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

johnboy 18 May 2010 62

[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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62 Responses to Where can I get better coffee in Canberra than I can make myself?
Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 10:11 pm 22 Jul 10

For the record Deeks in Pearce do a nice coffee.

Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 10:10 pm 22 Jul 10

I didn’t think I was a coffee wanker until this van started showing up near work every day and selling food, icecream and coffee. I’m not sure if it is the beans or the maker or what but it has scarred me for life. I am easy going and will drink most coffees but after 3 days of this stuff I began to wretch at the more thought of it. Guess it is back to Maccas drive though for me!

I-filed I-filed 6:26 pm 22 Jul 10

troll-sniffer said :

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.

Ethiopia isn’t in the Caribbean, Trollsniffer.

dudleyj dudleyj 4:16 pm 22 Jul 10

Make your own with locally roasted beans, Wagonga and Jindebah, grind each batch before brewing.

There are good coffee establishments in Canberra but avoid any of the chains. Best for my taste (double shot Macciato) are Cream, Tonic and Gus’ and Psychadeli in city west. Some of the others make a passable latte or standard capucchino but for those who like the coffee a little better prepared try ythe above establishments. I am sure there are other places in Canberra that are good, but I have not sampled any of them.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 6:37 am 10 Jun 10

Question: Does anyone know where you can buy the seals for a 3-cup Moka Pot (stove top espresso)?

ChrisinTurner, try Deli-Planet at Fyshwick markets or The Essential Ingredient in Kingston. I’m pretty sure that both places have the ‘o’ring seals for stove-top espresso makers.

glennmatthew glennmatthew 12:20 am 10 Jun 10

+1 for Lava Espresso in Weston. It’s the best coffee in Canberra, by a stretch. I’ve seen them pour a shot, and throw it straight out because they weren’t happy with it. Expect another Lava opening in Canberra soon (or so I hear).

Kingston Grind is the safe option if you need to stay near Civic, especially for meeting up with someone. Expect to wait 10mins on the weekend for coffee, but it’s worth it.

I’ve had ok coffee from Black Pepper, though their service is often pretty poor. Everywhere else is hit-and-miss. Normally Cream is alright, if you can convince their staff to actually serve you, rather than just stare at themselves in the stainless steal (it’s difficult being pretty).

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 11:27 pm 28 May 10

You have the right equipment. Just buy Vittoria Espresso beans in the gold pack.

Question: Does anyone know where you can buy the seals for a 3-cup Moka Pot (stove top espresso)?

pepper8 pepper8 8:04 pm 28 May 10

Calibre in woden does a pretty good take away coffee and chai latte. I go here for my coffee during lunch at work and its a good 30min round trip but worth the walk. As for coffee at home, i have bought coffee from all over canberra, sydney and melbourne and in the end i have gone back to where I started, queensland blue by coffee works… can get them at David Jones or online (much cheaper)… i don’t recommend their other blands, just the blue. Campos coffee (from newtown, sydney) is also nice in the machine.

But as some people have stated previously, its not only the coffee that makes a good cup, i think the person making it plays the most important part…nothing worse than watery/burnt milk

itstartedwithabang itstartedwithabang 9:20 am 20 May 10

re smallfry: think milk is so important to getting the coffee right – (if you drink it).
so many places just don’t seem to pay the right attention.

– may I also say more coffee/caffeine does not always a better coffee make.

have experienced the joy of a deep, rich, balanced macchiato recently at Tillies.
also Italian and Sons Braddon recently served up a pot of gold that almost left me comatose it was so chocolaty and smooth.

Nark Nark 5:06 pm 19 May 10

I like Essen. They even have about 20 different beans to try. Al’s Blend is my choice.

Kath Kath 12:48 pm 19 May 10

I generally trust Essen in Civic, and the Babar in Woden. They both do better coffee than I can make myself, but that may not be as good as yours. Also had good coffee at Black Pepper, and Cream the one time I went there – I don’t feel yuppie enough to sit about at Cream.

If you’re on the UC campus, never ever order coffee from the green room in the Refectory – I don’t know if they never change the beans or if they’re just putting dirt in there to start with. Mizzuna in the Hub can be pot luck but gets it mostly right most of the time.

Just came back from a trip to Perth, and Canberra coffee bashers have no idea what they’re talking about – everything I ordered was superheated and couldn’t be drunk for 10 min+. The only decent flat white I had tasted really lovely *after* I put a couple of icecubes from my husband’s drink into the cup and was finally able to sip cautiously.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 4:50 pm 18 May 10

I’ll throw in my two cents worth for Kingston Grind. They’re always friendly, the coffee is consistently of a high standard and I don’t think that $3.90 is too bad for a large latte – which at 7.00am is a sort of heart starter and breakfast all rolled into one.

CanberraCreative CanberraCreative 4:03 pm 18 May 10

Stay well clear of anyone on ANU Campus, despite students reaving about places like the Street Theatre, the most you can expect is something between motor oil and vinegar.

Urban Food can have a fantastic drop is the right staff are on. These people who are saying overpriced and bad quality… how is $4.20 for a large latte overpriced or $15 for a pie and salad?
Bookplate… again depending on the staff serving, now that is a place where the food is overpriced but the quality is good.

Kingston Grind though has to take the award. Always fantastic coffee and very good service… except for the surprised response when I tell them NO SUGAR! “Was that… (deep breath) no sugar?”

BimboGeek BimboGeek 11:05 am 18 May 10

If you’re a well known flirt, dressed to kill and wearing very pretty makeup and you intend to pay for a quick coffee, Loui is awesome. Doesn’t work when the same flirt has an emo moment or the pretty lady is too harrassed to dress like a sexy secretary.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 10:57 am 18 May 10

The Royal Canberra Golf Club does a fine brew. Not too sure if its worth the membership fees just for a cup of joe though.

rb rb 9:53 am 18 May 10

Russ said :

The big problem is consistency – you are at the mercy of whoever happens to be on the machine, and in some places that can change often.

Totally agree

The one cafe I can always rely on to make a great coffee – and it doesnt seem to matter who is behind the machine – is Gus’s in Civic

pajs pajs 9:35 am 18 May 10

Re the comments about Moka pots and burning coffee. Here’s a decent guide for running them quick and clean:

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 9:08 am 18 May 10

Clown Killer said :


I have heard that they are a very friendly establishment and are most welcoming to people who would like to occupy tables without purchasing anything.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 8:25 am 18 May 10

Brindabella said :

You can beta test a double ristretto for me any time.

Doppio ristretto, parla? This is definitely my kind of guy. It’s a date!

Hey, how come nobody has mentioned Beeess and Co in Yarralumla? Good coffee, good tea, good food! And they do the best iced tea in Summer!

altkey altkey 7:01 am 18 May 10

+ 1 Urban Food = bad coffee, bad food, etc. Add Silo to the list as well – there is something offensive about being charged $5 (at last count) for a takeaway coffee particularly when the barista burns the milk…(and don’t get me started on the actual process of waiting for said coffee – no matter where you stand you are always in the way).

What bugs me about coffee in Canberra is not so much its quality (at the end of the day there will be the good bad and the ugly no matter where you go) but the fact that you cannot seem to get a decent one, without a lengthy wait, on the weekends. Half the coffee shops mentioned here are either closed on the weekend, or so under the pump from the pressure of extra customers that you may as well forget about it.

Kingston Grind is always good (consistent) and I think it is Group Seven (on London Circuit just up from the Metropolitan Apartments)

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