The latest coffee house to open in Canberra is Coffee Lab housing the capital’s first steam punk machine to scientifically brew your coffee. This allows a barista to set the temperature, time and more as well as apply a brew made up by a barista on the other side of the world. Read more about the process in this Canberra Times article.
Wooden furnishings are dominant with its detailing outside to its use at the front counter, on the walls and tables contrasting nicely with the grey stone and cement.
Wooden pallets hang from the ceiling as added decor.
Two chalkboard signs up top indicate the types of milk based coffee and espresso used (that day?). There are lots of yummy pastries to choose from at the front counter but what caught my eye were the three different cronuts available ($4.50 each) – salted caramel, choc berry and one more that I’ve forgotten. I ordered a soy mocha ($4.50) and a choc berry cronut. The eftpos machine hadn’t been set up yet so it was cash only that day. I went to sit down at one of the large communal tables and noticed these cute test tubes filled with coffee beans displayed on every table.
Looking around, I could see a chalkboard drawing of a scientist in a lab standing on the floor, and around the corner a bunch of hessian sacks piled on top of each other giving customers a feel of being in the middle of the coffee brewing process.
Near the bi-fold windows looking out onto the street, I saw another quirky chalk drawing but this time of a deconstructed coffee machine.
I’d forgotten to say I was dining in, so my coffee and cronut came in a takeaway cup and bag. The coffee in the mocha tasted nice, however I think the soy milk used was too thin resulting in the mocha tasting too watery to me. Please note that I like a really creamy soy milk while others might not. Other people who’ve visited Coffee Lab and order regular coffees are raving about it. The cronut was a big let down lacking any texture and crunch from the ‘croissant’ half. There were no crispy beautiful layers inside so it was more of a soft pastry.
There were many city workers dropping in to get coffees to go or having a quick business meeting over coffee. It has an upbeat vibe from all the chatter but it wasn’t loud enough to overly disturb those having a conversation.
Coffee Lab is located on Narellan Place outside the Canberra Centre facing Cooyong Street. If you’re coming from Supabarn, walk past the CBD Dumpling House and keep going. It’s on the next corner. Open Monday to Saturday.