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Review: The Coffee Grounds at ANU

Tess Parisotto

As a student of UC it’s almost my designated duty to turn my nose up at our local rivals: ANU.

It doesn’t help that I’m a Writing Major. ANU does not offer a creative degree as such, so I’ve been basically conditioned to pay ANU the least of my attention since deciding where to enrol in University all those years ago. However, I could ignore them no longer when I heard that The Coffee Grounds – described as an up and coming specialty coffee destination – was opening a second shop at the University of Canberra.

Appealing to my unhealthy relationship with caffeine and my desire to sniff out all of the good coffee, I had to investigate such claims. If The Coffee Grounds were coming to my place of study I needed to know what to expect. Promising great coffee and good quality food I decided I had nothing to lose in paying them a visit at ANU, so that’s what I did.


Upon approach I noticed just how beautiful the café’s surroundings are. The outside seating area is nestled under treetops and hanging planters. Inside the café, there’s a canopy of ferns and greenery hanging from steel and wooden beams, with a scattering of rich, dark wooden furniture and floorboards.


The Coffee Grounds is a unique space, inspired by the desire to accommodate and complement the active minds of staff and students on campus. After opening in 2014 it quickly established itself as a popular campus hang-out.

Owner Arthur Choi says he wanted to build a café that fostered a “vibrant social ecosystem where students and staff could relax, work or just have fun”. Arthur wanted to provide customers with more than just convenient amenities – rather, he wanted to adopt a personal customer service approach that breaks down the wall between customers and staff to “focus on long term friendships”.


It’s meant to be a place people can go and feel welcomed and settled, like a second home. They also aim to focus on specialty coffee by providing the “perfect coffee experience” and sourcing the very best beans from all over the world.

Supplied by Canberra-famous (and now world-famous) coffee giants, Ona Coffee, The Coffee Grounds can definitely live up to that promise because Ona is literally some of the best coffee currently available worldwide. To coffee snobs (such as myself) it earns The Coffee Grounds some serious brownie points.


They’ve invested considerably in coffee equipment and finding passionate baristas, both which play a big part in backing up their claim of “ The Best Coffee on campus”, and they serve their coffee in many different ways which allows the customer a great deal of choice.

You can have your coffee pretty much whichever way you want; hot coffee – espresso, macchiato, flat white, latte, cappuccino, long black, mocha; cold coffee – iced latte, iced long black, iced coffee. If coffee isn’t your thing there’s a large array of alternatives such as tea, milkshakes, smoothies, juices and chai. Without a doubt, the drinks menu is extensive and refreshing.

The food offerings are equally broad and very reasonably priced, which is a huge plus for students. There is literally only one item on the menu which is over twenty dollars – the rest hangs around the $15 mark.

For breakfast (available until 11.30am) there’s muesli, french toast, brekky wraps & rolls, corn fritters, eggs benny, bacon and egg stack and a few other mouth-watering choices (the Mediterranean – bacon, brie, tomato, avocado, pesto & poached egg on toast – elicits an uncontrollable drool-fest).


For lunch there’s a selection of burgers, salads, hotdogs and ‘classics’ like steak and fish & chips. And if all that’s not enough for you, there’s a large selection of cakes and sweets as well.

It’s a well-versed menu with plenty of options for everybody and though there are a lot of choices, it doesn’t come off as overwhelming, probably attributed to the laid back sort of vibe the café gives off.

After perusing the menu and the fit-out, it would be wrong of me to say that I wasn’t just a little bit excited to see The Coffee Grounds opening at UC.

I wouldn’t have to defect to the “other side” in search of a holistic coffee experience – I could find it right outside my next lecture.


Their opening is being celebrated with $2 coffees from this Wednesday 28 October (their official opening date) until the end of the week, live music by local acts, coffee demonstrations and giveaways.

Boy, they know how to get into the good books with us overly-caffeinated, borderline poverty-ridden uni students. Of course this means that I’ll be there, so you can count on me to report back with the goods. Until then, happy caffeinating!

the essentials

The Coffee Grounds ANU
Where: Building 19, ANU Sport and Recreation Centre, ANU, Canberra
Facebook: @thecoffeegrounds

The Coffee Grounds UC
Where: Shop 10, Cooper Lodge, Telita Street, University of Canberra, Bruce
Facebook: @The-Coffee-Grounds-UC

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are the author’s own. To read more about our sponsored post policy, click here.


Tess Parisotto

Tess Parisotto is a 21 year old freelance writer and University student currently studying a Bachelor of Writing at the University of Canberra. Born and raised a Canberran, Tess loves her city and being a part of the Canberra community. She has a love for all things local, and is a self-confessed coffee nut, fiercely passionate about coffee and cafe culture in general. Follow @tessparisotto on Instagram for your daily dose of Canberra goodness and other pretty things. More about the Author