The New New Acton: new spaces and new faces at Močan and Green Grout

by Barrister Barista

Would coffee by another name still smell as sweet?  We’re not sure, but the name-heavy newbie at New Acton seems to be slowly winning Canberra’s heart.  Močan and Green Grout opened in an urban cave-space down from Urban Food last year, with a copycat location and an original concept (for Canberra).  Recently, it blossomed into hipster treehouse with a communal kitchen, a seasonal menu, excellent opening hours, and coffee.

We’ve been courting Močan for a few months now – using wifi, tasting foods, listening to patrons perpetuate The Hype (which generally involves guessing the meaning of the cafe’s name).  We should probably declare that one of our tweets even led to us being ‘outed’ by staff as coffee commentators.  Unbeknownst to staff, our Official Blog Day was a recent Saturday morning.  As usual, we pushed through shiny glass into the woodblock wonderland.  A twosome table that once wasn’t is now perfectly placed for our purposes.  We’re asked almost immediately whether coffee is The Order of the day.  It is, and The Short (black) is on its way.

Unlike our companion’s long black. The Short is cushioned with crema – almost 2mm of it, golden and grit-free.  The first sip has a sort-of sandy texture, but the flavour is full.  It has the best kind of blackberry balsamic vinegar bite – a nectar-y, thick texture.  We should note that this is our first espresso here to reach such great heights – there’s a tendency towards the overrun.  We’re impressed, and thirsty for more.

After food (pricey, but with panache), we order The Long: a soy flat white, and a freaking beauty.  The Pour has a little leaf trail that’s like the end of autumn in a cup.  It’s so creamy, so perfectly foamed, that we ask our companion to sip to verify its soy status.  This is the point at which we realise we have crossed over to the dark side.  We like soy milk, and this seems to equate with an instant loss of credibility on the coffee scene. We contemplate giving up coffee blogging altogether, but resolve to push through – perhaps into the new realms of alternative milk advocacy.  It’s just so gentle on the stomach…

We ‘should’ spend some more time describing The Decor, but like most works of art, we’d advise you to go and check it out for yourselves.  One companion chuckles ‘it’s sooo hipster’.  Another snaps photos of folded paper cranes and fresh flowers, and prepares to facebook them.  We personally appreciate the potential for huddling in almost-windowseats, for sunbaking outside, and for perching at the mum’s-kitchen-island and watching eggs get poached.  It’s eccentricity by design, and what’s lost in functionality is made up for in originality.




What’s not original is the thoroughly Canberra-style service, transposed to a treehouse full of nooks and crannies. Seated around the corner, or behind a wooden pillar-thing, you’ll have trouble a) discerning which trendoid youth is being paid to serve you, and b) distracting them from whichever task they’re set upon at that moment.  The Greeting  will normally not occur – you’ll just have to hone in on a table and hope.  The ‘systems’ appear to stress staff out somewhat, and The Wait for stuff varies.  If you order another beverage, or another Bread Nerds bagel, they’ll have to ring up new receipt to replace your original.   When you want to pay, you’ll be on your own, weaving awkwardly through the new floorspace, hovering up in coffeeland hoping that a barista-type will condescend to take your cash. It’s almost Silo-esque, and we use this new adjective in the negative sense.

The Latte Word:  We like, if not love.  Food is fresh and fun, if priced to perdition. (NB Males describe the portions as small, females clean their plates without guilt.  You can also get Bread Nerds and Dream Cuisine tasties without lining up at EPIC or driving to the ‘burbs).  Coffee is made well, if not perfectly.  Since the laying of the Green Grout, and the placement of the Močan bicycle (have we got it right?), Canberra’s cafe scene has lifted.

Močan and Green Grout

19 Marcus Clarke Street

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

0468 525 229
Mon – Sat: 7:00 am 6:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am 3:00 pm