by Jodi Panayotov
Brisbane's suburbs, once places of fear and loathing for serious coffee drinkers, are now home to a new crop of espresso joints that would be right at home in the inner city. But, fortunately for the locals, they choose not to be.
Sprouting at a rate faster than you can say 'single origin', some of the locations where they can be found are the least expected yet all are run by passionate coffee types who know their beans. Here is a sample of nine of the best:
Dandelion and Driftwood
Another north side success story, Dandelion and Driftwood stands in a gold class of its own. The brainchild of master roaster Peter Wolff (who has mentored some of Brisbane's best coffee roasters) and his partner Penny, the exquisite coffee comes served with an air of finesse and its own calling card.
Looking as if it accidentally got beamed onto the edge of Fairfield Gardens, local coffee nuts have been thanking their lucky stars that it did, providing a happy alternative to shopping mall coffee hell. The beans at Slinky are Genovese and all handled by trained in-house baristas.
For the best coffee in Wilston, head a couple of blocks south of the village to an old converted shop on a leafy corner. Under its awnings a cluster of bods sit perched on mismatching furniture and inside the tattooed baristas keep the Genovese coffee flowing and indulge their creativity with artworks on the crema.
Dudley St Espresso
While Annerley shopping centre businesses come and go, this funky little espresso house festooned with collectables for sale has become firmly entrenched as a community hub. Locals gather for the ambience, service and the reliably good coffee and leave with the odd Ansett ANA poster or pith helmet.
Since setting up a roastery and on site coffee lounge in a light industrial neighbourhood dominated by smash repairs, Elixir has been the success story of the north side, with its Italian style beans the coffee de jour of many a great cafe around town. Owned by brothers whose parents set up the first Italian coffee roastery in Brisbane at the Valley's Cosmopolitan, Elixir coffee runs in the blood.
There's nothing has been about this psychedelic little coffee nook at one end of a Camp Hill shopping centre. Campos coffee is the order of the day and it's made by expert hands. Well worth making a detour for.
Bang Coffee Bar
An outpost off Old Cleveland Rd, Bang is the East side's go-to spot for West End's BlackStar fair trade coffee, which is also sold by the bag here. A side of novelty to the coffee-drinking is the in-house petrol pump turned drinks fridge and the Campbell soup can light fittings.
Bean on Dean
New kid on the block in a cluster of old shops atop a hill in Toowong, industrial chic coffee lounge Bean is the area's best kept secret, but not for long. The Campos coffee here is served taste and picture perfect as its surrounds every time.
Grindhouse Specialty Coffee
Like all the best things in life, Grindhouse is tricky to find, tucked away down an alleyway between a bunch of Stones Corner shops, but the reward for looking is some of the best coffee on this side of town. A hessian bagged ceiling keeps things real and cosy as does the art that makes random appearances, the service is mega friendly and the beans are their own signature blend from Supreme Roasters.
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