February 23, 2011 Nathan

Brisbane Cafe Review: Campos, Fortitude Valley

We’ve been meaning to get back to Campos for some time. The food there is just amazing. One of the best cafe breakfasts I’ve had – it is like Campos have created the optimum crossover point between breakfast quality and coffee quality – in some places the food is significantly better than the coffee, in others the coffee is significantly better than the food. At Campos, food and coffee are on par. It’s an attractive package.

The coffee jumps out at you on first taste, it rounds out on the tongue and has a lingering chocolatey aftertaste. On previous visits the coffee has been hit and miss. This one was a hit. My first trip to Campos I got there as it was closing, and all I got was a takeaway, and for some reason it was just too hot. It was so hot it was almost undrinkable, and the taste in a takeaway cup is always a little less pleasant than in a nice porcelain cup.

I love the atmosphere at Campos. It’s a place that just smacks of coffee. There are carved rosettas on the wall. And two La Marzocco machines on the counter. The cake cabinet is full of pretty amazing looking sweet goodies. But I haven’t tried them yet. I love the fans (which you can’t quite make out in this picture).

I love Campos, and highly recommend it as a breakfast stop. But I do think there’s a trade off that comes with being a bigger operation. They lose some of the intimacy on offer in some of the other cafes I’ve reviewed here. Some people I’ve spoken to have suggested that Campos are a little too coffee snobby – and they do have a legendary reputation for taking snobbery to new levels in Sydney. That’s not a critique I think is valid. I want my coffee makers to be as snobby as possible, so long as they’re also able to stay human. Legend has it that in the espresso bar setting Campos baristas don’t even speak to each other. They communicate with dice and spoons. And these dice, and spoons, are there. Sitting on the counter.

I love this place.

Bean here (excuse the pun)? Rate it:

* * * * ½

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About the Author

Nathan Nathan is a coffee lover, home roaster, amateur barista and coffee tinkerer. He's married, has two kids, one turtle, and for a day job works for Creek Road Presbyterian Church. He previously worked in PR. This blog is his attempt to make coffee tax deductible.

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