First cafe on the road trip to Canberra, was this little gem in Gold Creek Village. Owners Stefano & Kate named their cafe after the 2 rabbits in Disneys Bambie film. They roast their own coffee on a 2kg Solar roaster, and have rotating single beans, as well as their Broklyn Nine Nine blend. It must have been my lucky day, the single origin was an Ethiopian Sidamo. My short black had earthy tones, with hints of choc blueberry.
Thumper & Miss Bunny
2D 11 O’Hanlon Place
Canberra ACT 2913
While in our nations capital, I paid a visit to Canberra’s largest specialty roaster and coffee supplier, Ona. Home of Sasa Sestic, World Barista Champion 2015, Ona’s roastery was packed to the rafters.
I had a quick espresso, made using the Honduras El Milagrito. This washed Pacas varietal from the Santa Barbara region, had a rather robust body, with stone fruit acidity.
68 Wollongong St
Fyshwick ACT 2603
Lonsdale Street Roasters.
This Canberra roastery has been in Braddon since 2010. I met the man behind Lonsdale Roasters, Alastair Evans, several years ago, and soon realised his passion for coffee. Coffee is roaster on a Diedrich CR50, and extracted via a La San Marco espresso machine.
Lonsdale Street Roasters
23 Lonsdale St
Braddon ACT 2612
Lonsdale Street Roasters No. 7. This is where it all started for Lonsdale Street Roasters. They’re had a few makeovers since their inception back in 2010, and moved the roastery to No. 23 as they expanded. However, one thing remains the same; the down to earth service, and laid back feel. I love the Brindabellas mural behind the the main bar, that pays homage to Canberra’s iconic landscape. Huge thanks to Lane for the chat, and long black made from their Smith & Evans blend. This is their signature blend, that’s named in honour of their founding fathers. It’s a solid coffee, with choc malt tones.
Lonsdale Street No. 7
7 Lonsdale St
Braddon ACT 2612
Lonsdale Street is where it’s at, it seems. Rye café is the latest addition to the café scene on this Braddon Street, and its name is a nod to its owner’s heritage, or should I say, its much loved Rye smorrebrods. The décor also has a Scandinavian feel, with lots of blonde timber, and airy feel. Coffee is sourced from Five Senses, and extracted via a brand new Synesso MVP, and a pair of Marco SP9 brewers. I had the Colombian Primaveral as an espresso, which was balanced with chocolate tones.
9 Lonsdale St
Braddon ACT 2612
Still on Lonsdale Street, this time at the bottom of the Ori Building. Barrio Collective Coffee has been at this spot for 2 years now, with Sam at the helm behind the La Marzocco Linea PB. The name Barrio is reflective of the community this space serves to create, where all are welcomed to experience the simple joys coffee can offer. Coffee is currently roasted on a Diedrich over at 2 Before 10, which incidentally, is where I met Sam several years ago. They will soon be moving all roasting to a new site, and using a Probat.
Coffee is served in handmade porcelain cups made by Sam’s brother, Joey Burns, of Sawpit Studios. I went for an espresso, which was a washed Kenyan Gichugu. It had sparkling acidity, with lime and blackcurrant tones.
Barrio Collective Coffee
59/30 Lonsdale Street
Braddon, ACT 2612
Fine pickings at Teddy Pickers.
I remember being a kid and playing the claw game every time I went to the movies or arcades. I never won a thing, but probably wasted my entire weekly pocket money allowance in a frantic effort to win the ultimate prize, which was usually a plush toy or sugar filled lollies. In hindsight, I probably could have saved myself a heck of a lot of money, and trouble, and just brought the toys outright from Big W for half the price. But that would have removed the element of excitement, and potential glory of eventually picking up and drop a prize into a chute, for collection by little paw. That machine must have had a lasting impression on the Arctic’s Monkeys, who named their song after the ‘Teddy Picker’, which subsequently, inspired a team of Canberran Millennials to christen their café with the name. I had the pleasure of meeting one of those millennials, Olivia, and one of their talented baristas, Luke, who was generous with his time and knowledge. It speaks volumes when staff make the effort to help ease customers into a new venue. Going that extra mile is what creates an experience, and sets it apart from other cafes.
The venue itself has a fresh feel, with high ceilings, and an upstairs lounge area that features a turntable, and shelves lined with vinyl records. The ambiance up there is as smooth and refreshing as the nitro brew I sipped on while perusing the vinyl collection. Down in the dining area, the greenery adds a touch of nature and energy to the concrete walls, and the red brick floors were a fitting linkage to the main coffee supplier. Black shelves are lined with Teddy Pickles, which are made in-house.
Coffee is sourced from Red Brick, as well as guest roasters for all single origin beans. This week’s guest was from Sydney’s Reuben Hills, and as luck would have it- was a washed Ethiopian Bulga. Luke extracted an espresso shot, which had a delightful floral aroma, and toffee sweetness. I also had a Nitro Brew, which isn’t something you see on the menu often these days. Many prefer to stick to cold brew, or cold drip; but the Teddy Pickers team cater for those of us you enjoy that refreshing creamy texture. They also do a cold brew with coconut water, for those who prefer the lighter body with sweet kick.
If you spend longer that you intend too here, then you’re in the majority. Teddy Pickers is the kind of place you can lose yourself in… especially upstairs in that lounge. I can’t recommend it enough.
65 Constitution Avenue
Campbell ACT 2612
I made the trek out to Curtin, a suburb nestled in the heart of Woden Valley, which is home to Red Brick. After noticing their coffee at several cafes around Canberra, I thought a trip out here was necessary, to see who was behind the popular label. The man behind Red Brick is Tim, and he roasts a few doors down on a Probat. I was unable to meet with Tim, but Michael was ever obliging, and sat down for a chat. His face was familiar, having been part of the Ona team that travelled to Melbourne last year for Hugh Kelly’s performance in the Australian Barista Championship. He has since moved on to Red Brick, and seems to slot in well with the ethos here. I do appreciate a café that offers a variety of options, with both traditional and modern methods.
At first glance, Red Brick appears to be a community hub, where the locals gather for their daily dose of caffeine, and kids sit out front on plastic bread trays rather than milk crates. The venue itself has an industrial feel, with concrete floors, warm lighting, and you guessed it; red brick walls. There’s also an adjoining “Little Brick”, which serves take away coffee through a service window.
Evidently, they have made a name for themselves over the past 5 years, and the locals have embraced their quest to bring ethically sourced coffee to the ACT. Scanning the shelves of coffee bags, one can appreciate they are roasting seasonal beans from prominent suppliers like Melbourne Coffee Merchants. I enjoyed a long black made from the Colombian Finca la Negrita. This washed Red Bourbon is from the Tolima region of Colombia, and has a smooth texture, with sweet bakers chocolate tones, and hints of ripe plum on the finish.
Red Brick Espresso
4/35 Carruthers St
Curtin ACT 2605