September 15, 2012 Nathan

Brisbane Cafe Review: Black Sheep Coffee

Black Sheep offers three bags full of flavour to coffee lovers who head down to Brisbane’s Rocklea Markets (and a few other locations).

They’re open there three days a week (Wed, Sat-Sun), serving up deliciousness from their special edition Synesso Sabre (it’s a beautiful machine).

They roast their own mega-sweet blend (I mean that in the literal sense, more than the slang sense, or the traditional metaphorical sense – though it’s a pretty sweet place, and I loved it).

Black Sheep’s claim to fame – other than that they aren’t part of an Italian coffee establishment (that’s apparently where the name comes from) – is that Gordon Ramsay uses their coffee in one of his restaurants. And it’s easy to tell why. My two flat whites were silky smooth, and well balanced, with a great lingering sweetness that sort of launched from the back of my throat. It’s hard to describe. It was a bit like having a nice sip of your favourite spirit – and getting that warmth that spreads down your throat, only this moved back over your taste buds. That’s the best I can do…

Their custom roaster seems to do the trick. Here’s how they visually describe the process…

And the Feeling Wooly blend, which you can buy on site, is nice and complex – with a great range of ethically sourced origins and varietals.


Yes sir, yes sir, many bags full…

I really enjoyed the coffee. It’s worth the dollar you pay for admission at the markets by itself (though I also enjoyed the baklava I picked up from one of the Greek dessert places – seriously, I love Baklava. I’d start a Baklava blog if I thought there was a market for it). This is the kind of latte art they’re pouring in their piccolos – the milk was perfect, creamy, not too hot, and beautifully textured. This shot was taken a couple of minutes after it was poured, once we’d managed to park our pram against the back wall…

When we rocked up this morning there was a bit of a line, but they keep the coffee pumping and take orders and payment while you’re lining up so that your coffee is ready when you hit the counter. It was quick. Better than quick – it was delicious. They were busy, with a constant flow of traffic, but the girls behind the machine didn’t look stressed. They’ve got a nice little system going. Very professional.

There’s a little bit of space to sit down at a communal table inside. So it’s a nice little spot to stop during your market wanderings.

I love the fitout – it’s a great little semi-permanent space, with coffee knick knacks scattered throughout – a wall display of tampers, an old school Atomic brewer, a syphon, and this little black sheep.

Black Sheep put together a nice little infographic describing the types of drinks you might order on your next visit.

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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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