When I was growing up, the kettle was always boiling, especially in the holiday season – people dropped in for a cup of tea, friends came over for playdates, and I assume mum and dad drank their fair share of coffee to deal with our school holiday enthusiasm. Cups of tea and mugs of coffee brought people together over dining room tables and kitchen benches and patio couches, and not much has changed when I go home for Christmas as an adult. Whether you are looking for a gift for a cuppa-lover or just need a boost to finish your Christmas shopping, Brisbane’s leaf lovers and caffeine fiends can sort you out.
26 Wellington Rd, East Brisbane
This Woolloongabba café have great staff and great coffee, and I’ve bought their ground beans a few times. They roast exclusively using the Allpress Hot Air Roast Method, which supposedly dissipates the smoky, burnt taste caused by traditional drum roasting. Pickup your beans or grind from their lovely light-filled shop on the corner, or buy online.
Stocking lots of cute tea cups, pots, and other accessories in addition to their variety of loose-leaf tea, The Tea Centre have been serving Aussie tea lovers since 1993. With a commitment to responsible sourcing, they carry ethically sourced teas that empower small farmers in tea producing regions and encourage sustainable and organic farming practices by supporting worker-owned plantations. You can purchase on their website or at one of their stores – located in Brisbane Arcade on Queen Street Mall, Westfield Chermside, and Robina Shopping Centre.
15 Pedder St, Albion
Although their Bardon flagship store and café closed in September, the Neighbourhood Roastery in Albion is open and it looks lovely, although I’m yet to visit in person. The team are trained in advanced coffee preparation from espresso, filter and other popular brewing methods, and there is plenty of retail coffee to take home and a large range of brewing accessories for home coffee enthusiasts.
Small batch and hand-blended in Byron Bay, Tea Tribe uses 100% certified organic tea and herbs from micro to medium farms and packaging that is 100% is recyclable and biodegradable, and also from Byron. They have green, black, chai, and herbal teas as well as tea ware, with a focus on aligning flavour with restorative properties. Order ASAP for Christmas – they will be closed from December 20 to January 7.
68 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley
Opening in late 2013, Bear Bones have a range of blends and single origins, sourcing their green beans from around the world to their roastery and cafe in Fortitude Valley. No online shop – buy direct from the experienced staff on location.
Founded by Kym Cooper, The Steepery is a Brisbane tea retailer and wholesaler curating a selection of pure leaf teas from a variety of the regions around the world. They also operate a Brisbane tea school that provides structured, yet flexible, learning opportunities to make true tea approachable and accessible, and regularly host tea workshops and tea events to foster tea appreciation, tea knowledge and culture. You can find The Steepery at Wandering Cooks (1 Fish Lane) on Sundays, and through a number of Brisbane partners as well as online.
2/2051 Moggill Rd, Kenmore
3/201 Charlotte Street, Brisbane City
With locations in Kenmore and the CBD, The Single Guys is a specialty coffee company born and bred in Brisbane. With a focus on sophistication, character and integrity, they seek to source and supply the finest single-origin coffee and related products to their customers.
Unit 121/193 South Pine Rd, Brendale
Established in 2008, Cleanskin is a roaster, espresso bar and coffee destination located 30 minutes north of Brisbane. They source green coffee direct from ethical and sustainable farms around the globe, roast them to develop their complex flavours, and cup the coffee for quality control and consistency before it reaches their customers. You can purchase coffee, not-coffee (tea, chocolate, syrups, etc), equipment, merchandise, and even barista training via their website.
109 Norman St, Woolloongabba
Open seven days and always experimenting with new brew methods and beans, Black Sheep have an online store and also offer a coffee subscription service, delivered to your door and with a choice of permanent or seasonal blends, or single origins roasted specifically for either filter or espresso.
Cost Price Café
Ferny Grove Aqua Park, Ferny Grove
This non-profit mobile café will be open 3 days a week at the Ferny Grove Aqua Park over the holidays. Owner and coffee queen Leonie makes and sells excellent coffee at cost price, with the cost varying each fortnight depending on income and expenses. Check out the Cost Price Cafe Facebook page for more details, transparent financials, and coffee memes.
Not a coffee shop, but coffee experts and appreciators. TheMonday was started by Tyler Hood and Alex Lawton as a way to explore and celebrate their love for specialty coffee and has since grown into a community stretching across Australia, Japan and the States. Through carefully curated events and collaborations (like the fantastic The Lanes Coffee Festival in Fortitude Valley) TheMonday aims to bring the best of specialty coffee culture to those who are yet to discover it, and nurture them through to feeling comfortable and excited by the growing world of specialty coffee. They’ve also created a handy little ‘Specialty Coffee Guide’ which I use as both a bookmark and a guidebook for good coffee – find it on their social media.