On a sunshiny Sunday afternoon, the Lanes Coffee Festival captivated the hearts of two coffee-culture loving baristas. From the moment we turned our eyes to the hidden alleys of Fortitude Valley, we were filled with the contagious life and joy shared by this community of coffee connoisseurs. Live music and the scent of freshly brewed coffee stimulated our senses, with the atmosphere bringing a well-balanced mixture of expertise, hospitality, and an apparent love for people and the profession. A sense of refreshment and renewed inspiration quickly followed. After all, it's not everyday that you stumble across a community of businesses that can find the beauty of balance through expertise, maintaining their vision, quality customer service, and care for their employees.
As we approached each coffee stand, a friendly invitation to share a free cuppa (or four) instantly followed. Although my personal perception of something given freely is generally accompanied by an expectation of receiving a mediocre product, this was not the case. Each stand openly shared the best they had to offer, as well as a thorough explanation of the origin of each roast. And before being permitted to leave a stand, we were almost always given a coupon inviting us to enjoy another free cuppa at their cafe, the generosity consistent and unending throughout each pop-up.
To add to the overall experience, the baristas consistently struck up a conversation with each of their customers. After hundreds of people passing through these stands for free coffee for hours on end, the passion these people had for their work never wavered, they continued to equally value each customer, making it evident they were in the business for more than the coffee - the relationship developed with their customers was of much greater importance to them.
In my opinion, this coffee festival was a great reflection of today’s coffee culture. Yes, we tend to value the overall aesthetic of the experience and quality of coffee, but ultimately we are drawn to connection. We want to leave these cafes or cafe events feeling inspired, encouraged - like we are capable of making a difference. When stewarded well, it’s these small interactions that have the power to accomplish just that.
In the end, connection and community is what the human heart craves most in this life - coffee culture can either be to the detriment or the benefit of that desire. Which of these are we going to choose? The Lanes Coffee Festival was the setting for passionate baristas, talented coffee roasters, businesses, and people coming together to choose community, and to choose connection. I believe they chose the best things life had to offer that Sunday afternoon, if only in the form of serving free coffee for a few hours. This is the reason that these two baristas from the beginning of this story fell in love with the festival itself; not because of what was happening around us, but the implication of why. Craftsmen and consumers coming together for one magical moment to model the why of coffee culture - simply put, to enjoy this life, with connections surrounding us and a cup in hand.
Jaycie Roth -TMPC Barista and Intern
One of the best parts of being a coffee addict( most of us are!) is being able to laugh at a (WAY TOO) familiar thought that we've had about our favorite morning routine. The all too familiar drudgery before our first cup, to the predictable awakening soon after we indulge in our morning cup. Or even how committed we are to having coffee every day( or more than three a day).
We all know them, but here are a few Pinterest reminders of how much we love our coffee, how lost we would be without it, and how everyone else knows EXACTLY what we mean!!
We're back! After some time spent repainting and remodeling, TMPC is back open! Changing the color of a few walls, moving furniture, and brightening things up has made us excited for the rest of the year ahead!
We like to look into the heart behind the cafe often, to remind ourselves of the heart and purpose behind The Meeting Place Cafe. "To Create Community, and Extend Hope" is our mission statement, and that's what we try to do every opportunity we have! From being donations-based, volunteer staff, and giving back to the community, we want to create a positive place for everyone to come to!
We also have a passion for excellent coffee and business practices. We’ve been able to give to several causes recently from the donations we’ve received, such as the Freedom Hub in Gold Coast. Our baristas love their craft and are hard at work every day practicing their craft, and serving excellent brews.
It’s such a pleasure to be part of our community, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!
So come on down, grab a cuppa, and see what makes The Meeting Place different from every other cafe you’ve ever been to!
See you soon!
Cold and rainy days, if spent well, are some of my favorite days! Listening to the gentle rain falling around me while curled up under a comfy blanket, with a cup of coffee, a book, and some music. A day with no plans, nowhere important to be, and no rushing around.
This idea got me thinking of a few of the essentials to a rainy day in.
What specifically makes these days so relaxing and enjoyable? I came up with a few ideas to help you enjoy your next rainy winter day!
Coffee: A steaming hot Cappuccino, or your favorite home brew! I love the calming warmth of a Latte, or a Chai Latte if you aren't the coffee type.
Your'e welcome here as well!:)
Blanket: Something SOFT! Preferably warm and large enough to cover your toes!
Location: Anywhere with a window, a balcony, or a lounge!
As long as it has a comfy chair to relax in!
Book: A fantasy adventure is preferred here! Medieval Knights, castles, and adventure are my current favorites!
Music: Novo Amor is a favorite! Jose Gonzalez, Vance Joy, and Mumford and Sons are some perfect additions as well! Spotify and Apple Music have some great playlists if your'e looking to discover some new music for rainy days as well!
So slow down, grab a book, a cuppa, and a blanket.
Relax and enjoy a perfect rainy day!
The Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, located in the modern, but also post-industrial Brisbane Suburb of Albion, is a little slice of coffee heaven! Located just three stops from Central Station, and maybe a 10 minute bus ride, Albion is a hub for coffee shops, and this one stands out!
All the cafes in the area are hole-in-the-wall gems, but this one quite literally stands out by being green, bright, and friendly. They have a welcoming location, with greenery aplenty, open air seating(helpful for a chilly Saturday Morning), and a beautiful assortment of coffee, treats, and teas as well! They sell their beans and gear off to the side, and showcase their menu up front.
One of the exciting parts of their menu was nitro coffee. A drink growing in popularity around the world: nitro coffee is a delicious, on-tap, mix of cold brew coffee and nitrogen. This creates a smooth, almost silky coffee, with a layer of almost cream at the top. (Which they nicely explain on the menu,
so you aren't surprised by it.)
The barista in me immediately wanted to try this new phenomenon! And it was pleasantly smooth! The flavors were bold, and yet simple, and easy to recognise! I can 100% recommend this coffee, as well as this cafe as well!
If you're in the area, or feel like going to way too many coffee shops in one morning, check out the Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters in Albion, and all the other amazing cafes in the area!
Coffee is an amazing drink, and we LOVE to talk about it! We also love to listen to other people talk about it as well.
Here are a few of our favourite podcasts about our beloved brew:
1. The Coffee Podcast
2. Opposite Extract
3. Unpacking Coffee
4. I Brew My Own Coffee
5. Specialty Coffee Association Podcast
6. Specialty Coffee Talk
Winter is in full swing here in Brisbane, and we can't get enough warm coffee to enjoy! One of our winter specials is the Lumberjack Latte, a winter delight. It is a latte with the warming spices: cloves and cardamom. This got us thinking: "What other spices would warm up our morning cup at home?" We asked around, and found a few, such as: nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger(better with milk), chili flakes, and cayenne pepper
Having a cup in the morning that warms you to the bone is one of our favorite parts of winter. We would love to know what spices or secrets you use as well! Have fun brewing!
Working behind an espresso machine is a labor of love, and a long journey as well. One of our baristas here at The Meeting Place Cafe, Steph, has some insight into her journey with coffee.
Could you describe your first encounter with coffee?
I've always liked coffee. when I was young, I would ask my parents to have a little sip of theirs because I loved the smell so much.
When did you first become a barista?
I first became a barista working at Starbucks in Canada. But that doesn't count. I learnt how to be a real barista here at The Meeting Place Cafe. I then found a job at a local cafe here in Mitchelton and that's been really good for my barista skills.
What makes coffee here in Australia different from everywhere else you've been?
I've been learning a lot about the Australian coffee culture being the only North American there. It's been really great learning from an experienced Australian barista. Australia has an amazing coffee culture. For them it's more then just drinking coffee. It's the experience and the art behind it. I love that wherever you go it's almost guaranteed you'll get a good coffee. Everyone takes it very seriously. To weighing the beans, grinding it just right, pulling the shot down to the perfect time, and making the best latte art possible. It's amazing!
If you could have a drink from anywhere you wanted, which would it be?
I remember specifically this coffee I had this one early morning in Byron Bay, Australia. I can't remember the name of the cafe but I do remember that it was the best coffee I ever had. Everything about it was perfect. That was 3 years ago and I still haven't found anything as good.
The life of a coffee bean is a very long journey from seed to cup. We found a neat way from Flight Coffee to see every step, and the next time you enjoy a cup of everyone's favorite beverage, remember all the steps it took to get there! Check them out at www.flightcoffee.co.nz.
Here at The Meeting Place Cafe, one of our new winter specials is the Golden Latte, featuring one of the healthiest spices in the world! We wanted to learn a little bit more about all the amazing health benefits this one little spice can have and we are excited to share our findings with you!
MIndBodyGreen.com has a great article about the top ten health benefits of turmeric, give it a read, and come down to the cafe to try out our new Golden Latte!
A blog brought to you by the staff of The Meeting Place Cafe. Highlighting coffee and community both locally and abroad.