I’ve been keeping a close eye on The Cupping Room – a project by Ona Coffee. Their aim is to ‘…involve, engage and educate coffee drinkers in the finer appreciation of coffee’. Located on London Circuit across the road from UniPub and the police station, the place looks impressive with the wooden paneling outside.

Cupping Room Canberra

I was so excited to see their Facebook event a few weeks ago for their opening day where they were giving away free coffee all day. Alas, the cafe wasn’t ready to open and it got cancelled. It re-advertised its opening a few weeks later with the same Facebook event but I wasn’t able to attend as it was a weekday. I headed there that Saturday arvo but when I walked inside, I was politely told they were closed as they had a function on that arvo. Drat. This was my third failed attempt at visiting this place. I did get a shot of the inside by peeking through the windows.

Cupping Room Canberra inside
Looking at the filter bar
Looking at the filter bar

Love this awesome mural on the outside wall. I read somewhere that these guys buy coffee beans straight from the farmers/growers and work with the local communities.

Cupping Room Canberra mural

I finally drove past this morning to just try their coffee when I saw the whole placed was packed with people – indoors and outdoors. I quickly rang a foodie friend that lived in the city to see if she was keen to join me. A waiter stands by the door to greet diners. At 10.30am, we asked for a table for two. The waiter told us it would be 10-15 minutes so we joined the people outside who were also waiting for a table.

Cupping Room Canberra outside

A lot of outdoor tables
A lot of outdoor tables

As you can see, The Cupping Room has lovely wooden panels (must be a trend in Canberra) both outside and indoors, and the large windows open up to let fresh air in. There is a little takeaway window on the other side as I saw people walking off with burgers and coffees in takeaway containers. I think they’ve made use of the space very well. You can watch the baristas making coffee or wait staff juicing fresh fruit juice at the main counter.

Cupping Room Canberra 2

The kitchen is fairly open and you can peek in to watch the chefs.

Cupping Room Canberra kitchen

Cupping Room Canberra seating

The breakfast menu is large (twice the size of the lunch menu), with a little green slip paper-clipped to the front with additional items. Breakfast meals average around $15 with the most expensive item being the Atlantic Salmon at $24.

Cupping Room Canberra breakfast menu

Cupping Room breakfast menu

Cupping room Canberra menu

We ordered our coffees. My friend was informed they do coffee a bit differently here, with no lattes on the menu. Coffees are also a bit smaller in size than most places. We were both really happy with our coffees. My soy mocha ($4.50) was creamy! For you non-soy milk drinkers, its quite hard to make soy milk creamy so I loved it.

Cupping room Canberra coffee

My friend squealed with excitement when she saw that Blintz ($18) were on the menu. I had absolutely no idea what a blintz was (must be a Melbournian term? edit: comes from from the early Slavic people apparently and spread throughout Europe) and looking over the ingredients, I initially dismissed it. It was filled with sweet potato, ricotta and cherries – three things I like separately but never thought would go together. My friend convinced me to try it (so she could have a taste too) so I did. Best decision ever. I don’t know how but everything worked. Blintz are basically like crepes and these were served nice and warm. The sweet potato, ricotta, and pitted cherries were soft and only slightly sweet (I think those that like savoury dishes would like this). The real sweetness comes from the maple syrup drizzled on top and the crunchy walnuts cooked in the maple syrup. Plus natural sweetness from the cherries dotted on the plate. A light meal that’s very unique with lovely flavours. I would order this again!

Cupping Room Canberra blintz
Close up shot inside the blintz
Close up shot inside the blintz

My friend ordered the Dragons Eggs ($14) – Voodoo spiced avocado, coriander, red onion, chilli and lime served with poached eggs, spinach and toast. We couldn’t figure out what the ‘voodoo’ part was as it wasn’t really spicy.

Cupping Room Canberra dragons eggs

On our way out, we noticed the Head Roaster on the filter bar doing something…I really don’t know how to describe it. But we both oohed and aahed. I don’t know much about coffee. Their Facebook page shows they have cupping sessions where they compare filter, espresso and milk based roast profiles and the difference in taste. That would be a really interesting session to go to. I don’t think they charge a fee so I’m keen to go to their next session. There doesn’t seem to be a timetable but keep checking their Facebook page.

Cupping Room Canberra roaster

A shot of the lunch menu

Cupping Room Canberra lunch menu

Another great newly opened cafe in Canberra! I will definitely be back. I forgot to ask if they accept bookings but the wait for brunch wasn’t too long. One thing to note, it’s loud inside. You can hear the music from the street. Other than that, service was friendly and our coffees and food didn’t take long to reach us. Really nice casual atmosphere too. We were in and out within 45 minutes as we both had other commitments to go to (and it was a spur of the moment brunch). If you’re a coffee lover/connoisseur, I’d recommend you check it out and try out their cupping sessions.

Foodgasm 7.5/10
The Cupping Room on Urbanspoon

4 comments on “Brunch @ The Cupping Room”

  1. I met a friend for a meeting today at this establishment. He is from canberra i am from braidwood, he suggested we try the venue. The waiter asked for our coffee orders, i ordered a 3/4 latte. I was told the cafe did not serve lattes. i asked what they did serve. after being told i could have an espresso, flat white or cap, i asked, (sorry presumed) i could have a double ristretto. I was told no. My friend ordered a flat white and the waiter started to explain to me why the cafes point of difference was such. I decided to pass on the coffee. My friends coffee arrived and i reading the menu, was hoping to order lunch, but no, for 35 minutes i sat and talked to my friend and wondered if one of the non-attentive wait staff would possibly come back to ask if i would like to eat. My friend saw someone he knew in the cafe and that person came over to say hello, and this is the best bit….he had just finished his piccolo latte in a short black cup……By this time i was over it anyway, so my friend and i got up and left.
    I have been making coffee professionally for near on 15 years, having owner/operated cafes in both sydney and braidwood and have never ever been treated this badly in any restaurant or cafe. I will be spreading the word.

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