Brisbane Cafe Review: Cup Specialty Coffee Roastery, Woolloongabba

I love Cup.

If I’m meeting anybody in West End, that’s where I go (even if a megafranchise has tried to coin the idea that you meet somewhere that has horribly overroasted coffee).

But the problem with Cup at West End is that it’s so popular that sometimes seating (and parking nearby) isn’t so readily available.

This is the price you pay for consistently serving up amazing coffee, both the changing (based on season, taste, and goodness), but consistently grand Five Star Day blend, and a range of single origin delights. Produced on some of Brisbane’s nicest coffee kit, or served up as meticulously prepared filter coffee.

It’s easy to see why Cup is popular. They’ve been picking up some pretty nice little cafe accounts too – including Blackboard Specialty Coffee on the Gold Coast, The Little Prince in Woolloongabba, and the Rogue Rennard in Paddington.

The lack of space, and the amount of roasting that must be required to service these classy outlets, has produced something beautiful. A new roastery/cafe in Woolloongabba. As I was driving home from this new warehouse space today I was thinking that with Cup, Grindhouse, and Uncle Joe’s on my route to or from the city there’s a nice little coffee crawl itinerary just waiting for a lazy Saturday morning. I’m feeling a little bit spoilt for choice in my corner of Brisbane’s south side at the moment. My Brisbane top ten is going to be even harder to come up with this year, especially given I haven’t even managed to get to some of my old favourites.

I mentioned the “cafe as fourth place” thing in my review of Reverends the other day, and in my opinion, Cup’s new warehouse has nailed it. It’s big. Open. And is, as far as I know, the only cafe in Brisbane boasting both a Slayer and a Mistral on their benches (I want to say “in the world”). While it’s the new home of Cup’s roasting operations, there’s also a nice Coffee menu on offer (Josh, the owner and genius behind Cup, says there’ll be very limited food in the future). And did I mention there’s space. And seats. And tables. And music. And coffee.

I’m a big fan of Cup’s aesthetic – from font choice, to the black/timber fitout at this place, to the big roasting robot painted on the wall in West End, to the choice of some of the most beautiful and technologically amazing machines available – so I like this place a lot. The machines and the roaster are the visual heroes. The coffee is the real hero (and according to latte art smackdowns, and the recent Queensland Barista Championships – they still boast Brisbane’s best latte artists). Everything else is functional and understated. Like it should be.

It’s still in the very early days. But I like it. Very much. You can buy their beans online too.

(there’ll be a map here one day – but for now, the roastery is tucked into 43 Balaclava St, Wooloongabba).

Brisbane Cafe Review, The Rogue Rennard, Paddington

Paddington is a suburb made for good coffee – but pickings have, in my opinion, been slimmer per capita of trendy person, than they should be – sure, there’s Hamptons – who do a cracking breakfast and serve up a good cup of St Ali. And there are other places known for food. But if I was going to tell someone to head to an area of Brisbane for a guaranteed good cuppa – it wouldn’t be Paddington.

But. The trendy person:specialty coffee outlet ratio has been boosted in recent weeks with the arrival of the Rogue Rennard – French for red fox.

The Rogue Rennard is a Cup Specialty Coffee account (the second with a Francophile theme – see The Little Prince).

The Rogue Rennard’s website explains the name:

“Remmie “The Rogue” Rennard was a famous and talented explorer during the late 1800s. Credited by newspapers of the time with having discovered coffee, the Americas and also pioneering modern-day brewing techniques.

He was of course discredited of these claims not long after it was found that he had penned the stories himself after a 12-day cognac and opium binge – and not to mention that his discovery of the ‘new world’ would have been a few hundred years too late.”

They’re serving up the delicious Five Star Day blend – which is one of my favourites. And they’re serving it up with a bit of style and aplomb, in a little French themed space decked out with a bit of style and aplomb. If there were two words I’d use to describe my Rogue Rennard experience, replete with a couple of friends, and some good times, and some food (they’ve just got their food licence) – they’d be “style” and “aplomb.”

The service was fast and friendly. The coffee was good, with creamy milk served at the perfect temperature.

The clientele were stylish, they were greeted – often by name. This is a nice little place, in a nice little suburb, serving up nice little selection of food, at nice little prices.

They live up to their offer, in their own words…

You can follow the Rogue Renard on Facebook.
(map will be added when my Google Maps plugin gets fixed – until then – find them at 106 Latrobe Tce, Paddington)

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