Coffee is becoming integral to the Australia lifestyle, with its cafés catering for many a traveller needing a caffeine fix. With such a broad range of flavour profiles, most coffee connoisseurs will tell you that a great brew of coffee is more than just the beans used to make it. BHR reveals the 4 key elements for a perfect cup of coffee and which cafés stand out from the pack.
#1 THE BARISTA
Making a great cup of a coffee is now a profession, with a wave of eager millennials now learning the technical aspects of creating truly great coffee. A good barista understands that creating the perfect brew is more science than art. The best have fine-tuned their skills into understanding that the coarseness of the grind, temperature of the extraction and the coffee to water ratio all need to be precisely brought together to satisfy their customers discerning palates.
For speciality coffee, Sydney’s leafy lower North Shore has flourished in recent years as a haven for those looking for single origin, blend, espresso or cold drip. Boasting baristas learned in all the lasted brewing techniques, coffee lovers will not be disappointed north of the Harbour Bridge. The Mowbray Café in Willoughby celebrates community by bringing farm-to-table breakfast and lunch, however it’s baristas that deliver consistently good coffee that it owes its loyal customer base to.
#2 CHEAP RENTS
Great coffee shops flourish where there are cheap rents- that’s why Melbourne seems to have inherited the title Coffee Capital of Australia. A combination of an influx of Italian migrants starting from the middle of the 20th century and low rents in small retail strips has resulted in a proliferation of laneways in the CBD and inner-city hipster neighbourhoods like Brunswick, Fitzroy and Carlton. Leading the way is Seven Seeds which demonstrates its passion for coffee by being a micro roaster, café and retailer all in one. The latte art is pretty impressive too.
Melbourne has so embraced expresso culture that the city holds the annual Melbourne International Coffee Expo, the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. A congregation of thousands of the industry’s most prominent café owners, roasters, baristas and service providers gather together at the Melbourne Showgrounds to share the tricks of the trade.
Ask any world-renowned barista and they will tell you that one of the secrets to a great cup of coffee is the roasting. Unlike watered-down chain brands that can leave your palette feeling cheated, when the right beans are used and they are roasted onsite you can end up with an incredibly distinctive nutty or tangy flavour.
Brisbane’s West End has gone through a café renaissance and is starting to make a ripple in the industry. BHR favourite is Veneziano Coffee Roasters which offers a roasting house, coffee shop and barista training courses. Showcasing a range of blends and single-origins, the menu is constantly changing so you can try something different every time you visit.
The pleasure of sipping your favourite brewed coffee comes down not only to taste but also to a relaxed atmosphere and ambience of the café your visiting. Most modern travellers like in sit down and enjoy their coffee on the premises and take a holiday snap too, which is why many cafés in Australia are investing in interiors that both help visitors unwind and are Instagram-ready too.
Canberra has grown its café culture in recent years, with many eye-catching cafés that engage the senses and boast free and unlimited Wi-Fi. It should be of no surprise that The Cupping Room is at the forefront, located near The Australian National University on University Avenue. With a burgeoning student population to keep awake for exams, The Cupping Room is Canberra’s largest speciality coffee roaster and has its own speciality ONA coffee. While the flavour journey is impressive, it’s modern industrial décor with lots of natural light and greenery are the idyllic surroundings for the café’s daily practice of cupping- where customers can taste, judge and sample a range of coffees.