19 February 2008

Good coffee in Canberra

| peterthomas
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It’s very hard to find a good coffee in Canberra. Does anyone know where can I get a cup of good coffee in Canberra (North)?

[Ed (Kramer) – you could always search RiotACT for previous articles on coffee, like:
Coffee in Canberra
Passion of the Caff
…but, as I’m a huge caffiene addict, I’m not going to stand in the way of a good debate about the best coffee in Canberra.]

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If you go to the show this weekend, try the coffee cart next to Jo the freshly squeezed orange juice guy just up from the front gate. I have one there yesterday and it was excellent, especially with the gltuen free banana bread from the German Cakes stand. Fabulous!!

51modelBloke12:30 pm 22 Feb 08

try U8one2 http://www.u8one2catering.com.au/ at Space 2 on Northbourne Ave. They are basicaly a catering firm, but sell reasonably priced good quality food across the counter. Their coffee is great.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler8:19 pm 21 Feb 08

gary, extraction times are only one measure of a good shot. Creama, flavour and temprature of the machine and group head (which can vary depending on workload and machine design) all contribute to making the perfect shot. You can extract for exactly 15.0005 seconds everytime, but if the group is cold, the beans not ground properly (poor creama shows) and resulting taste bitter, the stopwatch is useless.

A good barista must keep an eye on the brew. It should be like honey with a good creama and should not be allowed to blonde. They should always adjust depending on age and grind of bean to get best results, not follow a page of instructions that they read instead of reading the brew itself like at Starbucks.

Hi astroja,
Go to find out what is extraction first! If he is a deity, he should know how to get a right extraction for his coffee. I used a timer to count his coffee extraction time that’s why I know his coffee is under extracted.

Thanks for the tips V8B, esp on the grinder.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler11:35 am 21 Feb 08

Delonghi KG100 – good grinder. More reliable than the Sunbeam though it could go a bit finer for ultimate results.

We have a 6910 and it’s been putting out 2-10 coffees a day for the last year and hasn’t missed a beat. We have a Delonghi KG100 grinder to go with it. Wasn’t planning on spending $1000’s on a machine so very happy with it.

A good friend sells them so we got a monster discount too.

I think a place where all the staff make consistently good coffees is far better than trying to get the right person to make it. Then it doesn’t matter when yoy go there.

I got a jug and a big ole tin o international roast

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler10:40 pm 20 Feb 08

6900, wow, you’re even more lucky. From what I’ve heard, the 6910 I tried twice, is hit and miss but good more often than not. The 6900 on the other hand was a write off after a few months. Proved so popular that they had to contract more factories and quality went diving. They were replacing 6900s with 6910s no question asked instead of repairing because of leaks, defective pumps and electronics. Glad to hear you have been lucky.

I have the non property developers choice: a Sunbeam EM6900. I find that, like the G family, I can create a reasonable drop in the comfort of my own home. Also added bonus of being able to tell the Barista where he went wrong.

Thanks to the multi tiered and crafted spoiler guy for the tip on the grinder. I will keep an eye on the situation.

haven’t tried doggy bone, gary, but the coffee is soooo much more than the bean… the barista if good is worth weight in gold; colombian gold! and loui is a deity. under extracted, hrmph – wash you mouth, boyo 😉

Hi astroja,
The doggy bone cafe in gungahlin use the same bean of loui. And I think loui’s coffe is a bit under extracted. But the doggy bone’s coffee is very nice.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler6:05 pm 20 Feb 08

Jemmy, the sunbeam grinder is good to start with, as good as the Italian ones. But it suffers from burr movement. The cheap plastic brackets that hold the burrs wear down so you keep having to adjust it until finally it won’t grind fine enough anymore.

Most Italian machines, including those from Rancilio, Le Viebemmie, Giotto are still Italian.

Italy doesn’t actually need to move manufacturing to Asia, the wages there are generally quite low by EU standards, to such a point that manufacturing in Italy is booming.

Skidbladnir – yep, she’s brilliant. Rides a bloody 2008 R1 as well, a real nutter!

If you’re getting coffee from Tuggeranong Borneo, try to get the asian girl (who’s name I forget, but she has nice eyes and is both talkative and friendly, FIIK if she still works there) to make it, she’s better at coffee that the rest of them.
And makes lions and phoenixes and ferns with your froth.

Hey guys, hope I’m not too late to this party.

What the hell happened to my beloved Milk and Honey? I used to go there every weekday for my morning coffee, and had excellent service and product from the barista there.

Took my girlie there the other day after a 2 year hiatus, for a quick (mostly) liquid lunch. Ordered a beer for myself and a nice white for the lady, and some ‘hand cut chips with sea salt’ and some form of sweet chilli sauce. The came out with some half-cooked McCain chips with no salt whatsoever, a sneer on the waiter’s face, and a tiny little glass of wine for about the $9 mark.

Oh.. and there were loads of people at Essen and Gus’, but tons of free tables at M&H. Doesn’t appear that they’ve learned anything. Maybe it’s just harder to get good wait staff when your profits have to actually pay your kitchen staff?

If you’re in Tuggers, hit up Borneo inside the Hyperdome, it’s excellent, even if the young bloke who works behind the till is a bit of a tosser.

The Italians have basically given up the consumer market, most of their machines are now being made in China and rebranded. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that.

I think that’s why we’re starting to see cheap consumer brands producing surprisingly reasonable machines. The Sunbeam grinder whose model number escapes me is as good as any of the Italian brands. Genuine burr grinder with proper adjustments; they all use the same parts nowadays anyway.

You can still get very good brewed coffee if an espresso machine is out of your budget. I use a Santos vacuum syphon stovetop type and am happy with it, cost about $100.


Momo blows. Bunch of wankers.

Tonic (and it’s sister cafe Kingston Grind in Kingston) – in the Civic Bus Interchange.

So good. So damn good.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler2:56 pm 20 Feb 08

Special G, I’m glad to hear someone is enjoying the Sunbeam cafe series machine. I assume you mean the 6910. Some people have no problem and love it, others not so lucky according to reviews. It easily beats the Rancilio Sylvia which is a bit old and feable now, especially for $700. Sunbeam just has to watch the QC, I got two and both were defective. I was trying to avoid dishing out for a $1200 machine.

Sylvia is okay but over prices and antiquated. Needs an update and apparently, recent batches have had brass shavings in the boiler tainting the coffee. Rancillios main advantage over Sunbeam is Italian quality, they’ll need to watch that.

Mrs G and I have more coffees at home than out and make a better coffee than most places. We have a Sunbeam Cafe series machine, dual pumps so you can bang out coffees for guests at a great rate.

Ingeegoodbee1:43 pm 20 Feb 08

most ready made coffee in Canberra is pretty ordinary and even the good places can be variable depending on who’s working the machine.

I’ve had both good and bad coffee from a range of places – Louie’s is probably the most consistently good.

To avoid dissapointment I generally enjoy espresso at home and for my money you simply can’t go past a Bezzera Original Eagle for excellent coffee and kick-arse good looks. Not cheap though and getting the plumbing and electrics sorted can be tricky if you don’t go with somone who knows espresso machines.

The Brazilera ground for 10 bucks a kilo at Mother Natures Tuggeranong

For best coffee beans – get the Kaffe Grande Gusto bean from Wagonga Coffee at Framers markets on satdees at epic.

I think its 8 bucks fifty for 250 grams.

Makes a great short black in the Danman Krups espresso machine..

Good crema and a strong non bitter flavour that hints tones of caramel.

Bean in the City is next to the homewares store near the fountain in Civic (near Banana Leaf) – it’s basically a hole in the wall.

what a silly thread – there is only one answer to the best coffee in canberra and it is loui’s, with loui himself always behind the machine.

go nowhere else… ciao.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler10:15 am 20 Feb 08

Coffee Quiz Answer: Drip Filter
Despite espresso being put under immense pressure and in theory, having more caffeine extracted, it actualy only typically has around 90mg. Dripe filter coffee has anywhere from 200-350mg. Those figures are for an average cup. Espresso tastes better though.

Where’s Bean in the City?

I work nightshift and ride my motorcycle a lot during the daysoff. Usually a coffee stop is the day’s event, so have been to lotttttsss of coffee shops. Have said on RIOT before that I go back to Belco Market’s ORGANIC food store for an excellent coffe in their Cafe. Tulips at Piallago is good too; and the quiet on the deck. In Gunghalin: believe it not an excellent coffee served at MY BONE cafe thing opposite Which Bank?
Carlo’s at Watson is not good value or service. I didi get a surprise the other day at my first attempt at Michelle’s P at Gunghalin … too tired to ride and wanted to read the paper to see where Nohope got his extra $$ from; anyway, I actually made the effort to thank the guy (not Michelle) for a great coffee. Yep, its individual and you can be surprised. Gunning Cafe too if ya have a bike.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler11:28 pm 19 Feb 08

Jindebah is a favourite. I’ve also found the whole beans from Hudsons in Melbourne (via express post) to be very good and are much better value for a casual cup. More expensive beans only really shine when time and care can be taken. I also like to experiment with different ones you can get online.
Tend to stay away from GJs and SBs, you can taste that its months old.

Must admit, haven’t been making much lately. Waiting to go to Sydney to pick up a new Le Vebiemme and a Mezza Mini. Just waiting for the finances:(

COFFEE QUIZ: Which has more caffeine, espresso or drip filter? (Bear in mind he espresso is put under immense pressure, surely that would extract more caffeine?)

The small deli near the newsagents on the ground floor of Belconnen Mall is about the best I have had in belconnen, it also has very nice proscuitto as an added bonus, one of the few places that can slice it thin enough.

Where do you get your beans V8B? I’ve given up and now order online from Alan Frew, but I live in hope there’s a good local supplier I haven’t found yet.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler9:07 pm 19 Feb 08

G Potts,

“buying a one gruppa espresso machine”

I know of very few consumer and prosumer machines that have more than one. You are stating the obvious. Perhaps what you should be looking for (especially if you drink black a lot) is a quality Italian machine with an E61 head. I would also recommend a heat exchanger model (around $2500 vs $1200 for single boiler) if you need to do milk as well,especially if entertaining. La Vebiemme does some fine machines.

Also, you need a great grinder.

But for those wanting a fine cup, not a counter full of machines and a VISA bill to bite…

Also, Coffee Ole in Woden does some fine coffee (I know, not nth side). Nutty flavour and aroma that is very nice bu often absent from commercial blends.

Somebody told me there is a doggy bone cafe in Gungahlin which made a very good coffee. He said he tried all the coffee in Gungahlin and he recommended me to go there. He told me you can even bring your dog to have a doggycino. Has anyone heard about that?

el ......TECortina 250 Deathtrap5:46 pm 19 Feb 08

Essen + the tiny place on the corner of the Civic Interchange and Bunda St.

V8 Berlina with a three tier spoiler5:25 pm 19 Feb 08

Michelle’s Patisserie ranges from good to excellent depending on which store. There are dozens of wonderful coffee places, thought I’d put forward a chain of stores that does a good job.

Ive found Black Pepper on Emu Bank belco to be ok

3 for bean in the city – its the same guys making it and its always consitently good.

Ricardos at Jamison make a good coffee as well.

Woolworths in Charnwood sell a great tin of International Roast.

Bean in the City

la mente torbida2:29 pm 19 Feb 08

Here we go again!

Good coffee is so subjective. Simple suggestion: make a list of convenient coffee shops and try them one by one. When you reach a coffeee shop that makes it how you like it…stop hunting. Forget the opinions of others.

Agree with the comment on Momos, when I used to work at Fern Hill, we check to see who was on the machine before ordering! Bean in the City is pretty good too.

Well for Belconnen, some of the staff at Momo’s (Fern Hill Park) can make a great coffee – but you do need to check who is behind the machine when you order…

I rate the Buzz smoothie (milk, bannana, espresso & gurana) at Essen as a favourite, and the coffee there is pretty good too.

As much as I hate to say it, I think McCafe makes the best coffee in Belconnen :-/ There’s a lot of ho-hum coffee in Belco, and McCafe at Lake G makes a pretty decent coffee.

Gods at ANU, Essen in the City.

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