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These Are the Great Local Brisbane Cafes Keeping Our Writers Fuelled Right Now

Our writers' top picks for a coffee fix.
By Cailin Sheppard
December 20, 2021
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By Cailin Sheppard
December 20, 2021
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in partnership with

If you're one of those people that cannot live without caffeine, whetting your whistle with coffee is an essential ritual. Whether it's part of your 'morning exercise' — a five-minute walk and flirting with your favourite barista — or the carefully planned work catch-up, any excuse is a good excuse.

As writers, there's nothing we love more than sitting in a cafe, typing at inhuman speeds to meet a deadline and sipping madly on our coffee of choice. We've teamed up with Milklab to showcase the trusty locals we rely on for all our caffeine needs. These go-to spots hold a special place in our hearts — and our fuzzy morning brains.

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ALCOVE CAFE AND DELI, WILSTON

Since opening in 2012, Alcove Cafe and Deli has become a staple of the Wilston community — and a staple of CP contributor Cailin Sheppard's week. Here, you'll find homely brunch dishes, daily baked treats and a carefully curated specialty coffee menu. The baristas sling your classic espressos alongside cold brew concoctions served over ice with coconut water and mint or lemonade and citrus. Or you can enjoy the best of both worlds with the Fire and Ice, in which a cold brew and a flat white are served side by side. This helps the differences between the extraction methods to shine through, especially with creamy Milklab oat milk.

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Mitch Clayton

BESSA, MILTON

A stone's throw from much-loved Milton coffee haunt Bunker is its sibling venue, Bessa, which CP contributor Neesha Sinnya recommends. The wooden kiosk was opened on Little Cribb Street to spread out the continuous stream of customers Bunker was (and still is) subject to. Bessa serves up Five Senses Coffee with Queensland roasters on rotation for batch drops from Monday to Friday. Jaffles, pastries and doughnuts are available as sweet or savoury sidekicks to your coffee or hot chocolate, which can come spiked with lemon myrtle, lime and salt, chilli or aztec spice.

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Mitch Clayton

JOSIE NORTH, TOOWONG

Located down a lowkey arcade in Toowong, Josie North has slowly garnered a reputation as serving some of the best specialty coffee in Brisbane. The 17-seat cafe has a simple menu of eats and a regular rotation of three Australian roasteries: Seven Seeds, Small Batch Roasting and Wood and Co Coffee. The aim here — and at the roasteries — is to produce coffee which showcases the origins of the beans rather than how they are roasted, meaning black, filter or a light, creamy option like Milklab's oat milk is the way to go if you want the full effect of the flavour.

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BLACK SHEEP COFFEE, WOOLLOONGABBA

Black Sheep has been a mainstay of the Brisbane coffee roasting scene for almost a decade. The soon to be renamed Joyce Coffee — which will happen first thing next year — is all about cultivating a culture of community and coffee. Keeping it simple with coffee and Sprout Artisan Bakery pastries served out of its roastery, the team here showcases the in-house selection of blends and single origins through an array of brewing methods. The coffee palace will also be relocating come 2022, but just across the road to a larger space on Norman Street. Plus, you'll be pleased to hear, pooches are more than welcome to pop by here, too.

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Mitch Clayton

HUNTER AND SCOUT CAFE, GRACEVILLE

With a full breakfast and lunch menu, smoothies, coffee and plenty of space for dining, you certainly aren't left wanting at Hunter and Scout. Sit out in the courtyard filled with tropical plants and while away the morning with friends, or bring your laptop to work remotely with a coffee at the ready. While the midday menu here is made for long lunches, breakfast is a more easy-going but indulgent affair with options like a wild mushroom and tarragon omelette, burnt butter crumpets and a cheddar cheese and chive hash brown benedict. And yes, they have alternative milks aplenty here.

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CHAPTER IV, PADDINGTON

Perched on the upper end of Latrobe Terrace with sweeping views of Paddington and the city is Chapter IV. This quintessential neighbourhood hangout dishes up an all-day menu of brekkie classics, sangas and boujie brunch specials — think Singapore chilli crab benedict, vanilla, pear, lemon and honey panna cotta and a Japanese fritter stack. Campos is the roastery of choice for the full-range coffee selection here, best taken on the back deck with a cute coffee date by your side.

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Mitch Clayton

COCO BLISS, NORTH LAKES

Come for the acai, stay for the coffee at this bliss bowl powerhouse's North Lakes hub. The go-to spot is all about the wholefoods, blending them together to make smoothies, juices and smoothie bowls which make a perfect light brekkie or snack. With a predominantly raw and vegan menu, it makes sense to have plant-based milks on lock (cue Milklab) as they make up the majority of bases for smoothies and coffees. As for savoury, vego and vegan toasties make great grab-and-go options while wholesome salads make up the rest.

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We challenged one of our writers to switch to oat milk for a week. Find out what they discovered here.

Ask your barista for Milklab Oat or head to the website for more information.

Top image: Black Sheep Coffee

Published on December 20, 2021 by Cailin Sheppard
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