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The Coffee Snob’s Guide to Canberra

Elizabeth Harris and Amanda Whitley

‘Explore your city with the BMW X5 xDRIVE30d’

One of the great things about Canberra is that it’s no more than half an hour anywhere. We’ve teamed up with Rolfe Classic BMW to present a series of articles which encourage you to explore. First (as is always appropriate), coffee.

bmwx5-hcextra

The BMW X5 is the original and most successful sports utility vehicle in the premium segment. Yes, it looks amazing, but thanks to BMW’s intelligent technologies and ultimate driving dynamics, this car is also a whole lot of fun every time you get behind the wheel—on road or off. What better way to discover your perfect cup of coffee? We’ve put together an independently-curated  list of Canberra’s best.

CANBERRA CITY

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GreenHouse Coffee and Co

GreenHouse Coffee and Co

With hanging baskets and refreshing white and blonde wood décor, you’ll be happy GreenHouse Coffee and Co has glass walls, because it’s certainly a place to be seen. Brought to you by Sasa Sestic from ONA Coffee and Michael Rose from Espresso Room, GreenHouse promises a touch of the new in the Canberra Centre. Featuring ONA’s classic menu, you can choose from single origin espresso, single origin filter, black, green and gold label filter and delicious blends with magnetic names such as ‘Hitman’ and ‘Raspberry Candy’, GreenHouse will keep you coming back for more.

GreenHouse Coffee and Co | Canberra Centre, Bunda St, Canberra City | Facebook @GreenHouseCoffeeandFood

The Cupping Room

Although many a newcomer has mistaken this for an exotic massage parlour, this Canberra classic is in fact known for cupping of a different kind. With seasonal menus and serving consistently fabulous ONA Coffee, The Cupping Room is the best place to show off to your Sydney-sider friends. Conceptualised and managed by ONA Coffee, The Cupping Room is exotic, colourful and always buzzing with activity. We recommend the Black Betty and its soothing caramel undertones for your next cup.

The Cupping Room | 1/1-13 University Ave, Canberra City | thecuppingroom.com.au

Coffee Lab

The coffee shop where artistry meets science, Coffee Lab is one of the coolest coffee spots in the Can. Not only that, but the folks at the Lab will give you a 50c discount for bringing in your own funky take away mug. And for those of you who are student snobs, venture into the ANU’s new Pop-Up Village to visit the Coffee Lab’s sister store, now available to alleviate your pre-lecture caffeine cravings.

Coffee Lab | 26 Narellan Place, Canberra City | Facebook @coffeelabcanberra

All caffeined up and ready for some Braddon retail therapy. image: Tim Bean Photography.

All caffeined up and ready for some Braddon retail therapy. image: Tim Bean Photography.

Nookie Espresso Bar

Nookie Espresso Bar, previously a hole in the wall in Garema Place, has settled into its (only marginally) larger premises on the corner of East Row in the Sydney Building. Run by duo Liv and Nam, the space feels inviting and homely and serves cracking-good coffees, chai, teas, hot chocolate, pastries and sweets. If you can, go for breakfast—it’s always tasty and a little different from the ‘same old’.

Nookie Espresso Bar | Cnr of East Row and Alinga Street, Civic| Facebook @Nookinthecity

Mocan and Green Grout

Featuring fair trade beans and funky décor, Močan and Green Grout is your one-stop coffee shop in NewActon. With strong Canberra roots, Močan sources local ingredients and presents its food on beautifully handcrafted plates. While this sultry café is also open for dinner, Močan and Green Grout’s stand-out offering is definitely its delicious coffee.

Močan and Green Grout | 1/19 Marcus Clarke St, NewActon | mocanandgreengrout.com

Harvest

Harvest has long been a favourite for local coffee snobs who live and work in the heart of the city, and boldly proclaims itself the home of  “Canberra’s Best Coffee”. We don’t dare wade into that storm, but these guys do make a mean espresso, pour over or cold brew. On warm days, their iced latte is the bomb.

Harvest | 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City | harvestcoffee.com.au 

INNER NORTH

Barrio. Photography by Rebecca Doyle Photography

Barrio. Photography by Rebecca Doyle Photography

Barrio Collective Coffee

Focussing on simplicity and an approachable environment, Barrio Collective Coffee seeks to showcase local coffee and products, with a specially tailored menu featuring traditional and contemporary brew methods. Barrio’s current seasonal coffee is Rodger Dominguez from La Paz, Honduras, and their featured black coffee is Duromina, Agaro Ethiopia. However, we think their standout point is their house-made dairy-free nut milk, comprising of cashew and almonds with some Sun Muscat raisins, which adds a touch of sweetness to any of their coffees.

Barrio Collective Coffee | 59/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | barriocollective.com

Sweet Bones Bakery Café

Established in 2011, Sweet Bones Bakery Café focusses on all things organic and gluten free. All coffee is fair-trade organic and roasted right there in Braddon. Inventive, feisty and unique, we think Sweet Bones’ spirit is encapsulated by one of their current specials—the Turmeric Latte. Don’t knock it before you try it!

Sweet Bones Bakery Café | Shop 8, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | sweetbonescompany.com 

Lonsdale Street Roasters

A vital contributor to Braddon’s transformation from car-yard and petrol station central to the artistic, hipster heart of Canberra, Lonsdale Street Roasters is a true Canberra classic. With a variety of blends with intriguing names ranging from “Wild Child” to “Johnny Cash”, Lonsdale Street Roasters challenges you to get your roast on and feed your addiction. With two cafes on Lonsdale Street, you can’t miss it.

Lonsdale Street Roasters | No.7 and No.23 Lonsdale St, Braddon | lonsdalestreetroasters.com

Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery

Bringing jazzy vibes and good times to Canberrans since 1984, Tilley’s is named after Matilda ‘Tilly’ Devine—a Sydney-based gangster and madam. Although the café started as a women’s space, both genders are now welcome to indulge in this icon’s creamy coffees and mouth-watering cakes.

Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery | Corner of Brigalow & Wattle Streets, Lyneham | tilleys.com.au

BELCONNEN

Two Before Ten. Image: Tim Bean Photography.

Two Before Ten. Image: Tim Bean Photography.

Two Before Ten

Two Before Ten, a boutique 
coffee roasting company based at the Aranda Shops (and now also in Hobart Place in the city) was one of the early adopters of house-roasting and continue to serve up smooth brews. Coffee aside, the Aranda outpost is worth a visit for the experience—a derelict building has been transformed into a unique precinct in the middle of the ‘burbs’. The building not only houses the Two Before Ten café and ‘Hank’ the coffee roaster, it also comes with a bar, a yoga studio and a boutique gifts and homewares store.

Two Before Ten | 68 Bandjalong Crescent, Aranda | twobeforeten.com.au

Chatterbox Espresso Bar

Living on the west side? Never fear, Chatterbox is here! With all the wonderful coffee you’ll be drinking at this jewel of Belconnen, we have no doubt you’ll be so caffeinated you’ll never stop chattering away. Go for the beautifully crafted fettuccine pesto, stay for your post-meal cappuccino.

Chatterbox Espresso Bar | 40 Cameron Ave, Belconnen | chatterbox-catering.com.au

Little Oink

With bright blue walls and a tropical mural, Little Oink is a real suburban gem. With a classic coffee menu and speciality house-made cold brew, once you’ve downed your coffee you should consider trying the range of teas by Tea Garden Co, with snazzy names such as Pyjama Party and Razzle Red.

Little Oink | 22 Cook Place, Cook | littleoink.com.au

INNER SOUTH 

Sasa Sestic at ONA Coffee House in Fyshwick. Image: Rebecca Doyle.

Sasa Sestic at ONA Coffee House in Fyshwick. Image: Rebecca Doyle.

ONA Coffee House

ONA Coffee House is a long-standing favourite among Canberrans—and for good reason! Boasting a delicious menu using locally sourced ingredients, the Fyshwick café delivers honest and homely food (and great coffee). ONA Coffee House is also home to their wholesale roastery, so customers have the opportunity to witness the coffee roasting process first-hand and purchase fresh ONA coffee.

ONA Coffee House | Unit 3/68 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick | onacoffee.com.au

Hideout

Frequented by public servants, we can see why this little café is an APS favourite. With more than a hint of individuality, you’ll be greeted by a rusty bicycle out the front, with the café’s name discreetly printed on its side. With one wall covered with a floor to ceiling bookcase, the eclecticism of this Barton highlight will definitely provide escapism from the daily grind.

Their sister café, Ritual, in Little National Hotel is also one to check out. We recommend coupling a creamy cappuccino with one of their chocolate chip cookies (with a Rolo in the middle for an oozy caramel surprise!)

Hideout | 6 National Circuit, Barton

Plenty of room for coffee in the BMW X5. Image: Tim Bean Photography.

Plenty of room for coffee in the BMW X5. Image: Tim Bean Photography.

38 Espresso

One of the Kingston Foreshore’s many cafes, 38 Espresso has distinguished itself with its local focus. With industrial-chic interior, it boasts an Italian coffee machine which will brew your delicious beverage using Bill Beans Speciality Coffee, an Orange-based roaster. On any given morning, you’ll find a crowd of devotees clamouring for their caffeine fix, not to mention some pretty delicious breakfast and brunch options!

38 Espresso | 4/2 Trevillian Quay, Kingston Foreshore | Facebook @38espresso

Highgate Ln Coffee Roasters

Tucked inside Kingston’s Cusack Centre is a small industrial style café that packs a big punch. Highgate Ln. Coffee Roasters do in-house, small batch roasting of more than 10 different blends and single origin coffees that are environmentally sustainable, organic, sourced from four different continents, and fair trade. And it’s locally made.

The service is warm and friendly and they offer takeaway coffee, retail coffee beans, dine-in all day breakfast and lunch.

Highgate Ln. Coffee Roasters | Highgate Lane, off Eyre Street, Kingston | Facebook @Highgate-Ln-Coffee-Roasters 

WODEN + WESTON CREEK

Lava Espresso. Image: Supplied.

Lava Espresso. Image: Supplied.

Stand by Me

With a comforting name and stunning coffee, we wouldn’t have thought you could ask for more from Stand by Me. Turns out, you can. They also have a drool-worthy range of French toast, including peanut butter and jelly, and banana curd, honeycomb cream and chocolate custard. Oh, and the chai is to-die-for.

Stand By Me | 1 Lyons Place, Lyons | Facebook @standbymecafe

Lava

Lava is possibly the most exciting thing to happen to Woden’s coffee scene, since…well, forever. They serve some seriously tasty coffee (Wood & Co is on high rotation) with a focus on traceability, meaning you can be assured they know exactly the coffee comes from and show due respect for its journey all the way from the farm to the cup.

Lava Phillip |  Unit 1/38 Townsend Street, Phillip
Lava Weston | 45 Brierly Street, Weston Creek |  Facebook @Lava.Espresso.Bars

Red Brick Espresso

The best way to describe Red Brick Espresso is a hidden gem. Show up on a weekend to this Curtin Shops’ institution and you’ll find it packed to maximum capacity inside and out (whatever the weather) because the coffee is too good to pass up. The best part (great brew aside) is the beautiful natural light shining through from the large windows on both outside-facing walls. You’ll want to stay in there all day, soaking up the sun and ALL of the coffee…

Red Brick Espresso | Shop 4/35 Curtin Place, Curtin | redbrickespresso.com.au

SOUTHSIDE

Common Grounds. Image: Facebook.

Common Grounds. Image: Facebook.

Common Grounds

Serving up Campos Coffee blends, Common Grounds focusses on the basics and gets them completely on point: Serving fresh, hot coffee, you’ll be well catered for. A menu encompassing yummy smoothies, T2 teas and green tea lattes will keep your coffee-free (heathen) friends happy too.

Common Grounds | 4/1 Jeffries Street, Gowrie | Facebook @CommonGroundsGowrie

Brew Bar

If you’re after personal service with your coffee, it’s hard to go past Brew Bar. Always bustling with people from all walks of life, it hits the spot with anyone looking for good quality coffee. Also a great choice for a chilled weekend lunch or decadent pastry at any time. Such is the spot’s popularity, there’s a second Brew Bar not too far away in Reed Street.

Brew Bar | Tuggeranong Hyperdome, 210 Anketell St, Greenway | Facebook @BrewBar-Anketell-Street

Espresso Room 

The southern outpost of the Espresso Room empire has a modern funky fit out and is a popular choice among public servants and parents. Their house brew is a lustrous blend by ONA which cups beautifully as a milk based coffee and well bodied, smooth and balanced as a black coffee.

Espresso Room | Shop 1, Level 1 Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Greenway | espressoroom.com.au

5 Senses

This light and bright space is a veritable oasis from the bustle around it—the perfect spot to take a break from a morning of retail therapy! 5 Senses‘ also dishes up some pretty tasty fare, seven days per week. Banana Bread French Toast, anyone?

5 Senses | 150 Anketell Street, Tuggeranong Hyperdome, Greenway | 5sensescafe.com

NORTHSIDE

Tinker Tailor. Photograph: Tim Bean Photography.

Tinker Tailor. Photograph: Tim Bean Photography.

tinker tailor

Casey’s tinker tailor—a collaboration between Red Brick Espresso’s Tim Manning and Knead Patisserie’s Andrew McCormack—puts coffee at the centre of their business. Literally. Their coffee machine is smack-bang in the middle of the café. They feature three unique blends: Cypher, Seasonal and Moneyball. The best part? They all taste perfect with a signature Danish plucked from the bakery kitchen.

tinker tailor | 15 Kingsland Parade, Casey | Facebook @tinkertailorcasey

Frankie’s at Forde

Named after Francis Forde, the namesake of the suburb this little gem is located in, Frankie’s is the perfect coffee stop for your post-school-run caffeine shot (just be sure to take your own cup, or be prepared to buy a reusable one – these guys don’t do disposable). We recommend stopping by for a baked yogurt and chai latte any (read ‘every’) day of the week. Although we think this might be sneaky for an article on coffee snobs, we’d also like to recommend their range of breakfast cocktails, because who doesn’t like a good Bloody Mary?

Frankies at Forde | 1/26 Francis Forde Blvd, Forde | frankiesatforde.com.au

Atlas Café

These guys offer some serious pour options using Two Before Ten beans—they’re certainly not your average shopping centre coffee shop! From Batch Brew to Aero Press, Pour Over to Cold Brew, you’d better dust off your coffee snob lingo before venturing in.

Complementing the drops on order at Atlas Café is a tasty all-day menu with a local bent.

Atlas Café | Shop 49, The Marketplace, 33 Hibberson Street, Gungahlin | Facebook @Atlasonhibberson

This is a sponsored post, presented in partnership with Rolfe Classic BMW. All recommendations contained within this article have been independently selected and are not associated with any commercial arrangement with HerCanberra.  Find more information about sponsored posts here.

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Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is currently studying Law and Arts at the ANU. She majors in Art History and has a minor in French. She has a hunger for fashion and food, and is a lover of the fabulous Canberra arts scene and many farmers’ markets. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the arts and law, and hopes to undergo further study in this area. Alternatively, she dreams of writing an art history thesis on the subject of memes. She can commonly be found enjoying a delicious cappuccino at any one of Canberra’s staple cafes, but particularly Tilley’s which she has frequented since she was four years old. When she grows up/old she wants to be just like Iris Apfel. More about the Author

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author