It started out with a visit to Scarborough and breakfast by the sea. When choosing a place to eat we saw a Budan Beans sign at one of the coffee shops. ‘Let’s go here’, was the call as this was a bean that had escaped our attention until now. To cut a long story short, a tweet about the coffee led to more tweeting – the result an invitation to visit Mug Shots Espresso at Sandgate for the ‘grand’ tour. How could we refuse! Mug Shots and Budan Beans are a bit like Siamese twins – the same, but slightly different, and joined at the hallway. Mug Shots is a hole in the wall cafe at 107 Brighton Rd and Budan Beans is a Has Garanti 10kg roaster at the back of the cafe. It’s like driving through a small rural town – blink and you miss it. Nathan started roasting at home with green beans and a popcorn maker because he worked in the city and was sick of the inconsistent nature of the coffee served at most places. From humble beginnings, Mug Shots has grown over the last two and a half years to be a busy coffee hub aiming to deliver ‘a consistent cup of coffee’.
We started our tasting with the house blend, the Brazilian Gourmet which is roasted on site and is Rainforest Alliance certified. The coffees were made on a San Marino – Lisa. The barista follows the Mug Shots process of consistent tampering and espresso pouring. While Nathan stoked up the roaster and the smell of toast was in the air we were served a double espresso and a flat white. The milk was textured using a special steam tip imported from the USA. Nathan aims for a lighter roast to increase the acidity and maximise the individual flavours. The flat white provided a consistent coffee flavour across the palette and leaves you with a subtle, ‘I’ve had a coffee feeling’ at the end. The double espresso had great acidity for a blend and was enjoyable in black as well as white.
Next up for tasting was the bean of the month Indian Mysore Nugget – this time we all joined in with short blacks poured as double espressos. Every Mug Shots coffee is brewed in a double basket. The coffee was aromatic and smooth with a noticeable hint of spice – a real touch of India. Interestingly Budan Beans was named after Baba Budan, who is said to have introduced the coffee plant to India. We have noticed a bit of a surge on Indian beans across Brisbane at the moment.
Mug Shots is focussed on providing you the coffee you wish to drink and back it up with a money back guarantee because they welcome feedback and wish to continually improve their roasted and brewed coffee. There is also no extra cost for lactose free and soy milk. Things to note are that all coffees are served in take away cups (so take your keep cups if you have them); there is limited footpath seating if you wish to stay and savour your brew; and there is no food. It’s all about the coffee and the beans. If you are in Sandgate, follow your nose and head to the wonderful aroma of locally roasted beans!
We give it 8 ‘bollywood’ beans