Over the long weekend, a friend and I headed to the newest coffee bar to open in Braddon – Barrio Collective Coffee. Located next to The Hive, the entrance is easy to miss (I walked past it a few times) before noticing the minimal signage against the glass window shopfront. Stepping inside, the coffee bar is very tight and cosy but fits a long communal table made of a beautiful piece of solid timber, and the walls are lined with small timber benches and stools (didn’t take photos of the inside sorry). The rest of the decor is simple with a minimalist-industrial look. At midday, we managed to score the last few stools available and before long, there was a queue all the way to the front door for coffee.

Barrio is all about the coffee, some of which comes from Huila Colombia and Ethiopia. The focus is on simple and delicious food and coffee. Local seasonal produce is utilised as well as sourcing great products from around the world.

I ordered the Gypsy ($5) which was a smoked black tea with burnt quince jam, cinnamon and milk. It sounded fascinating and I was up for trying something different. The tea was a lot milkier than expected and very sweet. I couldn’t taste any smokiness in the tea, just a lot of sweetness, cinnamon and milk. I also couldn’t really make out the taste of quince jam but am attributing the sweetness to that. I haven’t had a sweet milk tea in a long time (I always have it black) but this wasn’t bad. Would I order it again? No. But I’m glad I tried it. I also purchased a stroopwafel ($3) to place on top of the tea to let the caramel melt a little, but alas the cup was too large. My friend’s flat white ($4) was quite bitter but surprisingly left no bitter aftertaste, leaving him wanting more. I was surprised to find that soy milk is not available here. For those who cannot drink dairy, Barrio make their own dairy free nut milk in house comprising of macadamia, cashew, almonds and some raisins to add sweetness.

Barrio Collective Coffee Canberra If you’re peckish, a small food menu offers quick and easy items such as grilled cheese on sourdough with pickles, A. Baker rye with avocado and togorashi saesoning, cured meats, and a small selection of pastries such as A. Baker danishes, brownies and spice buns. The menu was limited that long weekend to a few items from the regular menu. I tried the Pialligo bacon and Bodalla cheddar toastie ($12). I was happy with the A. Baker bread (yum!) and the cuts of bacon. Warm and homey.

Barrio Canberra bacon cheddar toastieMy friend was tempted by the thick cut toast with cinnamon sugar ($4). Great if you need a sugar hit in the morning. It’s also cheap and cheerful.

Barrio Canberra cinnamon toastOverall, there’s a definite hipster vibe at Barrio with many lining up for a taste of the coffee being offered. There are no big meals here but there is food to graze on. Prices are affordable and even with the massive queue, we received our drinks and food within 20 minutes of ordering.

Barrio Collective Coffee is located at the Ori Building – 28 Lonsdale Street in Braddon. Open seven days a week from 7am. Check out their Facebook page for updates.

Foodgasm 7/10
Value for money 8/10
Service 9/10

FPJ score 24/30

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