Where you can get your (specialty) coffee fix in Brisbane over Christmas 2012

The Christmas break is a horrible time to be a coffee fan in Brisbane. You’re off work – but everything is shut. Well. Almost.

Here’s your guide to surviving the Christmas break. I’ll update this post as more info comes in.

The following cafes are keeping the doors open, and the lights on, with just a day or two shut, but modified hours…

Uncle Joes Coffee House – Open every day except New Years.
Cup (Wooloongabba) – Open Tues-Sat, excluding public holidays.
LTD Espresso (Valley) – Closed Christmas and Boxing Day, possibly open 1 Jan.
Blackstar (West End) – Closed Public holidays only.
Belaroma (Wooloongabba) – Closed public holidays only.
Divisione Tecnica (Newstead) – Closed public holidays only.
Fort Specialty Coffee – Closed 24-26 Dec.

These cafes are closed between the following dates (inclusive):

Dramanti (CBD) – Closed 21 Dec – 2 Jan
Dramanti (Wynnum) – Closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Cup (West End) – Closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Grindhouse – Closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Bunker – closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Campos Coffee – Closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Veneziano First Pour – closed 25 Dec – 2 Jan
Cleanskin – closed 23 Dec – 7 Jan
One Drop – closed 21 Dec – 7 Jan
Dandelion and Driftwood – closed 23 Dec – 14 Jan

The Beanstalker.com’s Visual Guide to Coffee Snob Christmas

Christmas is less than four weeks away.

Crazy. I know.

So what do you get the coffee snob in your life that won’t have them turning up their nose and regifting? It’s a conundrum. But thebeanstalker.com is here to help. Here’s my guide to Christmas shopping in the under $100 category.

Click the image for a bigger version.

Visual Guide to Christmas

Here’s a bit of a guide to where to find bits and pieces around the web at the prices outlined above (most don’t include postage).

Reverse engineered coffee…

I’m a bit coffeed out today. I spent the morning behind the machine at church – and I’m starting to understand why Tony Montana had the rule “never get high on your own supply”… But this video makes me want another round.


That video is via the Weekend Edition.

Here’s a shot of one of my shots from this morning.

A snapshot of Seattle

If Coffee making (not growing) had a Mecca – it’d be Seattle. Here’s a nice little doco segment on Seattle’s coffee industry from the History Channel.

It’s nice.

Happy Birthday D&D…

This is a beautiful thing.

Dandelion & Driftwood from Liquid Light Film Works on Vimeo.

One of the things I miss most about the north side of Brisbane is our weekly staff meetings at Dandelion & Driftwood.

Owners Peter and Penny Wolff are coffee dynamos, pushing the Brisbane cafe scene to really exciting new places. One of the things I love, as an interested observer of the coffee industry, is the way they champion the idea of quality coffee across the board – training and helping others, not just their own staff – though they do push their team pretty hard to develop through competitions and training, in a way that makes sure they attract and develop passionate people. Some time last year another cafe – who in another industry might be thought of as “the competition” had a machine break down, and these guys lent them a spare. They’re really impressive – and they make a delicious cuppa.

Extreme coffee geekery: St ALi put man v machine to the test

I’m a big fan of the manual brew button on all my machines – even if they claim to have volumetric pours – normally that just hasn’t been calibrated properly, and though I’m sure I could find an Expobar and Rancilio manual online – I like to think that the man is more important than the machine in the 4 Ms of coffee (the Ms are Italian – Macinazione=grind, Miscela=blend, Macchina=machine, and Mano=man).

Anyway. I believed the hype – pulling shots when you see them turn a blond colour has always been my cup of tea… Turns out you can trust the machine, and you should… Unless your eyes work like scales, or you’ve built scales into your machines – this produces consistency. Which if there was an Italian M word for consistency would be the 5th M. I have no idea if there’s an Italian M word for consistency…

Check out this video from St. ALi’s Matt Perger… who wins competitions and stuff so you should totally listen to him.

Man vs Volumetric – by Matt Perger for St Ali from St Ali on Vimeo.

There’s a huge amount of info in the description. But here are some quick facts – TDS = Total disolved solids – it’s a measure of how efficient the extraction is, brew ratio is shot mass/dose mass – so a 51% ratio on a 21g dose is a 41mL double shot.

This video hitting the interwebs when it did was pretty funny – James Hoffman, who’s another guy who won competitions, just toured Australia and said this about the coffee scene here:

“What pleased me, inspired me, on this trip was the number of people who were dissatisfied. Their frustration with everything from raw coffee, to roasting methods, to equipment, to service; this will drive things forward and potentially do so at quite a pace. This is awesome. While this dissatisfaction is necessarily hugely widespread, I have high expectations of seeing things being pushed forward by a small group of passionate people.”

A Mug’s Game: How I ended the search for the perfect home coffee cup

Picking the right cup for coffee making at home is pretty tricky. There are all sorts of cups on the market from the dual walled and incredibly fragile Bodum beauties (seriously, dropping one of those, or having a professional curtain cleaner who’s in your house to clean your curtains as you’re about to move and knocks one off the bench, is a heart wrenching experience), down to el cheapo ugly white catering cups that you might find in your average conference facility.

I’ve got some old colourful cups that are, frankly, looking a little tired, and some beautiful white demitasse cups that my parents brought me back from a trip to Italy that are nice, except that my wife drinks piccolos and the small cups are not quite as thick and substantial as the big ones.

After a couple of trips to Brisbane cafes that sell the beautifully weighted D’Ancap cups (at Cup, and Uncle Joe’s) I got a little bit of cup envy, and had a look for Australian retailers. They’re pretty hard to find. You can buy them from here, but the Palermo which is my favourite, is $13.50. Which is a lot if you want to buy four.

I didn’t want to spend $60 on new cups. But I still wanted something heavy and in the ‘tulip’ shape that I love. So I looked around some more. And I found these Rockingham cups. From Hospitality Direct. I bought blue 90mL cups ($4.25), and blue 180mL cups ($5.46) – it appears that postage is included in these prices, because I didn’t pay anything more. And I like them lots.

A chance mishap with a heavy bowl in the kitchen sink gave me the opportunity to get some idea just how thick they are.

I like them lots.

They’ve got a great weight, they were relatively cheap, and they look nice. So they get my tick of approval.

Creative design from the South

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