Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Breakfast Series - Pop Coffee Brisbane

There is a real shortage of great breakfast spots in the Brisbane CBD, so lately I have been charging all over Brisbane suburbs looking for a great breakfast.  It turns out that there is a great new breakfast spot much closer to home, in fact it's right next door to me in Queen Street.  We first noticed that there was something new and crazy happening next door when we went for a walk into the Valley recently. Normally we escape through out back door and head to the Valley along Adelaide Street, but for some reason we went the front way, along Queen Street.  

There used to be a cafe slash carvery called 444 Queen Street, that hadn't been around for a while and in it's place was a funky looking new cafe called Pop Coffee.  Straight up I could see that the guys at Pop Coffee were looking to try something a little different by laying some 'grass' down in the middle of the CBD, giving the cafe the appearance of having a front garden.  I didn't think much at the time as we were on our way somewhere to do something and I promptly forgot about it.

Then came New Years Eve morning, we had slept in a little bit and wanted to go somewhere for breakfast but were feeling pretty lazy and didn't want to drive anywhere.  I'd actually thought about the cafe next door the night before and after some digging around on the interweb, found some info about the cafe and in particular it's name and Instagram address.  Hoping that Pop Coffee would be open in the morning I had sent a message on Instagram asking if they would be open in the morning.  Lo and behold, when I finally got out of bed, there was a response and it was good news, they were open for business!

As you would expect with a place that is literally right next door, it only took us seconds to escape from our apartment and walk to Pop Coffee.  As we got closer, I could see that the 'grass lawn' out front was in fact great quality astro turf that was thick and lush as I bent over to run my hands through it.  There were a dozen or so tables and chairs on the 'lawn' that gave off the appearance of a garden party, right in the middle of the CBD.  The cafe inside was much improved on its predecessor and had a black and white theme going on with lovely clean lines, it felt modern but also quite organic at the same time. 

I asked at the counter if there were any menus for me to take and peruse, but was informed that they still had not printed them up yet, so we had to look over the menu on the wall behind.  There were two menus, one for food called 'for the love of food' and a drinks menu called 'power smoothies' and had the most comprehensive smoothie menu I've seen in a cafe yet.  The smoothie menu had dozens of options, most really healthy looking and filled with ingredients like almond milk, Acai berries and chai seeds, just to name a few.  The food menu was an all day breakfast menu and had a good mix of contemporary and traditional breakfast offerings.

With so many smoothies to choose from, I actually got a little bit of stage fright, there were too many choices and ended up going for one of the simple flavours, a mango smoothy.  There is a bit of a 'cool' trend at the moment with smoothies being presented in big glass jars, so I was happy with the massive smoothie that was presented.  Initially, the almond milk that it was made with tasted funny, but after a few sips I got used to the flavour and really enjoyed the mango goodness.  SC ordered her customary half strength latte, which unfortunately for her was not half strength.  Pop Coffee uses Moonshine Coffee from Byon Bay, which was actually quite a lovely blend and new to Brisbane cafes, but too strong for SC's palate.

While Pop Coffee had the goods in the looks and quirkiness department, we were a little suspect about how the food would turn out.  I guess we still had visions of the old cafe in the spot, which truth be told was not that good.  Our hopes were raised when we saw some of the plates coming out for some of the other diners and really soared when our breakfasts were presented.  Both dishes were presented on long skinny wooden boards that seemed purpose built for the cafe.  SC had chosen something sweet and the banana and blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and vanilla bean cream looked spectacular.  There were two large pancakes presented simply and overlapping each other with stewed bananas and maple syrup drizzled over the top.  The pancakes themselves were very light and fluffy with a great texture and even better flavour, especially with the soft and gooey banana over the top.  Thee was a dusting of icing sugar over the whole lot and the combination of the blueberries, banana and sweet pancake mixed nicely with the vanilla ice cream. 

I'd gone for my usual big breakfast of scrambled eggs with buttered and toasted sourdough with sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato and bacon.  The plate looked lovely and very earthy with the wooden backdrop and the flat sautéed mushrooms, a feat helped with the some pesto sauce drizzled over the breakfast.  My eggs were well scrambled and had good seasoning and tasted nice, the bacon was likewise, with good flavour but perhaps just a little too crispy for my liking.  Where the breakfast excelled was with the mushrooms and grilled tomato.  The mushrooms had a beautiful flavour and were well seasoned and well sautéed and were just delicious, I would have loved a huge plate full of these on their own.  The tomatoes were also supremely cooked, were piping hot and had great flavour.  

We managed to have a bit of a chat to the owner of Pop Coffee while we were waiting for our breakfast to arrive and he seemed like a pretty cool guy.  The place had only been open for about three weeks and he was pretty exited about it's prospects.  He also mentioned that he was looking to improve the menu as well, which from what I could see looked pretty good and the options we had were really quite nice.

I'm pretty stoked that Pop Coffee has opened up right next door to our apartment block as there is not too much by the way of good breakfast joints in the CBD, especially ones that are open on the weekends.  I normally look to check out new places most times we eat out, but it's good to have a local spot where we can go to regularly when we are feeling lazy.  Pop Coffee will certainly be that local spot, of that I have no doubt.

The concept at Pop Coffee seems great, with a lovely and relaxing feel outside due to the astro turf laid, its the type of spot that you can go to and have a relaxing coffee or an amazing smoothie from the comprehensive smoothie bar.  Best of all it's a spot where us CBD dwellers can head off to over the weekend and have a great breakfast.  My only comment for the team at Pop coffee would be to get more of a social media presence and put a web site together, it was really hard to find any info about the place and it's right next door to me.  Apart from that, this place is a winner.

The coffee was not half strength and quite strong.  It was well put together though with a robust full bodied flavour
Historic Customs House is the view from from the "garden"
The awesome wooden boards are used for the presentation of food at Pop Coffee
There is a coffee bar and smoothie bar in Pop Coffee
Moonshine Coffee Roasters from Byron Bay provide the beans for Pop Coffee
There is a nice modern, yet organic feel about Pop Coffee
The only menu available at the time of our visit was up on the wall behind the counter
Some additional sweets available for the afternoon snack
Lemon bits and cucumber bits in the water.  Whoot, it tasted tangy!

Pop Coffee Brisbane on Urbanspoon


  1. fantastic!! I also live in the CBD and I spotted this place on New years day too on my afternoon walk but wasn't sure as to the extent of their menu's - I'm so pleased another local breakfast place has opened up. thanks for your regular reviews they are so helpful :)

    1. Hey there, yeah its pretty cool to have a new spot and so close too. I hope they do well, it was pretty quiet there this morning when I drove past!! Check it out and let me know what you think :)


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