19 April 2016

Weekend cafe hot spot: Tupelo, Civic

| Sophia Carlini
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Tupelo opened its doors near the Civic interchange earlier this year. Ever since then, everyone’s been talking about the little coffee shop in the city with furniture made from pallets and milk crates.

People kept saying how amazing and creative it was that this café was created using up-cycled materials. That’s awesome! But I wondered, was the coffee actually any good and what else did this minimalist café have to offer?

I recently discovered that my boyfriend, Mike, frequents Tupelo for his morning and afternoon coffees. Where was my invite, Mike?!

I figured I better check it out for myself – I was starting to feel as though I was missing out.

I spotted Tupelo by the make-shift tables and chairs outside. Walking in, I was greeted by two very friendly baristas who were keen to take my order. I ordered my usual latte and asked for a recommendation on their best jaffle – I had heard that Tupelo make killer jaffles and well, who doesn’t love jaffles?!

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I was handed a menu with a selection of jaffle flavours and immediately went for the Reuben. Unfortunately they were out of Reubens but were quick to offer up the sonic boom; filled with mozzarella cheese, spicy chorizo, chili jam and hot sauce. I was a little concerned about having hot sauce at 7am but was quickly assured that it was very mild.

I paid my $13 for a coffee and jaffle and took a seat whilst I waited. My coffee came out so fast. I was impressed! And my jaffle quickly followed.


The adult in me should have known that freshly melted cheese was going to be really hot, but the child in me just wanted to dig in and taste the goodness of the cheesy chorizo jaffle. Safe to say I spent the day nursing my sore tongue. Burnt tongue aside, my jaffle was freakin’ delicious and so salty, it definitely set a good mood for the day.


My coffee was good, but I must admit that Tupelo coffee has a very distinct and a very strong flavour, which will take me some getting used to I think. But that’s just me, and I know so many people, like Mike, who absolutely love its coffee.

Tupelo is located within the Civic bus interchange (next to the Burmese Curry House), 92-100 Alinga Street Canberra and is open 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturdays.

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creative_canberran12:10 am 19 Aug 15

Upcycled furniture is just cheap furniture. You’re going to an establishment and you’re getting less with a fancy phrase to cloak it.

The jaffle is a toastie on some white bread. Nothing wrong with that, can be a tasty snack, but with a coffee for $13?

By comparison I got a pulled pork cubano toasted sandwich (at least twice the size) on turkish and a large coffee for $13 at Cupping Room.

And the Bus interchange doesn’t really match the atmosphere of Lonsdale St or the law precinct. Between the dodgy payday lender, the crowd outside the rehab drop in and the various vagrants passing through.

Palettes and milk crates? Wow, where have I seen that before?

…and $13 for a coffee and jaffle? That I definitely haven’t seen before.

For those who want to nerd out on coffee – have a peek at this documentary. There is a really beautiful moment caught towards the end of the film when they visited and captured Katsuji Daibo, a 66 year old who owned Daibo Coffee in Tokyo, making a coffee. It almost looks like a religious ceremony, and it probably is to him.


Kerryhemsley said :

Was keen to try their filter coffee as I had heard good things but unfortunately walked away unimpressed.
The coffee tasted more like a fruity herbal tea than a coffee. Give me a good strong Italian macchiato any day over that.

That doesn’t make it a bad coffee – that just shows that you didn’t like the taste of that particular roast… which sounds like it could be a Kenyan coffee and roasted quite lightly. I am with you where I don’t like my coffees to have those bright and floral characteristics. Like you said, it sometimes just reminds me of drinking tea.

I am drinking some coffee from RedBrick at the moment which sounds like it would be up your alley. A Guatemala coffee that is lovely with caramel, chocolate and hazelnut flavours.

Kerryhemsley3:42 pm 17 Aug 15

Was keen to try their filter coffee as I had heard good things but unfortunately walked away unimpressed.
The coffee tasted more like a fruity herbal tea than a coffee. Give me a good strong Italian macchiato any day over that.

I am upset I don’t work or live closer to these guys as they run a good show. One of the best coffees in Canberra for sure.

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