer great giveaways to readers - subscribe to hear about them first.
Published April 28th 2014
Brisbane's round-the-clock cafe blasts onto Brunswick Street
death before decaf brunswick street new farm
Death before Decaf is a full immersion experience. Author image.

There's graffiti sprayed over the walls, tattoo art and magazines on the tables, Australian hardcore band Deez Nuts screaming over the sound system, a sugar bowl in the shape of a skull and a baseball bat hanging in full view behind the counter. So if the caffeine at Death Before Decaf isn't enough to give you a jolt, the decor surely will. But it's a good jolt, a welcome jolt, the kind of jolt that makes you glad to be alive.

death before decaf brunswick street new farm
Coffee table art depicting Death Before Decaf's siren song. Author image.
I stumbled into Death Before Decaf early one Sunday morning and despite (or perhaps because of) its in-your-faceness, the place just put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. The latte was full-bodied and fast and decorated with a malevolently-grinning rabbit or cat (I couldn't be sure which, it was all in the ears) by the two high-spirited baristas.

Eschewing the upturned milk crates that served as makeshift footpath stools, I sat inside on the massive leather lounge and watched the procession of customers who came in afterwards. There were clean-cut young professionals from neighbouring New Farm, groups of clubbers lobbing in from Fortitude Valley drinking spots just down the road, a couple in exercise gear with mirror image facial piercings, a handful of guys in their Sunday best suits. Because Death Before Decaf is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it also attracts lots of police, paramedics and others who can be required to work when the rest of us are getting some shut-eye.

death before decaf brunswick street new farm
Oh deer, is that the time? You could lose yourself in here. Author image.

Wedged incongruously between a vet surgery and a hairdressing salon, this badass espresso bar oozes attitude and is a feast for the senses. The proprietors have a wicked sense of humour - perhaps that what softens the sort of vibe some may find intimidating. For example, as I'm rummaging around for loose change, I spot a sign on the counter: 'Fifty cents extra for syrups, chai, choc or wanky milk - soy, zymil, almond etc'. There's also a sign accompanying the baseball bat - but so as not to steal this punchline, that's as much as I'll say for now.

This wild child has a sister outlet in the Bellissimo kiosk in New Farm park. So though Death Before Decaf is indeed the new kid on the block, it has a good pedigree, along with personality and pluck that should carry it through a long and prosperous life.

death before decaf brunswick street new farm
The logo says it all. Author image.
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Why? For heart-starting qualities second to none
When: Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
Where: Shop 3, 760 Brunswick Street, New Farm
Cost: Regular coffee $4; Large coffee $4.50
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