Gold Coast Cafe Review: Canvas: Art, Craft, Espresso

Having been very much impressed by my stops at Uncle Joe’s Coffee House in Coorparoo, it seemed logical to check out a fellow client of 3rd Crack Coffee Brokerage when we ventured to the Gold Coast on our day off this week. So we drove down to Nobby Beach, and walked past a bunch of more visually obvious cafes to this little gem.

Stephanie, the owner, was very happy to let us park our pram next to the big wooden table inside her eclectic and colourful little shop, which is currently serving up a delicious blend featuring a Guatemalan Finca San Rafael Urias.

The only real let down coffee wise was that Canvas is only licensed to serve takeaway coffee, so it was served up in a paper cup. The almond croisant more than made up for that though…


The coffee lived up to the hype, but was especially good as the “barista’s choice” – so few cafes make obvious recommendations about how you should sample their coffee, but there, on the board, was the recommendation to try the blend as an off the heat short long. So I did. And it was fruity and sweet.

Stephanie was very excited about the coffee, she was also very keen to know that we’d enjoyed it, without being intrusive. It was such a warm and friendly little shop filled with colourful bits of arts and craft, and decked out with clever furniture like wooden milk crate seats, and skateboard deck tables. It appears from their website, and beanhunter reviews, that they’ve only recently switched to 3rd Crack. That decision appears to have paid off. Also, when almost every (very positive) review on Beanhunter mentions the friendly service, you know you’re on a winner.

We had a lovely hour or so reading the paper, sampling the wares, and enjoying the coffee. You can find both 3rd Crack and Canvas on Facebook.

Gold Coast Cafe Review: Barefoot Barista

It’s important, possibly essential, when picking a coastal holiday spot, to find somewhere with good coffee by the beach. Coffee makes holidays go around. Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach is one to add to the map. And if you’ve got some days booked on the sunny Gold Coast you could do worse than make it your “local.”

The decor is stunningly beachy, laid back, and comfortable. The staff are friendly. The baristas wear shoes (at least they were when we were there) and the crowds sitting around tables inside and out are a testimony to their ability on their beautiful blue La Marzocco Linea.

The latte art was photogenic. The coffee was typical Campos. Tasty. Tasty and well made. My double shot flat white had great texture and was the ideal temperature.

Their banana bread and bacon frittatas were just top drawer. A great start to the morning, and I’m told the white chocolate and raspberry muffins are just amazing.

Find them on Facebook.

Gold Coast Cafe Review: Blackboard Specialty Coffee

There are cafes that are hyped up for no apparent reason, and there are cafes that live up to the hype. Blackboard Specialty Coffee is a rare gem – it exceeds even the most hyped up expectations. Part of me didn’t believe some of the stuff being said about these guys on Twitter. I was prepared to be let down. But when a group of us rocked up on Friday afternoon, just before closing time, we were all left more than satisfied.

As it was late in the day, and we’d already been to a couple of cafes already, the four of us ordered piccolo lattes. And they were amazing. From the latte art to the cup. Succulent. Creamy. Delicious. And the best bit, this was a freshly delivered blend from Cup Specialty Coffee, who supply all their beans (well, just about all of them), and the barista behind the shiny Synesso told me he’d only been dialling it in for an hour. It’s possible the sweet and chocolaty blend of Brazilian and Colombian beans was going to get better over time.

My only regret was that we didn’t get there in time to sample the previous blend – a ripper featuring the coffee that Australian Barista Champion Matt Perger took to the World Barista Championships (you can watch his routine, which featured the wonders of this bean pretty heavily, here), a Tanzanian bean that is proving pretty elusive.

Using quality beans is the mark of a quality cafe, and these guys were quality. Well worth a stop if you’re in the Varsity Lakes district. It almost had me enrolling in some sort of degree at Bond University.

The coffees were so good that we pretty much unanimously went for a second round.

These guys are serious about coffee, and they’re seriously good. Worth a trip from Brisbane. The food is meant to be pretty good too.

Creative design from the South

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