The best of both beans – coffee at Koko Black

by Barrister Barista

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Is it just us, or is there something depressing about supermarkets at Easter time? Tossing discounted (still expensive) Lindt and Cadbury into the trolley next to iceberg lettuce and jalna yoghurt just doesn’t say I love you, let’s get into a food coma this weekend.

We’re snobs, and we live in Canberra, so we passed on the supermarket queues and did some destination Easter shopping this year.  Aside from eggless / dairyfree / carob at the hippy grocery stores, our options boiled down to Canberra’s chocolate destination – Koko Black, Canberra Centre. While we were there, we had a coffee (or two). Passing up St Ali coffee is something our snobbery just doesn’t sanction.

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So. Koko. A household name for Melbourne residents and Melbourne tourists, Koko Black has the dessert end of the dating market pretty well covered in Canberra. Dating slash girly catch ups slash take your parents slash cousins, niece and nephew. They’ve gotta be doing pretty well – and why shouldn’t they?  The Melbourne market covered, they made their next moves to the two most isolated cities in Australia (praps?) – Canberra and Perth.

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Chocolate is one of those first-world inelastically-demanded luxury goods that, well, you don’t need to read a blog to understand the significance of. Here we are nearing up to its biggest derby, its Superbowl – He died and rose again so that you could up your seratonin levels.  The question we’re left pondering is why does chocolate go so damn well with our other favourite bean product? No, not tofu – coffee.

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Is it true that coffs and choc are from similar parts of their respective plant, grown in similar climates, roasted on similar machinery?  We dunno, but like couverture  chocolate (only pure cocoa mass and cocoa butter, that’s right, Vegans), Melbourne-roasted beans aren’t easy to find in Australia’s Capital T.  Sure, them hipsters be roastin’ at Lonsdale St and out ONA way, but they didn’t take out the 2013 AASCA Detpak Australian Barista Champion (well, Matt Perger is not a a roaster, but still).

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St Ali is the shop front, serving Sensory Lab (we think), doing something special called relationship coffee‘ – the next step in ethical coffee production.   St Ali says ‘the grower and the customer are intrinsically linked and they are in a unique position to connect the two’. Hmmm. We’re just happy that having smelled the air in their South Melbourne warehouse, we can pretend we’re still as hip when we wash down a brownie at a chocolate boutique in Canberra.

Weeknights open late is another winning part of the KB business model (no, not Knightsbridge, Koko Black). We want to know what you think of Koko Black. compromised coffee culture or a beautiful balance of beans? throw your opinions in the comments below.

Koko Black

Corner Bunda and Petrie Streets
Canberra ACT 2601

02 6230 4040

Monday to Thursday 8.30am-10pm
Friday 8.30am-11pm
Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am-6pm

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