Written by Alyssa Telecky
Community on the Corner
Artistic and welcoming, Two Charming Finches cafe sits next to the train station on Blackwood street in our little suburb of Mitchelton. If you’re looking for a comfortable spot for a meeting, study spot, or casual conversation, this spot is a lovely option. A selection of beverages and brunch foods are offered, in a trendy yet family friendly atmosphere. The owner, Mia, of New South Wales, opened the cafe in December 2017.
The cafe’s vintage vibe is comfortable and well put-together; mustard yellow chairs around simple wooden tables, simple art and greenery stand out against the dark wood floors and white walls. Small plants in colorfully painted pots line the railing of the patio outside, simple vines wind around the ceiling beams and colorful furniture invites you to relax and enjoy a quiet morning cuppa.
The coffee served at Two Charming Finches is a blend from Wolff Coffee Roasters: a mix of Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican beans. The soy flat white I ordered arrived with latte art--a small heart (but I observed the barista creating more detailed rosettas as well). Not a coffee fan? Milkshakes, juices, soft drinks, and tea are offered as well. Pastries are fresh and warm in the early morning and served promptly on colorful dishes. For those who prefer vegan and gluten free options, there are multiple choices: I can recommend the blueberry-chia muffin and banana bread.
Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a restroom out back, and free wifi are conveniently provided during open hours, 6:30am-2pm on weekdays, and 7am-2pm on weekends (the cafe is closed every Tuesday). The prices are very reasonable. A shelf in the corner holds children’s books and toys with a couch and coffee table near by for families who stop in.
Care for the environment and the community is evident at Two Charming Finches (even the cafe’s name represents the owner’s love of animals and nature). Mia and the staff appear well-acquainted with the community, addressing many customers (including myself) by name. Bringing a personal takeaway mug is recommended to lessen waste, and a discount is given for those who do. A local middle-schooler’s drawings are featured and sold on a shelf inside. The cafe’s active Instagram page advertises that there will be a Jumble Sale in June with proceeds benefiting brain cancer research, in memory of Mia’s sister. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about getting there and dancing in the rain,” is some encouragement written on the wall behind the front counter. From businessmen to young families, the people of this neighborhood will find their experience at the corner cafe to be a positive one.
Two Charming Finches is definitely an addition worth welcoming to the community of Mitchelton with its air of both playful creativity and genuine care for the world. I have highly enjoyed each of my visits to Two Charming Finches, and would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves on Blackwood Street in need of a smile and some quality caffeination.
In Brisbane where we live it is winter - and it is cold. So we thought that now is the perfect time to introduce some new WARM drinks. While you sit in the comfy couch in our café and you listen to mesmerising jazz music it is really a perfect time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with ekstra whipped cream and marshmallows. So why not try one of our four new variations of that popular winter drink:
BIRTHDAY BONANZA - white hot chocolate with vanilla and sprinkles - a sweet party in your mouth
BERRY DELIGHT - berry tea mixed with hot chocolate - people say it tastes like cherry ripe
SALTED CARAMELLO - caramel, sea salt and chocolate - do I need to say more?
SPICY AMIGO - hot chocolate with chilli and a tiny bit of milk - (we secretly call it the heart starter)
We definitely have something for everyone!
As a 'barista in training' when it comes to making coffee there is a lot of new words, smells, flavours, ideas and concepts that I suddenly need to understand."The slowest part of coffee extraction is not the rate at which compounds dissolve from the particulate surface. Rather, it’s the speed at which coffee flavor moves through the solid particle to the water-coffee interface, and this speed is increased with temperature."
Uhm what..? I'm always looking for inspiration and information as to how I can make good coffee without fully understanding the whole science behind it. And today I was stumbling over this little chart that just makes the coffee aspect of my life a little bit easier. Not only because we need to understand the difference between coarse and fine coffee grinds for different brewing methods, but because it compares the size of the grinds with something that we actually understand - like salt. So here it is. Hopefully making your coffee tasting better at home!
(Chart found on en.ilovecoffee.jp)
For those mornings when you don't have the chance to swing by the cafe before work (or for Sundays and Mondays, when we're closed!) but you find you're still craving a little something more than a dash of milk in your coffee, we’ve got some ideas for you. Today we’re sharing a few things you probably already own that can be swirled into your coffee to switch your plain black cuppa to a slow Sunday morning treat, or a sweet Monday morning pick-me-up!
1. Sweetened Condensed Milk
A thicker, more saccharine version of adding a splash of milk to your mug.
Adding a little cinnamon (and maybe some nutmeg!) gives your coffee a subtle, cheerful Christmas taste, while a spice like cardamom brings a bit more of an exotic flavor. Sprinkle some into your coffee grinds before you brew, or into the cup after.
3. Agave Nectar
A syrup-ish natural sweetener with a distinct taste of its own - I think of it as honey’s lesser-known cousin.
4. Vanilla or Almond Extract
Not just for baking! Try adding a few drops on their own, or mix some vanilla extract with coconut milk for a homemade flavored creamer.
5. Lavender Tea
Try letting a bag of lavender tea steep in your freshly brewed black coffee for a few minutes - or maybe experiment with any other floral teas you may have on hand.
While nothing beats a classic cup of regular ol’ coffee, it can be fun to see what you can mix in and end up enjoying. And of course, if it all goes horribly wrong, you can always just come to the cafe ;) Happy experimenting!
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
A blog brought to you by the staff of The Meeting Place Cafe. Highlighting coffee and community both locally and abroad.