We had a tip off on Twitter about Contessa by Blackstar in the Brisbane CBD and added it straight on our Coffee Shop Target List as a must visit. There had been lots of action on social media about the new venue but nothing quite prepared us for the unique slice of West End funk in the city.
Somehow the ‘vibe’ of the original Blackstar cafe permeates its younger city dwelling sibling. The A4 photocopy wallpaper, furniture on wheels, projected menu, subdued lighting provides the new ‘funk’ with the familiar links, plus roasted beans in brown paper and bottled iced coffee … not in a fridge but in ice buckets … so cool!
The friendly staff perch behind one of the two Synesso coffee machines waiting to greet you and prepare your coffee. One Synesso is primed to deliver ‘the Rev‘, the other to deliver the single origin through naked filters. The Single on offer was a Nicaraguan Maragogype — the beans were so big they nearly popped out of the hopper.
Latte Lad went straight for his flavourite starter on the Rev. He devoured his latte and was impressed by the full body. It was a long macch and a shlong on the single. A feverish discussion about the shlong, the long shot or the long black – low tide ensued. Donald was keen to take on the shlong and delivered it as a double ristretto. There was a definite colour profile of orange from the shlong and the milk in the macchiato showcased the malty flavour.
Don’t be seduced by the funky surrounds, these guys are meticulous with their coffee preparation—weighing everything and Jade roasting to a profile that best suits the beans and the machines. We blended in with the crowd on the footpath as they buzzed past. If you’re looking for a more subdued experience there is a secluded area beyond the Contessa nerve centre.
It was almost same coffees again for round two, the latte was replaced by a long black and the other original choices were the same, just consumed by other beans! The opportunity to compare notes reignited the conversation. One of our keen followers went to Contessa just after our visit and said, ‘I’ll definitely go back there!’ So if you’re looking for a slice of West End in the city, get yourself to Contessa by Blackstar in the Brisbane CBD … you’ll be glad you did!