Outback Revue were recently invited to attend a “Coffee Tour” here in Brisbane, and as it’s something we’d never been on before, we were keen to find out more for our readers about what a coffee tour entails.
Bean Brewding is the collaboration of three Brisbane coffee drinkers. Their philosophy is to visit independent Brisbane cafes to experience a diverse range of beans, baristas and atmospheres. Through their Coffee Tours, they replicate this experience with the public, allowing you to judge for yourself what makes the best coffee experience? Is it the origin and roasting of the bean? The equipment used to brew? The Barista? The location and cafe environment? Or a combination of all of the above?
Bean Brewding have been running Coffee Tours in Brisbane since 2012. On a tour you get to experience amazing specialty coffee with some of the dedicated people in the Brisbane coffee industry. Bean Brewding conducts walking and cycling tours and tours using Brisbane City Council buses and City Cats.
Outback Revue attended the City Cat tour held on Saturday 24th October, below is our experience of what the tour involved.
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It was an early start to the day, up at 5am to get ready, have a quick bite to eat and prepare for a day of excitement and adventure. As someone already familiar with Brisbane City Council buses, it was a bus ride in, followed by catching a City Cat to the meet up destination (arriving just in time to start the tour).
This was the first venue of our tour, and what a great way to start the day! Our host JB introduced us to single origin coffee (and chocolate), pairing the coffee with the country of origin of the chocolates used, so that we could experience the full flavours of the regions covered.
He paired chocolate from Ghana with an espresso of Burundi which started out heavy, but ended lightly. Burundi is brightly acidic blend, fruity with medium body.
Next we tasted chocolate from Vanuatu with a filtered blend of Aceh Takengon, an Indonesian coffee from the Sumatra region. This coffee has a complex, rich and syrupy taste, along with a sweet palate with hints of cocoa and spice. The two blended well, and complimented each other perfectly.
Last up, we had a Bolivian Chocolate, partnered with a Central American Coffee blend, from the Costa Rica region. This blend had a lighter body with citrus and berry notes, with a nutty underlying flavour.
We experienced this coffee via a Cold Drip setup… chilled coffee? I was definitely keen to try that as well. If you decide to invest in a cold drip at home, you’re looking at roughly $150+ for the setup, but it will last up to 3 months in the fridge (in an airtight container), but best consumed within a month – perfect for the warmer weather we’re currently experiencing!
Next up, we were getting onto the City Cat and travelling over to Medley Cafe & Restaurant for a very special treat! This is a world first for a coffee tour worldwide – pairing coffee with ‘cheese’! Everyone’s heard of pairing cheese with wine, but none have actually presented tours or classes pairing cheese to coffee – believe me, it’s well worth checking out – it was a highlight of the trip for me as well (I do LOVE my cheese so I was already sold right there!)
Our host for this class was Aaron of Cleanskin Coffee Co (assisted by Nik of Medley Cafe & Restaurant who provided both the venue and the cheeses for our pairing class). We would be covering three different styles of filtered coffee from the Cleanskin range, along with three cheeses selected especially for the coffee blends used.
First up we paired Camembert cheese with an Ethiopian Koke Espresso Roast via a Chemex filter. Process used for the coffee blend was washed. This was a complex yet bold coffee, which was really clean, winey and rich in flavour. For those with a more defined palate, you’ll likely pick up the strawberry and tropical fruit flavours as well.
Next up was a hard French Goats Cheese paired with Kenya Sasini Espresso Roast, filtered through a V-60. This blend is pulped natural. I really enjoyed this pairing. I’m not sure whether it’s the filter used here (I seem to quite enjoy the flavours that a V-60 produces), or whether it was just a great pairing as both the coffee and the cheese complimented each other so well. The coffee blend paired here was enough to take the edge off the Goats cheese, softening it around the edges, giving a smoother taste. It was clean and sweet, and full of flavour.
Our last pairing here was a Blue Cheese with a Burundi Kirema Espresso Roast, filtered through an Aeropress. Processed used for this coffee blend is washed as well. This was another great pairing of coffee and cheese, both again complimenting the flavours well. This coffee blend has a full velvety body, with hints of figs, and burnt sugar – you could really taste the burnt sugar too.
One of the things I love about Cleanskin Coffee Co is that they source green coffee – that is coffee sourced direct from ethical and sustainable farms around the globe. As someone who often promotes organic or fairtrade products on my blog, this was a great bit of information to discover on the day!
Our final destination for the day was Caffeine Espresso, it meant another quick trip to catch a City Cat, and another lovely walk taking in the scenery. We arrived in time to be greeted by cafe owner, Danielle and her chef, Jordi.
For this pairing, the Saint Coffee Blend by Cleanskin Coffee Co was used, and paired with various pastries both savoury and sweet.
Our first pairing was a black coffee (ristretto), served with Brioche croutons with sauteed portabella and enoki mushrooms, spinach and topped with crispy halloumi. Earthy flavours like mushrooms enhance the robust flavours of the black coffee rather than compete with them and your palette balances perfectly. The Brioche also had a dab of aioli on them, which really set off the flavours.
Our second pairing was a milk coffee (flat white), served with double baked almond biscotti with whipped cream and fresh raspberries and blueberries. This blend is a mildly acidic medium roast that finishes sweeter than it starts, and the light sweetness from the biscotti is enhanced by the chocolate tones that are brought out when the ‘Saint’ blend is combined with milk.
This was a wonderful way to top of what had been one fantastic experience. My mouth watered over both the Brioche and the Biscotti – and my taste buds were tantalised by the coffee blends we tried with them.
This was a fantastic tour, I have a new appreciation for coffee and how it can compliment various meals from sweet through to savoury. It was an enjoyable experience and a lovely way to explore the local Brisbane Coffee Scene. Whether you’re a coffee nut, or just want to learn a little more about the different types of coffee available to you, you will enjoy this tour. If you’re a night owl, and not into early mornings, don’t stress – after that first coffee or two you’ll be buzzing and full of energy – I know I was!
Below are some galleries of our day out on the Coffee Tour, so you can get an idea of what they’re like. If you’re keen to go on a tour, be sure to book in early as these tours book out quickly! Contact Bean Brewding for more information.
Medley Cafe & Restaurant and Cleanskin Coffee Co:
City Cat and Scenery: