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Brisbane, Australia: A guide to the best coffee shops

By Faye Bradley 23 September 2020

Header image courtesy of Peter Pivák (via Unsplash)

Australia’s coffee scene is booming. Being the inventors of the flat white—which is now one of the most popular caffeine options in the world, as an alternative to milky lattes—the region is an expert at all things coffee. Over in Brisbane, the sunshine city, it’s also becoming a fast contender in providing the beverage, offering a range of hand-roasted blends and independent boutiques. Here are some of the coolest coffee shops to try in Brisbane.

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Dandelion and Driftwood

Founded by a husband and wife duo, Peter and Penny Wolff (who have over 30 years of experience), Dandelion and Driftwood is a coffee shop with an aim to promote coffee and tea consumption and to empower its drinkers. After moving its location to Brisbane Airport, travellers can now stop by and get their proper caffeine fix from the experts themselves. Enjoy the speciality coffee and signature blends for a pre- or post-flight energy boost.

Dandelion and Driftwood, International Terminal, Brisbane Airport, Airport Drive, Brisbane Airport QLD 4008, Australia | (+61) 437 698 858

Death Before Decaf

With a name like that, it’s pretty obvious that the customers at Death Before Decaf, know to appreciate a good brew. Decked in a hardcore punk aesthetic, the coffee shop is a twenty-four seven establishment designed to serve anyone, anytime. Whether you’re a late-night raver or working overtime to catch up on uni, this one-stop venue will lend you a quick fix.

Death Before Decaf, 3/760–766 Brunswick Street, New Farm QLD 4005, Australia

Reverends Fine Coffee

The original owner of Reverends Fine Coffee was previously, you guessed it, a pastor in his former career, who started the coffee shop with the intent to spread his love for the quality goods. In 2017, he handed the reins over to a local firefighter and his wife, Brett and Leigh. Serving everything from house blends to an ever-changing list of brews by guest roasters, the venue is frequented by guests who share a passion for the beverage, drawn in by the cool soundtrack and delicious smells.

Reverends Fine Coffee, 4006/372 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Fonzie Abbott

Founded in 2010, Fonzie Abbott was born as a result of three passions from the founder—surfing, travel, and good memories. As a regular coffee drinker, he wanted to brew batches for everyday drinking, thus, Fonzie Abbott came to life. What started off as a quaint brewery, transformed into a distillery, and one-stop-shop. The team serves hot coffees, cold beers, and sociable service every day of the week. Beans are sourced using a Farm to Palm concept, where the roasters maintain a close relationship with the coffee farmers. Stop by for a fresh brew, on the way to work, or stay the day for a breezy day out.

Fonzie Abbott, 40 Fox Street, Albion QLD 4010, Australia | (+61) 7 3162 7552

Salt Coffee Roasters

Brisbane’s boutique Salt Coffee Roasters offers more than just its visually-pleasing interiors—it is primarily a coffee stop, after all. The roastery is perched on the corner of Doggett Street and Commercial Road, and decked in gold-speckled pink and emerald hues. They take their brews seriously—you’ll notice from the impressive selection of machines. There’s even an on-site roastery for keen coffee enthusiasts. Order an espresso or pour-over, and pair it with the house-made crumpets for your wake-me-up morning grind.

Salt Coffee Roasters, 60A Doggett Street, Newstead QLD 4006, Australia

Pawpaw Café

In Woolloongabba, The Venzin Group’s Pawpaw serves all-day modern Asian cuisine, with breakfast being one of the ultimate favourite times of day. Decorated in jungle-clad interiors, the dining and coffee joint is a go-to for pastries with a hot brew.

Pawpaw Café, 898 Stanley Street East, Woolloongabba QLD 4102, Australia | (+61) 7 3891 5100)

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

El’ Rosa by Arc + Family

If pink isn’t your thing, then El’ Rosa by Arc + Family probably isn’t your place. But if it is, then prepare for pure gold (well, pink). The venue is decked in pastel pink interiors and exteriors all over for an inviting, photogenic experience for the hipster coffee enthusiast. The space was designed to serve as a happy and friendly venue, with good vibes, coffee, and furnishings. It’s open for private events and photo shootings, so you may contact them for further information. Expect funky drinks as well.

El’ Rosa by Arc, 85 James Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia | (+61) 409 098 830

Street Lab Specialty Coffee

Coffee beans are at the utmost importance at Street Lab Specialty Coffee. The highly-experienced team specialises in all the familiar brews, as well as some innovative creations of their own, for the adventurous caffeine drinker. From Aeropress to syphon brews, the venue knows how to do a good brew for your morning fix. Don’t forget to try out the delectable snacks too—we’re looking at the Japanese-inspired cheesecake.

Street Lab Specialty Coffee, Shop F1/120 Edward Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia | (+61) 7 3705 0898

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Faye Bradley


Faye Bradley is a freelance writer based in Hong Kong, covering topics in travel, wellness, F&B, and the arts. As the editor and business development executive for Cha Siu Papers Times and Compare Retreats, Faye has experience in writing predominantly about luxury travel and well-being. With a keen eye for finding hidden gems, exploring new destinations, and tasting best-of-the-best cuisines, she continues to pursue her love for writing about travel and visiting remote lands. You can find her by the pool with a good book and a mojito in hand.