We had noticed a number of coffee shops in the Southbank precinct boasting Rouge Coffee as their coffee of choice, so it was time to sample it directly from The Roastery Cafe at South Brisbane. The roastery and cafe are opposite Brisbane State High School on Glenelg Street in a massive warehouse – half cafe and half roastery.
The cafe is quite a large and funky place with little unique pockets to sip your coffee. There is seating out front (nice in the sun on a cold morning), inside and out the back with some funky ‘street art’ on the wall – it’s literally three places to hang out in one.
We met Bruce, one of the owners, who told us Rouge has been in these premises since February 2012. Rouge is a family affair which started out under a house. They have a 25kg Probat roaster that you can view from the cafe, and they usually roast beans on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We were sitting outside at the window bench and one of the staff came to us and asked us if we would like some coffee and took our order – window service, what a treat! We learned that only the house blend was on offer with no Single Origin to sample. They often have a 50/50 blend with a good Ethiopian but unfortunately none had been roasted. We could come back tomorrow to check it out – story of our lives! Interestingly, the house blend includes an Indian bean – must be on the increase as Dramanti had an Indian single origin. We ordered a flat white and a double ristretto, brewed once again on a La Marzocco. Both coffees were well presented.
There was a definite acidity to the coffee which provided quite a robust upfront coffee hit that mellowed out. The coffee was enjoyable, without being memorable … we decided not to back up for another. We think Rouge is a ‘watch this space’ kind of place. They are perfecting their processes and blends, experimenting with beans and looking to add filtered coffee options.
Rouge represent a promising option on the Brisbane coffee scene. They have their supporters, particularly the local school community. There was a constant crowd the whole time we were there, surprising given Southbank is just down the way and crawling with coffee shops. Friendly staff and a passion for coffee … means we’ll be back to The Roastery Cafe at South Brisbane!
We give it 7.5 beans … with a bright future!