Winter warmers: where to get cosy with your coffee

by Barrister Barista


Mocan 1

Whether or not you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, it’s hard to deny that Winter is Coming. Every year circa Anzac Day, white breath and windscreen ice start to become routine for Canberrans. Consumption of warm beverages increases, as we cling on to cups just to warm our hands. And there’s no more of this perching on milk-crates; if you’re drinking warm drinks, you want it to be doing it somewhere warm.  Where’s warm in Canberra?  We’ll tell you.

Flying south for the Winter? You’ll get toasty (and toast) inside at Silo Bakery in Kingston. Choose tables near the back, and near the baker’s oven.  Watch out for that ever-swinging front door (it can get gusty).  There’s some warm buzz at Beess and Co in Yarralumla (nb The Hipster Factor is low), with occasional sunshine. Around the corner (still Yarralumla) Farmers Daughter are doing their best to bring the heat, with blankets for outside patrons to boot. Witnesses say it was a sauna on Saturday.  In a good way.

Silo - Inside looking out

Way out west, you can roast at inside tables at Red Brick Espresso, if you can snare one.  Outside, not so much. There’s something heart-warming about sharing a small space with a big coffee roaster. Even west-er, the Lava Espressos (Lavas Espresso?) in Weston and Phillip thrive on morning sunshine at front tables; without it, you might get the cold shoulder. Order The Filter coffs for coffee that’s as hot as tea. Don’t count on sitting outside at A Bite to Eat and a Drink as Well (Chifley shops) – if you’re don’t have The Booking, you freezin’.

Mocan 1

North of the Wall (Lake), you’ll be twice warmed at Two Before Ten, with coffee roasted in the room, and The Noms cooked in the next one. Yum, and what’s this about Regional Produce dinners? Still in the city, Mocan and Green Grout is a one room kitchen extravaganza = sticky in summer, delightful in winter!  Also potential for The Sun-bake towards midday, but look out for gusty breezes! In Braddon, choose the ‘old’ Lonsdale St Roasters for warmth (number 3/7) – pull up a cushion, or a panini, and body heat will do the rest. NB the ‘new’ Roasters (number 27) has just opened doors on an inside space, but until a few doors are kept closed, we’ll be keeping our beanies on.

If coffee’s not your be-all-and-end-all, you can remove your coat inside Tilley’s in Lyneham, where one waits at the old-school counter old-school foamy cappucino, dodging kinder. We baked in Bean and Grain at the Fyshwick markets, where The Bagels boil and the windows fog with warm condensation.  Koko Black, that old evening chestnut, is the cafe equivalent of a snuggie, provided you get to drink your hot chocolate inside. That said, they also have radiant heat outdoors. You’ll also get a solid suburban cup and a warm welcome at Little Bean at the Hackett shops, where they demonstrate that the smaller the place, the easier it is to heat it.

Lava Espresso

The Latte Word: Cold weather is a great excuse for cafe-mooching, so try it out somewhere warm!  It goes without saying that waiting for your takeaway outside anywhere is no longer an option for those of poor circulation, and neither is eating al fresco unless you’re guaranteed to be that one lucky table plonked right next to a heater. So, right after you’ve finished at football/the farmers’ market/fishing, grab your girl, cue your chap, cuddle into a cafe corner, and order a coffee.

The Disclaimer: this ‘warm cafes’ special is not scientific, and at no point was a thermometer carried into a cafe.  It is purely based on anecdotal evidence, aka our recent visits and those of our friends and associates.  If you own a cafe that just installed a whiz bang new furnace thingy, please punch that into the comments field.  If you recently got chillblains at one of the cafes we’re hot for, tap that in too!

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