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Who does Canberra’s best coffee?

By Amanda Whitley - 12 May 2011 74

coffee

Whether it’s your morning pick-me-up, social lubricant, or lifelong passion, few things are more evocative than coffee. And as the Canberra days turn colder, the city’s cafés will see a growing flock of people come through their doors in search of a warming espresso beverage. Luckily for Canberrans, there’s no better time than now to find a great coffee and café experience in our city.

Two years ago, Tim Riley created Decaf Sucks, along with the rest of the caffeine-loving crowd at Icelab, as a place for them all to record their coffee drinking journeys. It has since become a vibrant and considerably useful resource for location-based café and coffee reviews. It is a place for all Canberra caffiends to help each other find the good coffee and avoid the bad.

Since it is homegrown here in Canberra, it also has the internet’s best coverage of cafés in our city, with 66 people having contributed over 335 reviews for 174 different cafés. Today, let’s take a tour of some of Canberra’s standout cafés, based on the opinions of the Decaf Sucks reviewers.

The hottest café in Canberra right now would have to be Lonsdale Street Roasters in Braddon. They’ve hit on a mix of great in-house roasted coffee, simple and well made food from a wood oven, and an always-bustling friendly atmosphere. Heading into Civic, we have Bean in the City, a hole in the wall that is big on coffee, as well as selling the best portuguese tarts in the city. Over in the west of the city, head into Harvest (the newest member of the Kingston GrindGroup 7 and Tonicfamily) and give one of their syphon or cold press coffees a try.

If you’re in the south of the city, be sure to try Lava in Weston, for what could be the best coffee south of the lake. Or if you’re after a meal and a place to hang out a while, head to A Bite To Eat, A Drink As Well, where you can enjoy the expansive space filled with raw brick, comfy lounges and 1970s-kitsch furniture, or soak up the sun in the courtyard out the back. It’s also a good place for a beer if your visit lingers into the afternoon.

You needn’t despair if you ever find yourself hankering for a caffeine hit in Fyshwick, since you can just head to Ona Coffee on Wollongong St, where they are serious about good coffee. Heading back north, the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets offers a couple of good coffee options among the fruit and veg, in Beppe’s Tuscan Kitchen and As Nature Intended.

Finally, there’s no dearth of decent coffee if you’re heading for a drive outside Canberra. Try Cork Street Gallery Cafe in Gundaroo for a rustic outdoor dining area, where you can enjoy some delicious pizza with your coffee. In Bungendore, The Provincial Pantry has received much high praise from the Decaf Sucks reviewers, and The Albion in Braidwood looks to be the pick of a town that is already bursting with tasty food and drink options.

While that should certainly keep you busy for a while, we’ve only just scratched the surface. There’s plenty of other good coffee to discover in Canberra, and Decaf Sucks can help you do it. Visit the site in your desktop browser and you can enter a location to see all the reviews for cafés in that area. If you’re out and about, visit Decaf Sucks on your iPhone for an optimised experience that can show you the cafés around your precise location.

Tim and the lads from Icelab made Decaf Sucks as simple as possible for people to contribute, and are keen to get more people writing some reviews. All you need is an opinion to share and a star rating, nothing more. Better still, logging in is easy through connecting your Twitter or Facebook accounts. Your reviews will not only serve as a handy coffee diary, but also could be instrumental in helping introduce other people to fantastic new café experiences, whether in Canberra or further afield.

For all those times when you’re happy to stay at home, Decaf Sucks can also help you to drink great coffee. Last year they launched their coffee bean subscription service:Dispatch, from Decaf Sucks. They’ve teamed up with the Lonsdale Street Roasters to deliver a fresh and tasty bag of coffee beans to your door every month. They introduce different beans every month, making Dispatch a great way to discover new coffee flavours. It’s an easy way to keep your cupboard stocked with fresh beans, and also makes for excellent gift idea. Check it out.

Do you agree with Decaf Sucks’ top drops? Who do you think makes the best coffee in the Capital region?

First published on HerCanberra.

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Who does Canberra’s best coffee?
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creative_canberran 2:03 pm 20 Jun 11

braddonboy said :

And further south in Tuggeranong is the Jindebah coffee shop. Jindebah also has a roasting house and coffee shop in Mitchell. Use their beans in the DeLonghi Magnifica at work and ground for the plunger at home.

Their beans are good but the coffee they actually make in house is about as bad as you will ever taste. They use their own beans yet it’s more bitter than from Maccas and less flavourful… obviously staff training never covered not burning the puck.
Also doesn’t help that the staff at Tuggeranong stand around outside in front of the door smoking. “I’ll have a latte, hold the cancer?”

braddonboy 1:47 pm 20 Jun 11

And further south in Tuggeranong is the Jindebah coffee shop. Jindebah also has a roasting house and coffee shop in Mitchell. Use their beans in the DeLonghi Magnifica at work and ground for the plunger at home.

luther_bendross 1:33 pm 20 Jun 11

puggy said :

LegalNut said :

Without a doubt it is the Lonsdale Street Roasters.

I love what they are trying to do, and the fitout seems cool, but I’m not paying anything to be served coffee while sitting on a milk crate (that they don’t even own) next to long haired rusty fixie riding louts. When I eventually open that place of mine (can’t help it, it’s in the blood) I will have a sign: “Cyclists: No brakes, no service.”

They coffee they make there is sensational, without question. The fixie-riding hipsters sitting outside can all go f–k off. Gears were invented for a reason you biscuits.

Deref 12:30 pm 20 Jun 11

😀 I’m looking forward to trying out all the recommended coffee shops. I love the stuff! Can’t get too much.

puggy 12:22 pm 20 Jun 11

LegalNut said :

Without a doubt it is the Lonsdale Street Roasters.

I love what they are trying to do, and the fitout seems cool, but I’m not paying anything to be served coffee while sitting on a milk crate (that they don’t even own) next to long haired rusty fixie riding louts. When I eventually open that place of mine (can’t help it, it’s in the blood) I will have a sign: “Cyclists: No brakes, no service.”

I-filed 8:48 pm 18 May 11

johnboy said :

Sorry skid, the scots are very firm that one part in three water is recommended.

Unlocks the flavours.

Somewhere this morning I read about a drink you can order in NYC now: the bin Laden. Two shots and a splash of water.

dpm 6:40 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

“What is the best coffee machine under $500 out there?”

I think Choice magazine did a coffee machine review earlier in the year.

http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/household/kitchen/coffee-machines/manual-and-semi-automatic-espresso-machines-review-and-compare.aspx

But you need to be (or know!) a member to read it. I believe some cheaper ones did well… Anyone a Choice member?

Gungahlin Al 4:09 pm 18 May 11

Oh and on the subject of coffee, Kate Rowe was a hit at the National Folk Festival, a lot because of Space Rabbitts from Brocklevoons, but also struck a chord with Coffee My Lover.

Gungahlin Al 4:02 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Personally I find it hard to go by the cappucino I pump out of my 14yo home espresso machine every morning. And the price is to die for.

Well that’s what I get for bragging. Aforesaid long-lived coffee machine just decided to die. Crap.

Now I need to start a new thread “What is the best coffee machine under $500 out there?” cos there’s an absolute pile of them out there these days… Recommendations for quiet operation, quick frothing, ease of cleaning, ability to pour into mugs, and of course produce a good cuppa cheerful accepted.

Holierthanthou 10:08 am 16 May 11

EvanJames said :

I heard somewhere that they invented Instant Coffee during the war, it was called Coffee Substitute and made from things like chicory root and dandelion root.

Coffee substitutes were used during rationing during and after WWII, but coffee substitutes were in use well before this. Instanto (the type of coffee drunk by peasants because they do not have time to grind their own beans) was invented well before WWI and WWII.

Coffee substitutes made from such things as described above can be found in abundance in supermarkets and health food stores.

M0les 9:45 pm 15 May 11

I do.

Holierthanthou 8:49 pm 14 May 11

Drinking whisky neat might seem like a good way to act macho in front of people that don’t know much about whisky, however most malts have their tasting improved by the addition of water. Just don’t slop in too much.

Skidbladnir 8:33 pm 14 May 11

Ice in scotch?
Water in scotch?

You’re all a bunch of heathens and blaspheming sons of bitches.
The only thing that belongs with scotch is a glass to keep it in.

    johnboy 8:43 pm 14 May 11

    Sorry skid, the scots are very firm that one part in three water is recommended.

    Unlocks the flavours.

LSWCHP 8:23 pm 14 May 11

Pommy bastard said :

This is the old “nothing but ice in my scotch” argument.

There is no such argument. The only thing that should be added to Scotch is another Scotch, or a drop of water, perhaps, to a very peaty single malt, in order to release the aroma.(Though do I believe the lower order do add water to their blended brands in an attempt at sofixstikation.)

Ice? You sir are a barbarian and a peasant.

PB, you appear to be a scholar and a gentleman. Or at least you understand fine malt.

I have a 10 year old Ardbeg on my desk that I think I’ll open tonight, and I never thought I’d say this, but I’ll raise my glass to a Pommy Bastard as I sample it. 🙂

Bugger coffee.

Pommy bastard 2:28 pm 14 May 11

This is the old “nothing but ice in my scotch” argument.

There is no such argument. The only thing that should be added to Scotch is another Scotch, or a drop of water, perhaps, to a very peaty single malt, in order to release the aroma.(Though do I believe the lower order do add water to their blended brands in an attempt at sofixstikation.)

Ice? You sir are a barbarian and a peasant.

Russ 12:44 pm 14 May 11
Holierthanthou 8:20 am 14 May 11

Ice is made of cool water

Try applying that line of resaoning to the Titantic. As diastrous and tragic as adding to whisky.

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

Why waste one ingredent when you can waste two?

astrojax 8:14 am 14 May 11

BimboGeek said :

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

to savour the perfection of those ingredients?

and no-one has mentioned loui’s – still briliant coffee, esp for espresso…

BimboGeek 2:18 pm 13 May 11

I’m pretty sure scotch is best served with drambuie over ice. Why drink a single ingredient when you can treat yourself to the entire cocktail?

boneymaloney 1:56 pm 13 May 11

LSWCHP said :

Ice in Scotch? Ice?? In Scotch?? […] on rare occasions a few drops of cool water.

Ice is made of cool water. Bam!

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