Friday, 3 May 2013

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation

So while I'm sitting here in cold and rainy Norway (spring has yet to arrive, although I saw a crocus peeping through some brown leaves the other day!) I can't help but dream of the Brisbane winter, which to me is like a really, really lovely Norwegian summer! ;) I'm soon to finally set foot in this wonderful city again, and since it'll be getting "colder" it will be even more enjoyable to sit down at a café for a nice cup of cappuccino, or a chai latte. Both are favourites of mine!

During the past year I've found a few favourite spots for that strong, but well rounded cappuccino, or spiced chai latte (also simply referred to as chai tea a few places, even though it's mixed with milk), so I thought I'd share them with you guys! :) I also love it when I find somewhere to bring a good book, or where I can do some innocent people-watching while sipping into a cup of goodness. Again, West End is a favourite of mine so most of the places are in that area.

I've already mentioned The Gunshop Café in another post, and I really do love their cappuccino. A big test for me is to see if they can still get that velvety taste even with skim milk, and The Gunshop passed it with flying colours. I've also had their chai latte, which I thought was really nice and served in an original manner (photo). It's always a plus when the chai comes in a small teapot and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I do prefer it just a bit more spiced though. Sitting along the sidewalk in front of the café also makes for a great people-watching spot, and if you just want to relax with a book or magaizne their backyard is perfect.

Cantina on Urbanspoon
One of the best cappuccino's I've had was at Cantina in Highgate Hill. My opinion on where to get the best cappuccino does change a bit, but I remember being pleasantly surprised and uttering the words "best cappuccino ever" a couple of times I've been there. It's strong and tasty just the way I like it, but with that velvety, rich touch. They also do a heavenly breakfast served until 2pm, so if you haven't been there yet I strongly recommend it. I've also found the staff very attentive and pleasant, and I love sitting outside in the mornings sun watching life pass by.

Eros Cafe on Urbanspoon
Another place that serves a really good cappuccino is Eros in West End. It's not quite as strong as I would like it, but it's relatively cheap and I like sitting inside near the window. There's not a lot of seating, but somehow it still never feels cramped, which is nice. They also make some delicious salads and it's definitely one of THE spots to go for sweet desserts. I always manage to fill up on breakfast/lunch though, so I seldom have enough room for sweets. The owner and staff are very attentive, and I like that the chef himself serves the dishes he makes (this is probably a result of limited space, though). Whatever I've asked for they've always managed to accomodate.

The Burrow on Urbanspoon
Oh, The Burrow. They do a good cappuccino - it doesn't make my tastebuds explode with delight, but it most certainly does the job. What they do make, however, is an absolutely heavenly iced coffee with ice-cream! We normally don't put ice-cream in our iced coffee in Norway, but this is a treat I most certainly can get used to. The Burrow offers cozy and relaxed seating upstairs, and I've spent quite a few hours up there with my books while trying to make my iced coffee last for as long as possible ;) They also do a really good breakfast, which actually blew me away a bit the first time I was there, as I was not expecting anything out of the ordinary. You can take a sneak peak at their signature dish, The Alice, here. Overall I find it a great place to just sit and relax, they also offer free WiFi and the staff is very pleasant.

Banana Lounge on Urbanspoon
The Banana Lounge in West End opened not too long ago and was a great improvement to the previous café, in my opinion. They focus on vegetarian/vegan food, but also serve a really nice chai latte worth a mention! It came in a small glass, but I thought the dried banana piece in on the spoon was a really nice touch. It was tasty too! The chai had just the right amount of spice, tea and milk and is definitely among my top 5. Unique to The Banana Lounge they also give you the option of Soy-, Rice-, Oat- and Almond-milk which is great for anyone struggling with food-allergies. And if you have a sweet-tooth they even serve an amazing chai spiced carrot cake! Yummy.

Cafe Wrapture on Urbanspoon
In my opinion, you can't really say you love chai latte without having set foot at Cafe Wrapture! Apart from serving the most scrumptious wraps on Earth (Seriously! Go eat there! Now!) Wrapture also serves an absolutely devine chai latte, in a seperate teapot, just the way I like it. It's a little pot of spiced heaven, perfectly balanced! And just right for a bit of a chilly day. The café also has a cozy little space in front where you can sit and relax (but be prepared, you'll have to fight for those seats!) and they really do seem to know their tea (I noticed a lot of other exciting varieties I have yet to try)!

There truly is nothing like taking a sip of a really good cappuccino or chai, lean back, relax and just savour the moment. What is your best caffeine moment?

"Only one thing is certain about coffee... Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation." Mark Pendergrast

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