Backstreet Christmas Day 4: Tea & Coffee

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.

Cost Price Café
McCaskie Park, Kelvin Grove
This non-profit café started up in March and sells really good coffee at cost price, with the cost varying each fortnight depending on income and expenses – currently, it’s $2.50 for a small coffee and $3 for a large. Biscuits are 50c, there is no extra charge for syrup, extra shots, or non-dairy milk, and the cups are totally biodegradable and compostable! Owner Leonie is doing awesome things with the transparency of the financials, too – visit the website to read more about her sustainable social enterprise model and enjoy some coffee memes while you’re there.

Allpress Espresso
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.

The Tea Centre
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. You can read about their ‘Tea with a Conscience’ ethical production here and purchase on their website or at one of their stores – located in Brisbane Arcade on Queen Street Mall, Westfield Chermside, and Robina Shopping Centre.

Neighbourhood Coffee
Roastery 97 Sandgate Rd, access through Pedder Street
Rainworth General Store 58 Rainworth Rd, Bardon
With their flagship store and cute café set in the old 1950’s general store (the ‘Rainworth’ stop on Brisbane’s tramlines once upon a time), Neighbourhood’s owners have a focus on quality and sustainable practices – from the gorgeous veggie patch out the back of the General Store and small batch roasting to the ZeroWaste composting system and partnerships with companies like BioPak. Their roastery space on Sandgate Rd is also open to the public. You can buy your coffee instore or online, and they do gift vouchers too.

Bear Bones Specialty Coffee
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.

Blackstar Coffee 
Roastery at 44 Thomas Street, West End 
Single origins and blends from all over the place, Byron Bay to Ethiopia. Their cold-pressed coffee is combined with Norco milk and bottled at their West End factory. You can buy Blackstar’s blends in their West End or Brisbane City stores, or via their website.