Bean deserves a mile long list of accolades, but all it gets is this not-so-lousy review.

Tucked away in a little lane that offshoots major George Street – as most coffee shops are today, Bean is just trinket of surprise in an otherwise exhaust fumed, building laden street. With coffee that rates a strong tenner, and service that's borderline maternal, this tranquil underground getaway is the perfect sit down, chat with friends venue that offers an artistic scenery to match.

The venue itself is a hidden spectacle. Snug between the ying and yangs of George Street, Irish Murphy's and The Villager, Bean Lane is home to the work of some of our best street artists – Barek and Anthony Jiglin just two artistic hot shots who've marked the territory. Down the stairs, the café itself is warm, humble and sepia like in aura. To describe it as 'artsy' would be far from tenuous, as the venue also doubles as Bird Gallery and Studio, showcasing some of Brisbane's finest art in display that neatly marriages with the just as eye-catching café scenery.

The most praiseworthy aspect of the Bean scene is the customer service – a trait that can't be flawed from arrival to grand departure. Barista Gavin has the hearts of even the most uptight, stern faced business men swooning at his thick South African accent and Clooney jaw-line. He remembers names, orders and is one of those rare fellows that glows warmer then his brew, and shows a natural, sincere invested interest in each of his customers. It's incredible to watch him engage with every single person he serves – from the 18-year-old uni student who has only just discovered the wonders of caffeine, to the balding, suited gentleman, there's a unique customer-client engagement that's just as warming to watch as it is to experience.

Bean could sell itself on venue and customer service alone, but alas it's gone so far as to keep with the conventional definition of a café and serve coffee as well. Most of us would be locked in at Campos, but the fine tuned barista work of friendly face Gavin – or which ever sweet soul may be working – adds a hint of perfection that so often neglecting in lazy coffee making. Foodwise, everything is sourced from 'Susie', a cook poached by Gavin, who sources locally, bakes with love and produces Fultonesque creations as homely as a nanna smooch.

Bean deserves a hug, two thumbs up, a novelty t-shirt, a queue out the door, and herald high praise for it's work – but all it gets is this not-so-lousy Concrete Playground review.

Published on November 27, 2013 by Molly Glassey

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