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Who does Canberra’s best coffee?

By HerCanberra - 12 May 2011 74

coffee

Whether it’s your morning pick-me-up, social lubricant, or lifelong passion, few things are more evocative than coffee. And as the Canberra days turn colder, the city’s cafés will see a growing flock of people come through their doors in search of a warming espresso beverage. Luckily for Canberrans, there’s no better time than now to find a great coffee and café experience in our city.

Two years ago, Tim Riley created Decaf Sucks, along with the rest of the caffeine-loving crowd at Icelab, as a place for them all to record their coffee drinking journeys. It has since become a vibrant and considerably useful resource for location-based café and coffee reviews. It is a place for all Canberra caffiends to help each other find the good coffee and avoid the bad.

Since it is homegrown here in Canberra, it also has the internet’s best coverage of cafés in our city, with 66 people having contributed over 335 reviews for 174 different cafés. Today, let’s take a tour of some of Canberra’s standout cafés, based on the opinions of the Decaf Sucks reviewers.

The hottest café in Canberra right now would have to be Lonsdale Street Roasters in Braddon. They’ve hit on a mix of great in-house roasted coffee, simple and well made food from a wood oven, and an always-bustling friendly atmosphere. Heading into Civic, we have Bean in the City, a hole in the wall that is big on coffee, as well as selling the best portuguese tarts in the city. Over in the west of the city, head into Harvest (the newest member of the Kingston GrindGroup 7 and Tonicfamily) and give one of their syphon or cold press coffees a try.

If you’re in the south of the city, be sure to try Lava in Weston, for what could be the best coffee south of the lake. Or if you’re after a meal and a place to hang out a while, head to A Bite To Eat, A Drink As Well, where you can enjoy the expansive space filled with raw brick, comfy lounges and 1970s-kitsch furniture, or soak up the sun in the courtyard out the back. It’s also a good place for a beer if your visit lingers into the afternoon.

You needn’t despair if you ever find yourself hankering for a caffeine hit in Fyshwick, since you can just head to Ona Coffee on Wollongong St, where they are serious about good coffee. Heading back north, the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets offers a couple of good coffee options among the fruit and veg, in Beppe’s Tuscan Kitchen and As Nature Intended.

Finally, there’s no dearth of decent coffee if you’re heading for a drive outside Canberra. Try Cork Street Gallery Cafe in Gundaroo for a rustic outdoor dining area, where you can enjoy some delicious pizza with your coffee. In Bungendore, The Provincial Pantry has received much high praise from the Decaf Sucks reviewers, and The Albion in Braidwood looks to be the pick of a town that is already bursting with tasty food and drink options.

While that should certainly keep you busy for a while, we’ve only just scratched the surface. There’s plenty of other good coffee to discover in Canberra, and Decaf Sucks can help you do it. Visit the site in your desktop browser and you can enter a location to see all the reviews for cafés in that area. If you’re out and about, visit Decaf Sucks on your iPhone for an optimised experience that can show you the cafés around your precise location.

Tim and the lads from Icelab made Decaf Sucks as simple as possible for people to contribute, and are keen to get more people writing some reviews. All you need is an opinion to share and a star rating, nothing more. Better still, logging in is easy through connecting your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Your reviews will not only serve as a handy coffee diary, but also could be instrumental in helping introduce other people to fantastic new café experiences, whether in Canberra or further afield.

For all those times when you’re happy to stay at home, Decaf Sucks can also help you to drink great coffee. Last year they launched their coffee bean subscription service:Dispatch, from Decaf Sucks. They’ve teamed up with the Lonsdale Street Roasters to deliver a fresh and tasty bag of coffee beans to your door every month. They introduce different beans every month, making Dispatch a great way to discover new coffee flavours. It’s an easy way to keep your cupboard stocked with fresh beans, and also makes for excellent gift idea. Check it out.

Do you agree with Decaf Sucks’ top drops? Who do you think makes the best coffee in the Capital region?

First published on HerCanberra.

What’s Your opinion?


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74 Responses to
Who does Canberra’s best coffee?
31
boneymaloney 12:17 pm
13 May 11
#

dpm said :

You don’t like black coffee? Then you don’t really like coffee at all – you actually like coffee-flavoured milk…

This is the old “nothing but ice in my scotch” argument. Fine, next time I get a coffee (or a scotch) I’ll get it neat and see how we go.

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32
Diggety 12:27 pm
13 May 11
#

Russ said :

The only way to judge how good a coffee shop is by a straight single shot espresso (short black) – it’s the base of all other coffee drinks with nothing to hide or dilute the flavour. I’ve been to many coffee places that people claim make the “best coffee” only to be served a short black that is bitter dishwater.

+1 esp. for judging good coffee!

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33
Ferarri 12:33 pm
13 May 11
#

1. Coffee Guru Gungahlin
2. Octane in Lonsdale Street Civic
3. Home Roast made by Mick Motion- Wise T/ As Arabica Magic

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34
Gungahlin Al 12:55 pm
13 May 11
#

georgesgenitals said :

I’ve got two words for you: International Roast.

Gag choke gasp. Coffee my lilly white bottom. Sweeping off the coconut factory floor, more like.

EvanJames said :

This is off the beaten track, but the best and most consistently good coffee I’ve found in the region is from a plant nursery in Pialligo. Serious.

There’s an asian guy at a nursery called Silver Hills, just up from Stonehenge, who makes really, really good coffee. Just coffee, they usually have a cake or two in a case, and that’s it.

They got a mention in that occasional coffee column in the Canberra Times Food supplement, too.

So I have heard from others.

Personally I find it hard to go by the cappucino I pump out of my 14yo home espresso machine every morning. And the price is to die for.

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35
KaptnKaos 1:00 pm
13 May 11
#

1. Enter Cafe – better coffee than the recycled drainwater served at Harvest around the corner (sorry OP) and staff are firendly and not as rude as Harvest either.
2. +1 for Bean in the City hole in the wall – don’t need any flashy cafe or location to make great coffee.

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36
EvanJames 1:06 pm
13 May 11
#

I heard somewhere that they invented Instant Coffee during the war, it was called Coffee Substitute and made from things like chicory root and dandelion root.

was a time, not long ago here in Aus where coffee meant Instant Coffee. Real coffee was Special and a rare treat.

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37
lumpy 1:24 pm
13 May 11
#

Personally, I love Cosmorex Coffee!

Silo in Kingston does a great brew with this coffee.

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38
LSWCHP 1:36 pm
13 May 11
#

boneymaloney said :

dpm said :

You don’t like black coffee? Then you don’t really like coffee at all – you actually like coffee-flavoured milk…

This is the old “nothing but ice in my scotch” argument. Fine, next time I get a coffee (or a scotch) I’ll get it neat and see how we go.

Ice in Scotch? Ice?? In Scotch?? Stone the crows and starve the flamin’ lizards. If someone were to approach my malt with an ice cube then fisticuffs would ensue. The only thing that should ever be placed in good malt is more malt, or on rare occasions a few drops of cool water.

Whoa…hang on…I seem to have strayed off topic…

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39
BimboGeek 1:41 pm
13 May 11
#

Russ said :

The only way to judge how good a coffee shop is by a straight single shot espresso (short black) – it’s the base of all other coffee drinks with nothing to hide or dilute the flavour.

dpm said :

Most so called coffee ‘snobs’ drink lattes or cappuccinos. These are basically glorified warm, coffee-flavoured milkshakes. To decide on a coffee it really should be black. Otherwise it is like trying to decide which is the nicest of 6 different glasses of red wine, after you have added lemonade and ice to each glass.

But the funny thing is that the best barista I know will deliberately pour differently for espresso, cappuccino or piccolo, adding more bitterness to the drinks with more milk in them and restricting the pour on a piccolo by using slightly more or less coffee (and adjusting the grind) to get a slightly richer or gentler pour… So it basically espresso isn’t the foundation of the milky drinks at all and it really comes down to which drink you feel like drinking on a particular day.

That said, there’s plenty of places that are happy to claim that their coffee is the best and it isn’t. Did you seriously expect people to advertise “crap coffee, the way you peasants like it” ???

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40
Holierthanthou 1:52 pm
13 May 11
#

“nothing but ice in my scotch”

Ughhh, disgusting. There is one and strictly only one excuse for serving scotch whisky with ice. This is when travelling to Japan where you order it by asking for a drink called “onzarokku” (because it sounds so funny).

Otherwise, scotch whisky should only be consumed with water. Preferably spring water although de-chlorinated tap water will suffice at a pinch (provided you have a stat dec stating you tried to access proper spring water). As the ancient Greeks knew, only barbarians do not cut their bevvies with water.

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41
boneymaloney 1:56 pm
13 May 11
#

LSWCHP said :

Ice in Scotch? Ice?? In Scotch?? […] on rare occasions a few drops of cool water.

Ice is made of cool water. Bam!

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42
BimboGeek 2:18 pm
13 May 11
#

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

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43
astrojax 8:14 am
14 May 11
#

BimboGeek said :

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

to savour the perfection of those ingredients?

and no-one has mentioned loui’s – still briliant coffee, esp for espresso…

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44
Holierthanthou 8:20 am
14 May 11
#

Ice is made of cool water

Try applying that line of resaoning to the Titantic. As diastrous and tragic as adding to whisky.

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

Why waste one ingredent when you can waste two?

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45
Russ 12:44 pm
14 May 11
#

Russ said :

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