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Where can I get better coffee in Canberra than I can make myself?

By johnboy - 18 May 2010 63

[First filed: May 17, 2010 @ 9:52]

Coffee Pot

After a long delay I finally got access over the weekend to the storage unit my things were in.

I hadn’t really understood what I’d been missing out on until I unpacked my coffee grinder and espresso pot.

$6.50 got me 200g of arabica at the local IGA and in the same time I could otherwise spend queuing up to get a surly teenager to make me espresso badly on filthy equipment I can now make a real flat white for a unit cost somewhere around 15c.

Now the question is this: is there any place in this coffee shop riddled town that’s going to (with all the advantages of training, specialisation, and equipment available) make me a better cup of coffee?

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63 Responses to
Where can I get better coffee in Canberra than I can make myself?
SolarPowered 1:38 pm 17 May 10

You never hear tea drinkers asking for the best place for tea. Mind you, a bad coffee is truly gross.

We bought a grinder and coffee machine and it is truly the best coffee ever. Freshly ground beans are the best. We buy ours from Ideal Coffee.

Katietonia 1:33 pm 17 May 10

Why don’t you just make it at home then?

itstartedwithabang 1:29 pm 17 May 10

I have been trying to recreate the best coffee I have had in Canberra at home, with some/little success.

So hard to get that depth of flavour right.

Cream in Canberra has without question produced the best Macchiato I have yet to have. And repeated it. Silky smooth, deep. subtle.

If serious in any hunt for a very fine coffee – sit down at Cream, order your fav, and wait and see.

Don’t let the fancy deco intimidate you: enjoy it – and have among the best/most consistent coffee I’ve had in this town.

They even make a fine creamy takeaway cappuccino –

I have to say, however – it can depend on who is doing the work. I’ve definitely had some rushed, middle of the road there too. Though that is to be expected.

madamcholet 1:18 pm 17 May 10

Interestingly, a cafe in our building recently changed brands due to the sale of the business, (apparently bean and machine are a package deal, or so I am informed). They have moved to a very well known brand and it’s worse than the previous brand. Having said that everyone else in my office has liked both versions. So it must be just personal taste or the person that makes it on the day.

I don’t really uderstand the whole obsession with coffee – whether it’s because people truly can’t go without for half a day or it’s just a fashionable thing to do or talk about the quality of.

Give me a good cup of loose leaf tea any day…

st 12:55 pm 17 May 10

Group Seven in Civic (near Farrell place) makes consistently good coffe IMO.

OzPhoenix 12:48 pm 17 May 10

Yup, once you start making your own I think you become somewhat extra picky. And you have to just be happy to accept it will be average (and in some cases, not the type of coffee you actually ordered – e.g. you be amazed the interpretations of a long machiatto).

I also have my own grinder (Ranchillo Rocky) and espresso machine (Sunbeam 6910) and am now happy to get an average coffee around Canberra that is at least the right style of coffee. However, recently I also purchased a KeepCup (re-usable take-away coffee cup). So sometimes, at lunch I can duck home and just make a coffee rather than having to buy an average one.

So for anyone making them at home, and would like to able to take it with them, grab yourself one of those – I grabbed mine from Myers (but they’re popping up everywhere now). 😉 Then you can even further reduce your reliance on the would be ‘baristas’ here in Canberra.

But yes, buying your own (freshly roasted) beans and grinding on demand is the real winner for anyone at home – and I believe the adage of it’s better to spend more on your grinder than your espresso machine to be true (knew the adage, but then learnt the hard way as well). So far though I’ve only tried Hansel and Gretel (my first attempt) and then now I stick with Cosmorex. But maybe if some of these other mobs mail order, then maybe I should give them a go – just hopefully the beans don’t go through too many crazy temps on the trip.

Marvin_78 12:20 pm 17 May 10

The Kingston Grind is not too shabby… But I also prefer to make my own!

sumarai 12:05 pm 17 May 10

I havnt found a place that does better than my espresso (Moka) pot.
A tip for those pots is to pre boil the water..then pour the water hot into bottom compartment, add filter,add coffee ground to ur liking etc and then put on the lowest flame (if u use gas)…u may even get creama this way if the beans are fresh.
It also avoids the burnt coffee taste/smell that occurs when boiling from scratch over a high flame.
ahhh it work for me k 🙂

January.Shiver 12:04 pm 17 May 10

Jindebah at Mitchell – best coffee I’ve ever had (except maybe Italy), the Barista was brilliant, coffee was strong, smooth, tasted great – and it didn’t take long to make. Best of all you get to sit there and smell the coffee beans that they roast on site…soooo good.

If you want to make it at home, the beans they sell are also wonderful (I’m from Brisbane & had some sent up). I can highly recommend the Jindebah Organic and I also loved the Peruvian Kontiki Fair Trade.

ozmackem 11:33 am 17 May 10

I have not found better coffee in Canberra than I can make at home either.
I drink fairly strong black coffee, and find stove top to be the best way to go as long as you get the temperature right.
If you find good results using a shop bought coffee, then you will increase the quality massively by buying whole beans form a decent roaster and grinding them as you need them. A cheap rotary grinder will do for stove top or plunger as they aren’t as fussy as espresso machine when it comes to grind size.
The Farmers Market at EPIC has a couple of roasters who sell their wares. I would reccomend Wagonga Coffee for range and quality.

Buy your own beans and grind them fresh. You won’t turn back 🙂

jimbocool 11:23 am 17 May 10

As a general rule the coffee served in Canberra cafes and restaurants is an affront to god. I don’t understand how all these ‘coffee’ shops around town stay in business, presumably Canberrans are happy to pay $3.70 for rubbish. That said, the only place in the Can’ that makes better coffee than I do at home is Sfoglia in Dickson.

pajs 11:15 am 17 May 10

For coffee out, Canberra is a bit of a wasteland, IMHO. Kingston Grind is good. If you are over Pialligo way for whatever, duck into Silver Hills Nursery. The owner there is a coffee guy and knows what he is doing. FWIW, I don’t rate the local roasters compared to the best Sydney (eg Coffee Alchemy) and Melbourne (eg Alan Frew at Coffee Co) roasters that mail order ship to me here. Cosmorex is not bad, and an OK fallback, but not as good as the best roasters in Sydney and Melbourne, in my experience.

captainwhorebags 10:58 am 17 May 10

Can’t give you a decent recommendation for buying coffee out, but the next step for making your own is to ditch the IGA beans and go to one of the local roasters. I’ve used both Jindebah and Wagonga (easily found via Google) and they both have a great range of beans – blends, single origins, specialty. Cosmorex has been supplying the A.C.T. and southern N.S.W. for decades as well.

colourful sydney rac 10:55 am 17 May 10

Fantastic post and I could not agree more. It is so rare to find a better coffee out than that which i could make at home using the same device as you. It amazes me how much some people spend on coffee machines that make watered down mud.

troll-sniffer 10:22 am 17 May 10

Hey mon, you want da real bean, get yoself on down to da Etiopian community and learn da ancient ways from da place da koffee was born. Dey is makin it from da raw beans, dey is cookin dem in a little charcoal burner, den dey is grindin’ dem in da pestle, den is makin’ it unfiltered in da pot, and is finish wid da careful pourin’ into da warm milk.

You is not gonna get a better koffee dan dat. Da penalty is it’s a bit consuming of the sweep of a minute hand you know what I mean. But, as da ethis will tell ya, koffee’s not just a drink it’s a social occasion.

Even better after some injera na wat. But dat’s a whole different story.

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