Whether you judge a coffee shop by its machine, the length of a barista’s beard, single origin offering or variety of brew methods – let’s face it, Australians are total coffee snobs.
When it comes to good coffee, Brisbane knows its stuff and if you hate to be disappointed – stick to the below list and we promise you’ll be in safe, coffee-tamping hands.
These are among Brisbane’s best coffee shops.
Strauss, Brisbane City
Hidden down a laneway, this tucked away gem of a cafe has a warm vibe (perhaps thanks to its heritage styling and raw brick walls) with its main gal “Spirit” the Kees van der Westen machine buzzing on the front counter. Strauss serves its own house blend, a rotating single origin and bottled cold brew.
Edward Specialty Coffee, Brisbane City
This specialty coffee nook is what the city’s bean waiting for. Tart, smooth, blackberry notes … you might think we’re talking wine, but Edward Specialty Coffee is brewing complex and unique espresso. Find White Horse Coffee and four origin varietals on rotation in a sophisticated, minimalist space.
Coffee Anthology, Brisbane City
Coffee Anthology Photo Credit: @basketballfreak6
Anthology: a collection of literary works. Coffee Anthology: a collection of coffee. When ordering there is generally a choice of three roasts for espresso coffee, plus cold drip and cold bottled coffee. It does a mean banoffee waffle too.
John Mills Himself, Brisbane City
The first challenge is finding the place. This tiny laneway establishment is a coffee spot by day, bar by night and sits within a historic former printing office. Not settling on one roaster, JMH sources beans from The Single Guys, Coffee Supreme, Marvell St Coffee and Blackboard Coffee. It offers V60 pourover and cold bottled coffee as well as espresso.
Bellissimo, Fortitude Valley, Bulimba and Coorparoo
Australia’s highest awarded coffee roaster from 2010-13, Bellissimo Coffee roast in Bulimba by the river at its cafe and warehouse. It also has a two-storey cafe in Fortitude Valley near James St to drop by for coffee and cake pre or post shop plus an outlet in Coorparoo.
The Single Guys, Brisbane City & Kenmore
The Single Guys focus on sourcing the best single origin coffee to serve to customers in Brisbane City and the western suburbs. The white space is an Instagram dream and its short menu will keep you fed.
Botero House, Brisbane City
Venturing into Queensland from the Central Coast, Botero coffee has found its home in a multi-storey historic building that has shaken up that end of the city. An innovative cafe menu and coffee cocktail list only adds to the experience.
Bear Bones, Fortitude Valley
Drop into Bear Bones HQ and enjoy a cup of life from the warehouse-styled cafe space out front. There’s a short cafe menu to enjoy in the industrial location too.
Campos, Fortitude Valley
Fortitude Valley’s original laneway cafe, Campos HQ, has the goods with their quality coffee cultivated by time, care and commitment.
Contessa by Blackstar Coffee, Brisbane City
Opposite Roma Street Station, Contessa is West End coffee roaster Blackstar’s CBD cafe. The galley of a space serves espresso alongside its well-known cold-pressed coffee in a bottle made using local Maleny Dairies milk.
Marchetti, Brisbane City
Maybe it’s the old crooners, the mosaic tiled floors, the cannoli in the window or the art deco ads on the walls. Marchetti transports you from downtown Brisbane to old world Italy, and the espresso is damn fine.
Ricochet Espresso, Brisbane City
Using Blackstar beans from the favourite West End roaster, Ricochet’s hole-in-the-wall cafe is the perfect combination of quick coffee, great staff and a good vibe.
Pourboy, Brisbane City
Using coffee from Mecca, Pourboy does pourover, nitro and cold drip coffee as well espresso. It operates as a full breakfast and lunch cafe with a great menu.
Need more suggestions? Check out our guide to where you'll find the best coffee in Brisbane City.
North of the river
Collingwood Black, Albion
Collingwood Black oozes vintage barn-style vibes and serves good food alongside its own brand of specialty coffee. Enjoy a cuppa in their outdoor courtyard or on one of the long share tables inside – you can even bring the pooch!
Wolff Coffee, Hendra
Drop into the giant roasting warehouse on Gerler Rd to enjoy three choices of bean espresso, filter coffee, nitro cold brew or a coffee pop (that’s a kick on a stick, an icy pole with real caffeine). Book in for a free weekend cupping session too, pick up specialty coffee equipment for home or take a short course in latte art here too.
The Tiller Coffee, Alderley
Over in Alderley, Tiller Coffee is an alfresco specialty coffee joint run out of a shipping container. The crew serves coffee by a variety of Australian small roasters, with local Wolff Coffee producing the Tiller house blend. Besides espresso, brew methods include chemex, aeropress and cold drip.
Industry Beans, Newstead
Are you a coffee connoisseur? Then meet Industry Beans. This southern favourite has now opened it's restaurant-style cafe to Brisbanites and is brewing coffee seven days a week in the backstreets of Newstead. But they're not just making your morning brew... they're also roasting on-site and even growing the beans in their coffee greenhouse. Combine this with epic brunch options and a light-filled interior and we've found your new favourite local.
Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, Bardon and Albion
These guys know their coffee and they take it pretty seriously. The owners are passionate about sustainable business, using a ZeroWaste composting system and recyclable takeaway cups.
Death Before Decaf, New Farm
It’s open 24/7. Yep, you read that correct. This New Farm coffee shop never closes, making that 3am coffee hit always a possibility. Drop in for metal, hardcore and hip-hop tunes and a cup of the good stuff.
Fonzie Abbott, Albion
Sweet F.A. is the name of this Brisbane roaster’s signature blend. This caffeine supplier and brewer has its roast house at Albion on Fox St. You’ll find Fonzie in other cafes around Brisbane too.
Bunker Coffee, Milton
Like the name suggests, this Milton coffee shop is tucked into a concrete vine-covered bunker-like space. Owned by the same people behind John Mills Himself, expect the same great coffee and service.
Stafford’s finest drop, head straight to the source on Hayward St. The multi award-winning coffee roaster produces multiple blends plus single origin and swiss water decaf. The on-site cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu too.
The Java Lounge, Paddington
Stopping in at The Java Lounge is like stopping by a friend's place. Take a book or that magazine you've been meaning to read and sink into one of the couches with a coffee and croissant - you'll feel right at home. The cafe also has a small menu and quick, on the go options.
South of the river
Blackstar, West End
Roasted in West End, Blackstar also bottles cold brew coffee and sells it around Brisbane cafes. Just off Vulture St, the sidewalk cafe has the ultimate West End vibe.
Gauge, South Brisbane
This South Brisbane cafe uses a Marvell St Coffee Roasters blend, plus offers a single origin by rotation. There’s also the choice of batch brew filter or pourover to accompany breakfast, lunch or dinner. Do order the sweet black garlic bread.
Piggyback Café, Jindalee
Out in Jindalee (of all places) Piggyback serves coffee in a way that’s captured likes on many an Instagram feed. Head barista Emily has mastered the art of rainbow lattes or rainbow coffee, pouring the milk with a mix of multiple food dye colours to produce crazy-looking patterns.
Dovetail on Overend, Norman Park
A husband and wife team operates this galley of cafe in suburban Gordon Park. Serious about coffee, Adam started as a prolific cafe reviewer, his interest led him to take up at job with Uncle Joe’s Coffee House in Coorpooroo. Unsurprisingly, Dovetail serves Uncle Joe’s beans, has tested every almond milk available to find the best and never charges extra for gluten-free.
Told You So, North Lakes
North Lakes darling Told You So is a hip local joint that serves espresso, cold drip and nitro coffee using Single O beans. Drop in for a slice of cake with coffee, because we told you so.
Fort Coffee, North Lakes
Nearby, Fort Specialty Coffee dishes out the goods plus a short but sweet menu of breakfast and lunch items. Drop in for house blend or single origin espresso, plus batch filter, aeropress or pourover. Oh, and coldpress in bottles.
Coffee On Point, Wellington Point
Wellington Point’s Coffee on Point is the go-to for caffeine in the area. Alongside Fonzie Abbott coffees, the team also produce indulgent hot chcoolates, mermaid lattes and a range of gourmet sandwiches, baked treats, breakfasts and lunches.
Cleanskin Coffee Co, Brendale
Cleanskin provides beans to cafes all over the city, but as you might have noticed in the list – there’s nothing like visiting the roasting source. Drop into the espresso bar in Brendale to pick up specialty coffee gear, do a barista course, or simply grab a latte to go.