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Raise a glass and ruffle some feathers

Best of Canberra – Coffee

By Bec Cuzzillo - 19 May 2015 59

Coffee1

Someone once told me that Canberra has more cafes per capita than any other city in the world. I don’t know how true that is, but it is no lie that we are a city of coffee drinkers.

Canberra’s specialty coffee scene is booming, there are a few places now that roast their own coffee and a lot of good cafes that serve up a quality brew. Canberra is even home to the 2015 World Barista Champion and, despite the already vast number of great cafes, it seems that we haven’t yet reached our collective caffeine saturation point – has anyone else noticed that there is a new place opening up almost every week?

This week I am putting the word out there to find Canberra’s best coffee. Whether you like a nice strong espresso or prefer a fancy filter, I want to know who serves up your favourite coffee? 

To vote, let me know who makes Canberra’s best coffee in the comments below. I’ll try the two most popular places and let you know the verdict in next Monday’s Taste Off article. 

What’s Your opinion?


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59 Responses to
Best of Canberra – Coffee
Ezy 4:52 pm 19 May 15

bryansworld said :

What’s that place on the ground floor under Defence Force Recruituing in Civic? Not on the corner, but next door. They make nice coffee, and you get sparkling water with your short black!

Sounds like Tonic. I have only had one coffee from here – and yup, it was good!

bryansworld 4:35 pm 19 May 15

What’s that place on the ground floor under Defence Force Recruituing in Civic? Not on the corner, but next door. They make nice coffee, and you get sparkling water with your short black!

KT67 4:30 pm 19 May 15

Two Before Ten on Fridays. With Espresso Room at Woden doing a fine job most week days.

Glad to see I am not the only one who loathes LSR’s coffee.

Looking forward to Bario opening soon as Sam got me into real coffee 🙂

MERC600 3:51 pm 19 May 15

Well i guess anywhere as long as its not that franchise joint with the 2 names. Their coffee is just plain crook.
If I’m told to be there to meet someone, I always hit the car glovebox for a stash of coffee I’ve liberated from the last motel I was at, and shake it in to hopefully make it a bit better.

CrazyWhippetSheila 2:28 pm 19 May 15

Two before Ten have also opened up very close to their original stomping grounds. A couple of doors down from the Spar supermarket on Marcus Clarke Street. TBT also get a vote,

I couldn’t mention the third TBT venue as I haven’t had a coffee from there yet and the baristas make all the difference. On an another note, TBT at the Aranda shops were giving Canberra’s best egg and bacon roll a great nudge until they changed to using bioche buns…just not right! 😉

canberralyf 2:06 pm 19 May 15

Redbrick Espresso Curtin. Hands down.

Ezy 1:36 pm 19 May 15

CrazyWhippetSheila said :

Two Before Ten (both the shop at Aranda and coffee cart in Lonsdale St) and Ona at Fyshwick pour consistently good flat whites. All three have friendly service and welcome dogs at their outside tables.

Two before Ten have also opened up very close to their original stomping grounds. A couple of doors down from the Spar supermarket on Marcus Clarke Street. TBT also get a vote, one of the first to offer a nice glass of sparkling water along with a short black, it’s the little things 😉

CrazyWhippetSheila 1:21 pm 19 May 15

Two Before Ten (both the shop at Aranda and coffee cart in Lonsdale St) and Ona at Fyshwick pour consistently good flat whites. All three have friendly service and welcome dogs at their outside tables.

Rollersk8r 12:17 pm 19 May 15

With all due respect – it’s impossible! It cannae be done! It would be hard enough (and unfair) limiting it to just two cafes in Braddon, nevermind the whole of Canberra!

I don’t mind saying I’m a massive, raging coffee snob – and the service is very nearly as important as the coffee itself. I’ll opt for the 3rd or 4th best tasting coffee as long as they’re fast, friendly and take some pride in what they’re doing. Then there’s price, whether or not they have a loyalty card system, what kind of food is available to eat with your coffee. So! Many! Factors!

And that’s the other thing – it is such a saturated market that everything thinks they’re an expert on “good” and “bad” coffee. Highly subjective… My favourite is the interstate visitor who claims “Can’t get a good coffee in this town!”. So you’ve tried all 60 or 70 places just in Civic then!??

Having said all that – my list of places to avoid would be a lot longer than my list of recommendations – and I admit there are dozens of places in Civic that I’ve never tried and probably never will. Here goes just for what I know of Civic only:

Especially avoid: Raw Sugar, Xpresso Bar and Lonsdale St Roasters (aka The Soup Nazis of coffee).

Avoid: Coffee Guru and pretty much anywhere else inside the Canberra Centre, except Farmer’s Daughter.

Try: Tonic, Bean in the City, Kindle and the new nameless place at Manhattan Apartments (terrible service but they are only new)

canberradogwalks 11:33 am 19 May 15

The Hideout in Barton – consistently great coffee and great service. Come during the morning public service rush to see how brilliantly they deal with the crowds and still deliver the goods.

Other favourites are BitterSweet in Kingston, Ona in Manuka and Red Brick Espresso in Curtin. The first and third also feature in our Best Dog Friendly Café blog at http://www.canberradogwalks.com.au/canberra-dog-friendly-cafes/

We agree with the previous comment about Lonsdale Roasters. Produced some good coffee when it first opened in Braddon a while back. Since then the quality and consistency is unreliable.

Milly Withers 10:39 am 19 May 15

Ezy said :

I love the fact that we are spoilt for choice in this field. Coffee is rad.

+1

Ezy 10:18 am 19 May 15

This is my kind of taste test!

Okay – you will probably need to split this up into coffee with milk, and filter coffee.

For filter, you can’t go past Tupelo at this stage – The attention to detail that goes into the goodness that ends up in your cup is something that Canberra hasn’t seen before. If you have some time (and Tupelo isn’t too busy) ask Nic to show you the machine and give you a brief run down as to how it works and all of the variables. It will blow your mind.

I am really looking forward to when Sam (ex Two Before Ten roaster) opens up Bario in Braddon, his space will hold a unique space in the Canberra coffee scene.

White coffee is a little bit harder to judge as a bad shot can be disguised through the addition of the milk – especially if you are getting a large coffee. I can say that I have had brilliant flat whites at Red Brick Espresso, Lava in Weston Creek and Stand By Me in Lyons. At this stage I would have to go with Red Brick Espresso – I enjoy the fact that they roast their own coffee and offer seasonal blends.

Most over rated coffee in Canberra – Lonsdale Street Roasters. Sorry, but I have never had a decent cup there and the attitude you get from the staff is as bitter as what is found in the cup.

But as you have mentioned, you can’t ignore that Canberra is the home of Sasa of Ona Coffee, who took out the World Barista Championship. In order to judge this though, you would have to see if the beans he used to win the title is still available… I highly doubt it.

I love the fact that we are spoilt for choice in this field. Coffee is rad.

Holden Caulfield 9:59 am 19 May 15

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, which thankfully removes me from the pain of complaining that nobody can make a decent coffee. Ever. Except some little shoebox man in a back alley that nobody has ever heard of.

That said, for this test surely you have to try the work of the Ona Coffee guy that just won barista of the universe a few weeks back?

Milly Withers 9:28 am 19 May 15

It’s difficult to narrow my list of favourites to a single coffee shop, but I think Bittersweet at Kingston shops has my vote for this week’s Best of Canberra call out.

Other coffee shops I think are worth visiting are 38 Espresso on the Foreshore, Tupelo in the city and Box Diner in Fyshwick. I also second Zan’s comment about great service at Celestino’s. They always remember my order even when it’s been months since my last visit.

Zan 8:33 am 19 May 15

Celestino Fyshwick. Great Italian style coffee full bodied. Great service.

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