Coffee, coffee, coffee!
By Jillian Goh

Cafés have ruled Brisbane with an iron fist since avocado toast was discovered. Though the scene is now saturated with a brunch place on what seems to be every corner of the inner city, here are some top contenders in the area to satiate those breakfast or caffeine cravings.

Hey Mr.

Jay Seo working the register 

Founded by Jay Seo in 2022, Hey Mr. is a cozy brunch spot tucked away in Moray Street, New Farm. The café décor is minimalist and sophisticated, with the perfect ambience for a casual date.

The menu mostly consists of regular Australian brunch food – eggs benedict, granola – but there’s also an intercontinental twist, with Hey Mr. also serving up chicken congee and soft shell crab bao buns.

Some of their bestselling dishes since Hey Mr.’s opening are The Hey Mr., which is the café’s take on the typical big breakfast (bacon, tomatoes, eggs, etc.) and their French Toast, which includes karaage chicken and poached eggs.

Mr Seo said his favourite menu item is the Avocado on Rye Sourdough.

“It’s simple, everybody likes it,” he said.

He also has had prior experience with cafes before Hey Mr.

Mr Seo said: “I own a few other cafes, such as King Arthur.”

“I was looking for local cafes that focus on the local people.”

Interior of Hey Mr.

He then decided to open Hey Mr.

“As a local café, we have many regular customers – and everyone’s friendly, all of them are friendly with the staff.”

The café also makes an excellent cappuccino if you’re not looking for brunch, and is a great spot to have a break or a chat.

Cappuccino at Hey Mr

The Moray Café

Dat Le behind the counter

Revamped after decades of being a staple brunch spot, The Moray Café has reinstated its iconic spot on the corner of Moray Street. It has a botanical theme, with nature-themed wallpaper and seating, as well as a clear view of the surrounding scenery from the inside.

New owner Dat Le can be seen behind the counter on most days, working at the coffee machine.

“We started out everything new, and cleared up everything,” he said.

The new café has shifted around some of the original décor – placing the garden bed outside and installing a larger table for families inside of the café. The Moray Café also now has a new kind of coffee, freshly roasted from Colosimo Coffee Roasters.

The Moray Café’s iconic corner

The menu has also been renovated, though brunch is still the main focus.

“I like the veggie fritters and the zucchini,” Mr Le said, when talking about his favourite dishes.

“We also have the Barrumundi fish and chips, which is really nice!”

The Moray Café also has further plans of turning the café into a night time spot as well.

“Some of the weekends, we’re going to do something special – like dinner, it might be Italian food, or Asian,” he said.

“In the long-term, we’re also planning to have live music, getting bands to play on Saturday or Sunday.”

Though the café has had a new start, the iconic corner of The Moray Café has remained – and so is the possibility of it living up to its predecessor.

Green Bean Coffee Roasters

Amanda Drummond and the fluid bed roaster

Something special hides in Homemaker at the Valley – a one-of-a-kind coffee roaster, with the café’s caffeine supply being roasted entirely by Amanda and Grant Drummond themselves at the shop.

Mrs Drummond introduced the machine, which is right at the entrance of the shop, and explained how this gives their coffee that fresher, better taste.

“This is a small batch roaster, so normally you get a big drum roaster or like a commercial roaster, but this is a small batch roaster. It’s also a fluid bed roaster, not a drum roaster,” she said.

Fluid bed roasters roast beans more evenly as compared to a drum roaster.

Mrs Drummond said: “We roast a couple of kilos at a time, whereas other bigger commercial roasters roast too much at one time – while it’s excellent coffee and the beans are great, they can’t just keep it as fresh as we can.”

“It makes a massive difference.”

Originally from England and New Zealand respectively, Mrs and Mr Drummond started the shop together.

“When we were 23, we bought a franchise business, so we went through the coffee cycle from when cappuccinos were new to now where it’s more specialty coffee,” she said.

“I was just sick of all the same old thing – generic stuff. You pay so much for a coffee and it’s just a rip-off. So for me and Grant, we just wanted to go for a really nice alternative.”

The couple has definitely fulfilled their goal of making a different kind of coffee. My usual order – an iced latte – was delicious as always, but it came with an extra kick this time.

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