January 29, 2011 Nathan

Brisbane Cafe Reviews: Bellissimo Coffee & Spoon Deli @ James Street Markets, Fortitude Valley

My wife Robyn and I went for a bit of a breakfast/coffee jaunt on Australia Day, a public holiday. And we were keen to head to Campos – because they do the food/coffee combo pretty well. And last time I went there the photos I took with my phone weren’t so good, and I thought I could take some more and post a review. But alas. They were closed. Which left us in a predicament. We needed coffee. And breakfast. Stat.

The coffee situation was addressed more than ably at first by Bellissimo Coffee. Who admirably solved the problems presented by my caffeine withdrawal headache. And their coffees were cheap – perhaps to celebrate their recent storefront opening (they’ve been operating as a boutique roastery online for a bit longer). Mark, the owner, was fun to talk to and I’m liking the look of their approach to coffee and to customer service. The coffee, produced on their award winning blend, was good, close to great, but perhaps would have been better another day post roast. It didn’t quite pack the same mouthfeel as offerings from Cup, or the complexity and sweetness offered by Dandelion & Driftwood, it perhaps sat nicely between the two. Which is not a bad place to be.

The breakfast situation was a little more serious. The James Street Markets were our only hope. So we headed to Spoon Deli. The food there is quite expensive, especially if you’re there looking for breakfast after 11.30 – we settled for $20 late breakfasts (which run until 3pm).

The food was sensational. My bacon and egg panini with avocado and special sauce was great. Robyn’s Eggs Benedict fantastic.

The coffee left a lot to be desired. Acrid. Bitter. Stale tasting. Over extracted. Nasty stuff with bubbly foam. And too hot. I finished the double shot flat white I had ordered for the purpose of scientific analysis. No more, no less.

I hit up Google looking for their website – and the page title says “Good Coffee”, I’d have to give them another chance to prove themselves, but at this stage I’d say: “nope”. There’s much better coffee to have nearby. But breakfast was a winner. And I was able to get rid of that taste by heading back across the road to Bellissimo.

Bean here (excuse the pun)? Rate it (Bellissimo):

* * * 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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