Wandering in from Glenelg Street, the smell of roasting coffee instantly hit me with it’s rich tones wafting through my nostrils this fresh morning. Entering the cafe, I was welcomed by the warm Asja Svilans and Sam Bennett, who ushered me through to the roasting house behind the cafe.
Settling down, I was made comfortable with a short black crafted by their house blend, a combination of beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and Sumatra, making for a rich, almost chocolate-like hit with a berry aftertaste. Owner, Brett Carrall, was all too happy to show me the ropes of roasting boutique blends of coffee as the main roasting machine was gently rumbling away, conjuring up a new batch of the house blend. Rouge Coffee also roasts an array of single origin blends, which alternate according the seasonal produce of the bean-producing countries. “That’s where the coffee industry is going, educate people in single origin coffee,” said Sam.
Barista at Rouge Coffee for just over a month, Sam has a keen obvious interest and knowledge in coffee, treating it more as an art form rather than consumable. And deservedly so, considering it takes around 4000-hours for a coffee bean to reach the cup from the plant, an arduous and time-consuming process that demands the utmost respect. Sam’s love of coffee derives from the many variables associated with making coffee, illustrated by the new ‘toy’ – the syphon. “It takes me back to my good ol’ science days,” said Sam. The unique filtration system brings out different flavours, making for a tea-like blend, but with a higher caffeine-content, and noticeably so – I’m writing this on a caffeine high.
The cafe is very welcoming too, with its trendy collection of furnishings and fittings. The top notch coffee would go down very well with the freshly made, health-conscious breakfasts and lunches on offer. Despite being tucked away in South Brisbane’s more industrial area, Rouge Coffee is rapidly growing in popularity. “Every week it gets busier and busier. Definitely on the way of becoming a big force in Brisbane,” added Sam.
I would highly recommend Rouge Coffee for all you coffee aficionados out there. With superb coffee made fresh from the source, well roasters anyway, it really cannot get any better than that.
Words and photos by Keagan Elder