Could Canberra be our nation' s next coffee capital?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Canberra is made up of nothing more than roundabouts and Parliament House, populated by our nation’s politicians.
In reality though, for the past several years, Australia's capital city has been undergoing a quiet cultural revolution, developing itself into a true lifestyle destination. As part of this, the small city has also become surprisingly well known for its way with the modest coffee bean.
Home to Australia’s respective 2015 and 2016 Barista Champions, Sasa Sestic and Hugh Kelly, competition is fierce in the Canberra hospitality scene.
Here are just a few of the must visit cafes in Canberra:
1. The Cupping Room
1/1-13 University Ave, Canberra | thecuppingroom.com.au
The Cupping Room is the brainchild of ONA Coffee, and sits on the corner of University Avenue, with its pared back timber fit-out spilling onto the street, and wide window sills allowing sunlight to flood in. Sasa Sestic, 2015’s World Barista Champion, is one of the founders of ONA Coffee, and together with his team has paid an extraordinary amount of attention to each and every detail in the café to ensure that the coffee and food, as well as the environment itself, is a delight to partake in.
ONA Coffee focuses on sourcing ethical and environmentally sustainable green coffee beans of only the highest quality. What seems at first to be an unusual quirk, The Cupping Room makes good on its promise to deliver a coffee experience like none other.
You can’t order a generic cappuccino – but their knowledgeable baristas and wait staff are more than happy to walk you through their different coffee blends and find you what you are looking for.
40 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra | harvestcoffee.com.au
This one is an oldie, but a goodie. Harvest has been a Canberra icon since 2010, serving sleep-deprived students and public servants alike with what they claim is Canberra’s ‘Best Cup of Coffee’. Consistency is key, as is the speed and efficiency of this tight coffee-brewing team, working within the confines of a small and limited making space.
There is seating both within the rich wooden space, and outside it, but during peak hours the café is often filled to the brim with office workers grabbing a quick bite to eat and another coffee to go.
All of Harvest’s baristas have been trained to a rigorous standard, ensuring that each cup of coffee is just as rich and full-bodied as the next.
3. Lonsdale Street Roasters
7 Lonsdale St, Brandon, Canberra | lonsdalestreetroasters.com
Credited with being a large factor in the cultural renewal of Braddon, Lonsdale Street Roasters is a charming and comprehensive temple dedicated to all things coffee. Opening in 2010, Alistasir Evans originally had a vision to source quality coffee, roast it, and pour it, all in the same space. Thus, Lonsdale Street Roasters was born.
On Saturdays, the roaster comes to life, with visitors able to smell the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, while also eating and drinking.
The food menu is extensive, with all your breakfast favourites and more. With a small shop selling their wares, Lonsdale Street Roasters is the ultimate coffee enthusiast’s stop.
4. Barrio Collective
59/30 Lonsdale St, Braddon, Canberra | barriocollective.com
Slightly newer to the scene is Barrio Collective Coffee, a collaborative effort of Sam Burns, Duncan Turner and Dan Zivkovich in the suburb of Braddon. With a Scandinavian fitout, the warm timber benchtops and floorboards contrast with concrete and ivory tiles to create an elegant ambience in the small space.
Charmingly, the ceramics in the café are crafted by Sam’s sibling, Joey Burns of Sawpit Studios, and the glassware is created by Annette Blair of Canberra Glassworks, adding a local touch to the space.
Using coffee beans sourced from Honduras and Ethiopia, Barrio Collective’s coffee pairs up well with its beautiful menu that includes braised lamb, corn tortillas and a delicious rye cured tuna.
While you won’t be able to find skim or soy milk for your coffee here, you will be able to find fresh milk sourced from South Coast dairy farms, or Barrio Collective’s very own house made dairy-free nut milks.
5. Teddy Picker’s
Unit 53, 65 constitution avenue Campbell, Canberra | teddypickers.com.au
Teddy Picker's is nestled away in Campbell and is constantly humming with the sound of fervent coffee drinkers, foodies, and pickle and jam enthusiasts alike! Yes, Teddy Picker’s walls play home to jars and jars of jams, pickles and chutneys – a cute nod to the image of a teddy bear picking, and pickling away.
The design of the space is warm with fresh plants on walls, and ample glass and timber notes. Coffee-wise, you’re in for a treat: Teddy Picker’s sources its blends from a number of Australia’s leading coffee roasters, including Red Brick Espresso and Wood and Co Coffee.
Presentation is king as well, and the well-thought out menu is beautifully executed. Our suggestion if your hungry is to definitely get the hotdog.