When she’s not representing Australia in cricket or lining up in the W-League soccer competition (and often when she is) dual international Ellyse Perry drinks a lot of coffee—so much, in fact, she started an Instagram account (bean.there) to post about the cafés she visits.
Dividing her time between Sydney and the national capital — her new husband is ACT Brumbies star Matt Toomua — means she gets to spread the love. Here, the Southern Stars' talented all-rounder spills the beans on her favourite Canberra coffee shops.
The Cupping Room
The Cupping Room is a concept cafe designed by the team from Ona Coffee, Canberra’s largest specialty coffee roaster. Ona’s reputation for consistently high quality coffee was further enhanced this year when its head barista, Sasa Sestic, was crowned World Barista Champion. You can sample Sasa’s winning blend at The Cupping Room, as well as other blends and a variety of single origin roasts. But what makes The Cupping Room a Canberra favourite — there are queues throughout the week and at peak times on weekends — is its fun, inventive and delicious menu. In fact, to make the most out of a visit to The Cupping Room, I suggest bunkering down for a long brunch to sample their seriously good coffee and snack on some of Australia’s best brunch offerings with a slightly South American flair. Try the smashed avocado with fennel, orange and labne.
Two Before Ten
Forced to find new premises when their city building was demolished in 2014, Canberra’s famed coffee roasters set up shop in an old grocery store in the leafy suburb of Aranda. The new location opposite Aranda Public School is a mecca for pre and post school-drop-off parents and popular pit stop for tradies picking up takeaway coffee and toasted sandwiches. The team behind Two Before Ten (2BT) — led by local hero Chris Dennis — are passionate about their craft. Not only do they roast their own coffee next door, they also share the beans (and love) with local eateries, including Mocan & Grout, Monster Kitchenbar and A.Baker. If you’re around at roasting time, good luck stopping at one cup as the aroma of coffee beans permeates the cafe. The all-day breakfast and lunch menu is wholesome and satisfying. It’s hard to go past 2BT’s signature dish, the B.E.A.R. (boiled egg, smashed avocado, rye muffin). For serious coffee fans, Two Before Ten offers roasting classes that include lunch and a bag of the beans you’ve roasted at the end of the class.
Kingston foreshore is a thriving hub of cafes and restaurants in one of Canberra’s newest and most happening suburbs. If cold-pressed juices and whole foods are your thing, grab a seat outside on a sunny day and revel in your good fortune (and health). Local Press could be my favourite café in Australia. While many eateries line the foreshore, the menu at Local Press is what sets it apart from its neighbours. With a commitment to “procuring and providing local and ethical produce”, its offerings are seasonal, with an ever-changing array of hearty salads, frittatas and hot meals. They also serve a delicious brunch – green pea pancakes with poached eggs are a popular choice for regulars and newbies. The juices here are often inventive and always refreshing. They change daily, but if you’re there on a day when the sweet potato, orange and ginger blend is on, treat your tastebuds!
These guys are all about the coffee. And jaffles. They love jaffles. Tupelo, which operates out of a bolt hole in the city, is hands down Canberra’s most hipster cafe. Tupelo’s beans come from renowned coffee roaster Code Black Espresso in Brunswick (where else?) and its baristas would look as much at home in that quirky Melbourne suburb. While the café’s focus is mostly on producing great coffee — and, personally, I think it rivals any brew in the country — it is also passionate about the good old jaffle. Those with a sweet tooth should definitely check out the banana split variety, or if your palate tends to savoury, it’s hard to resist the Reuben – American-style corned beef with Swiss cheese.
Red Brick Espresso
Canberra’s meticulous planning, which has local shops situated centrally in each suburb, can largely be thanked for the number of high quality cafes that have popped up around the city in recent years. Red Brick Espresso in Curtin is another suburban gem. The coffee here is consistently delicious, made in a variety of different ways, and presented beautifully in the small, charming space. The cafe roasts its own beans and supplies a number of other cafes around Canberra. Its small-but-inventive food menu reflects the café’s boundary-testing ethos. Me? I’m always happy with a latte and a Slow Cooked Lamb, Truss tomato and Chickpea Salad with fresh herbs, feta and pistachios. Who wouldn’t be?