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Merlo Torrefazione, Fortitude Valley

Home > Brisbane > Breakfast | Cafes | Food and Wine | Lunch
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published April 14th 2016
Merlo returns to 20 years ago, in the Valley
Merlo is Brisbane's most popular coffee brand and is found in coffee shops across the region. Merlo has brought more than just good coffee to Queensland, they actually brought coffee culture here. To celebrate 20 years of roasting coffee in Brisbane they have returned to where it all started, and opened a coffee shop in Fortitude Valley.

Merlo Coffee in Fortitude Valley
Merlo Coffee in Fortitude Valley


Merlo brought in Queensland's first espresso machine along with their own coffee roaster, which can be seen at the Fortitude Valley Cafe. There was much more to it that just convincing Queenslanders' to drink great coffee, they also had to fight government regulation to introduce Italian style sidewalk dining. Next time you are enjoying a coffee or a meal al fresco, you know who to thank.

Merlo's original roasting machine
Merlo's original roasting machine


At the official launch of the new coffee shop on the corner of James and McLachlan Streets in the valley I was able to learn some more of the stories behind Merlo. They innovated to put coffee shops on the ground floor of office buildings, something today we wouldn't know how to live without. I also talked to Alan, a long-time coffee drinker, who remembered 20 years ago swimming at the Valley pool while being teased by the smell of Merlo coffee drifting out over the waters.

Celebrating 20 years of roasting in Brisbane
Celebrating 20 years of roasting in Brisbane


The new coffee shop is a combination trattoria (Italian for coffee shop), training centre, museum, art gallery and showpiece for Merlo. The walls of the cafe are decorated with a range of coffee memorabilia and they have their coffee roasting machine out in the open for you to see and smell the beans being roasted.

Decorations at the new Merlo Cafe
Decorations at the new Merlo Cafe


You can also pick up a range of gifts from the coffee shop, including coffee, tea, cups and other coffee related products.

Products for sale at Merlo Coffee
Products for sale at Merlo Coffee


They even have espresso machines for sale. Many people are losing the art of coffee making as those automatic coffee machines take over, but there is still a lot of interest in the art of coffee making.

Coffee Machines at Merlo Coffee
Coffee Machines at Merlo Coffee


For Merlo in the end it is all about the bean and great traditional coffee. They are less interested in competing against places like Starbucks that hide the coffee aroma under cream and flavours. Merlo, for many people I have talked to, is where you go for a great cup of coffee.

Beans being roasted
Beans being roasted


Don't forget the the coffee appreciate classes every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:30 am. Sure it is early in the morning, but there will be coffee to wake you up.
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*Roy Chambers was invited as a guest
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When: Monday to Friday 6 am - 5:30 pm, Sat 8 am - 5 pm.
Phone: 07 3257 0465
Where: Fortitude Valley Torrefazione 104 McLachlan Street Fortitude Valley
Your Comment
A small correction:
Trattoria is an italian cafe/restaurant - mostly fairly informal in style.
Most coffee in Italy is drunk in bars.
by david (score: 1|31) 1154 days ago
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