coffee

Canberra Cafe: Urban Pantry, Manuka

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It’s Steven’s birthday today and we are of course heading out for birthday brunch to celebrate. But I thought it appropriate, on this day of celebration brunch, that we share our latest Canberra cafe feature – Urban Pantry in Manuka.

It was a few weeks back that Steve and I spent a Sunday afternoon sussing out the newly revamped mainstay of the Manuka cafe scene. Urban Pantry has been kicking around Manuka for a while now, but it had been a long time since either of us had visited and we were keen to check out their new digs.

Their fresh new look is just that – fresh. They’ve gone for a Hamptons inspired interior, it’s laid-back, very white and a space that you want to spend time in. My favourite addition is the new deck outside, where Steve and I were seated after a short wait. It seems we weren’t the only ones who wanted to see what had changed that day.

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The menu has had a makeover too and we were faced with a tough choice. In the end, we both went for all-day breakfast and chose the two most indulgent items we could find. I had the madeleine ricotta pancakes ($16) with green apple, fresh berries and vanilla bean yoghurt, which came out light, fluffy and just the right amount of sweet. Steven ordered the brioche French toast ($16) with maple bacon, cinnamon mascarpone and toasted pecans, and by all reports enjoyed every last bite.

But the real hero of the whole revamp, in my opinion, is their new drinks list. With a big range of juices, smoothies, chilled organic teas and house made sodas on offer, they have something refreshing for everyone this summer. Their spiced chai house made soda is my pick of the bunch – an interesting flavour for a cold soda, but if you’re into your chai tea, then you’ll be into this.

Urban Pantry is located at 5 Bougainville Street in Manuka, they are open every day of the week and do all-day breakfast on weekends. You can also find them on facebook and instagram.

Oh, and happy birthday Steve! Love you little bro.

– Bec x

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Canberra Coffee: Two Before Ten

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With so many great cafes and some pretty top notch coffee roasters, there really is no excuse for bad coffee in this town.

If you follow me on instagram, you might’ve seen that I attended the 2015 Eat Drink Blog Conference the week before last. It was a weekend full of new friends, blogging tips and tricks, and all of the food, showing off some of the best in Canberra’s cafe, restaurant and bar scene.

Our final activity on the Sunday landed me at Two Before Ten in Aranda for a coffee roasting experience and some lunch. Two Before Ten is one of those top notch coffee roasters doing great things for Canberra’s coffee culture.

We met Jake, the in-house roaster at Two Before Ten, and he took us through the process of roasting coffee. Through the small glass window of the machine, we watched on as the beans went from pale green to that delicious coffee colour and Jake gave us the low down on how it all works.

The Two Before Ten premises in Aranda, however, are not only for roasting. They also have a great cafe that serves up a pretty mean toastie. After the coffee roast was complete, we were treated to lunch and gifted a bag of the freshly roasted beans to take home. As a result, my home brewed coffee game has been seriously good this week.

Whether you’re after coffee made by a barista or your own to take home and brew yourself, Two Before Ten has you covered.

Located at the Aranda shops (68 Bandjalong Crescent, Aranda), you can also drink their coffee at these local establishments or find them on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

canberra coffee two before ten

Canberra Cafe: Barrio Collective Coffee, Braddon

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon a few weeks back when I got to spend some quality time with my favourite Cuzzillo men.

It had been a while since we’d spent an afternoon just the three of us – Dad, Steven and I, that is. Given such a rare opportunity, we decided to try the newest cafe to hit Lonsdale Street in Braddon, Barrio Collective Coffee.

This cute little spot opened only a few months back and has quickly become my go-to for good coffee in this trendsetting area. It’s a tiny little hole-in-the-wall cafe with communal bench seating for all, good vibes a-plenty and the best cafe interior I’ve seen in a long time – those white wall tiles are seriously instagram worthy.

Good interior design aside, coffee is Barrio’s main game. I went for a brewed coffee, while the boys ordered a couple of flat whites. With no soy on the menu, Steven gave their house-made nut milk a go and loved it. My coffee was equally as delicious and I even grabbed a bag to take home with me.

Barrio’s lunch menu is on point too, with food that is simple but impressive. I had the avocado on rye with togorashi seasoning and it was delicious. Togorashi is now my new favourite thing – it’s a Japanese seasoning and if you know where I can find some, please do tell.

Dad and Steve were big fans of the food too. Dad ordered the marinated eggplant sandwich with piquillo peppers, goats cheese, pine nuts and bean sprouts, while Steven had the special of the day, a decadent toastie with fried mortadella and cheese. They were in Italian sandwich heaven.

We finished off with another round of drinks and some Italian pastries to share. Dad had a second coffee and I almost joined him, but instead got a chai while Steve tried the house-made lemon and rosemary soda. On all counts, it was the perfect end to our long lazy lunch.

For a tiny little cafe that specialises in coffee, Barrio does everything well. While it’s a given that their coffee should be good, it’s the other details that really make Barrio special. You can tell that a lot of time, thought and love has gone into this place and what they offer.

While coffee is what keeps the place buzzing, Barrio’s food menu is delicious and interesting, and their non-coffee drink options are also worth taking the time. If you’re not in the mood for coffee, I recommend a big mug of their chai with a cheeky doughnut on the side – a particularly good combo for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Barrio is open from 7am, every day of the week. Find them at the ORI Building on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, as well as on facebook and instagram.

– Bec x

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Roadtrip Detour: Dojo Bread, Braidwood

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Sometimes you come across little hidden gems that you really hope no one else will find out about. There is something so comforting, albeit incredibly selfish, in being one of the only people with the knowledge of something great.

Dojo Bread in Braidwood is one of those places that I hoped would stay hidden and secret forever. But sometime last year when I stopped in on my way to the South Coast, the line was out the door and half way down the lane and I knew the secret was out. Maybe the secret had been out for a long time and I was just holding on in hope that I would never have to wait in line.

The first I knew of Dojo Bread was when Steven randomly won a bread making class a few years back and made his way down to Braidwood to give it a go. He might not have used any of the sourdough skills he claims to have learnt that day, but he did come back with some pretty valuable knowledge – that this little bakery tucked away in Braidwood existed.

It quickly became my favourite place to stop on every roadtrip from Canberra to the South Coast. I am always disappointed if I miss their 1pm closing time and sometimes their opening hours will even dictate what time I want to leave. In my opinion, it is definitely worth leaving an hour early if it means the possibility of a pastry and coffee pitstop at Dojo.

Hidden down one of the little laneways off Braidwood’s main street, Dojo’s tiny shopfront is located in a beautiful old building with a gorgeous little garden out the front. They make delicious bread that is often still warm when you buy it, great pastries and decent coffee. You can grab everything to go or take a little break and enjoy all the goodies while sitting at one of their cozy garden tables.

Next time you’re passing through Braidwood (and it’s before 1pm), Dojo Bread is a must. Open from 9am-1pm everyday, you can find them at Rear Lane, 91 Wallace Street in Braidwood. If you’re into baking delicious things yourself, they also run bread making classes every few months.

Does anyone else have a favourite roadtrip detour?

– Bec x

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Canberra Cafe: Tupelo Coffee Co, Civic

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The other day Bec and I were cruising the city streets on the hunt for a good ol’ toasted sandwich. It didn’t take too long before we found ourselves staring at a pretty comprehensive toastie menu. The menu, that also boasts other delicious items including doughnuts and muffins all baked in-house, belongs to the relatively new cafe Tupelo Coffee Co.

Tupelo is a hole-in-the-wall cafe located on Alinga Street in the City and I must say, it really kicks ass. I ordered the “You Bastard, Reuben” with slow cooked beef brisket, sauerkraut, mustard relish, swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Bec decided to go with the “Red Right Hand”, which was pretty much a margherita pizza in a toastie. We also got a round of coffees because, you know, it’s what we do.

Anyway, back to the toasties, they were absolutely amazing little parcels of heaven. I can’t speak for Bec, but Tupelo’s take on the reuben sandwich is definitely one of the greatest, if not the greatest sandwich, of any form that I have ever eaten, ever.

The barista makes a wicked coffee, we can vouch for that, and they also offer a pint of chocolate milk for the non-coffee drinkers out there, which I think is genius. All the staff were really friendly, cool and up for a laugh – definitely a plus.

Tupelo is a groovy little cafe that’s big on delicious simple food, good coffee and chilled vibes. Located at 92-100 Alinga Street, you should definitely check it out next time you’re in the city.

– Steven

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