23 November 2012

Coffee on the Gold Coast

Coffee on the Gold Coast...

I say Coffee you say Gold coast, right? No? Well the times, my friend, are a-changing and there are some quality venues along the coast to be found.

My recent 4 day trip uncovered the following cafes - one near the beach one near the stunning new Bond University and one up in the Hinterland. This should cover most bases. Several places looked interesting on the main highway between the airport and Surfers Paradise too - but I'll only comment on paces I actually visited...

Mount Tambourine Coffee Plantation

It is always good to get a recommendation when venturing out on a day trip. Here is mine to you if planning a day 'on the mountain': Mount Tambourine Coffee Plantation.

The cafe is set in a traditional Queenslander with verandas overlooking the garden. From the car park you can spot the actual coffee plantation out back plus some specimens surround the car park as ornamental foliage.
The interiors are more homely than remarkable but I came here for the coffee not the interior design. I was a little dubious upon entering as back in Melbourne one is spoilt by the bombardment of funky interiors, hipster staff, groovy tunes and reputable coffee brands. 
We decided to give the plantation a go and ordered our coffees as out kids leafed through the pile of kids books in the corner.
The woman who served us (who owns the plantation with her husband) asked where we are from and when I said Melbourne she offered to 'make the coffee stronger as Melburnians like it strong"
I pondered this, thinking that really we are fussy about proper extraction, more than 'strength' but all the same I appreciated the thought!
The coffee indeed came out strong - a double shot I guess - and the own-brand single-origin coffee was really very good with richness and a heavy mouthfeel. (That is about the limit of my coffee tasting skills I'm afraid!)
Normally when the man of the house is around a tour of the coffee plantation can be arranged but no such luck on our visit. 
A great refreshment stop all the same.

Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation
64 Alpine Terrace, Tamborine Mountain QLD 4272

No Name Lane

We based ourselves for our stay a few streets south of the madness that is Surfers Paradise. Interesting...  (that is me being polite...) but I would consider Broadbeach next time for the family friendly vibe and less of a 'Schoolies let loose in the clubs' kind of atmosphere. Broadbeach boasts an amazing beachfront playground that we could hardly drag the kids away from as well as finding in the pedestrianised mall a carousel that cost a mere $2 donation per head to ride.
The kids were happy and we were too upon trying No Lane Cafe. (Located off Elizabeth Street in a laneway leading to a classy eating and shopping development). 
This small 'Melbourne Style' cafe spills out into the laneway and offers a simple menu of cooked meals and cakes as well as deliciously smooth coffee.
We came here twice - it's a great place to stop and enjoy a coffee whilst people watching and it's the most centrally located decent coffee shop on my list.
This is a cafe that would fit in well within the Melbourne scene in all regards from interiors to quality of coffee. Not that I like to imply that Melbourne = Good... but it is a good benchmark!
The regular coffee is served in quite a small coffee cup, which I don't mind at all but does perhaps make the coffee all the more 'more-ish' and on both our pit stops we ordered a second round. 

No Name Lane Cafe,
Elizabeth Ave, Broadbeach Queensland 4218

Blackboard Coffee

I could see from Google Maps that this place was out of the way but analysis of BeanHunter assured me it was worth tracking down. (As much as these user review sites can assure one, anyway)
It is in a most unlikely spot in a 'village' that has sprouted near the new Bond University. One of those soulless, unlikely strips usually harbouring a travel agent, a hair dressers and a chemist... or similar.
I'm pleased we did track it down - we visited as a group of four adults and two kids and nicely fitted into one of the many large booths.
We opted for coffee all around as we had planned on lunch elsewhere.
Service was attentive and we were offered the choice of house blend or a single origin bean. The coffee was well extracted and full flavoured.
In all definitely worth the drive.

Blackboard Coffee,
7/240 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes QLD 4227

So there are my findings from our spring-time mini-break to the Gold Coast. If you can add to this list then please do leave a comment - and perhaps this list will grow if we return next year.


  1. The plantation sounds like a nice place for a coffee

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