The Maillard Project
Coffee Anthology has been such a remarkable success in Brisbane’s CBD, you might wonder why owner Adam Wang hasn’t tried to repeat it elsewhere. Many would argue Anthology remains the standard for specialty coffee in the city and, along with other outlets such as John Mills Himself and Edward Specialty Coffee, forms a community of exceptional operators who frequently swap expertise and information.
So The Maillard Project, an offshoot of Coffee Anthology, has a big shadow to step out of. And step out of it, it does. It's a cafe, roastery and community training centre, all in one, and all in the middle of the CBD. It's a place not only to drink but learn about coffee – how to roast it, how to brew it and how to serve it.
Designed by West End’s Clui Design, it’s a slick, lab-like space built from pale timber, stone and glass. In the middle is a low-set island bar with two machines pumping out espresso, as well as batch and pour-over options to help showcase the various roasts Maillard is producing. Up the back is a raised dining area for those wanting to stick around and order something from the classy brunch menu.
The Maillard Project’s real point of difference, though, is its in-house roastery and training hub. Coffee enthusiasts can try their hand at roasting, practice on a third espresso machine or come in for cupping sessions. You don’t need to be a barista to take advantage of the set-up – anyone with an interest and a little know-how can come into The Maillard Project and swap notes with Wang and other experts.
Still, if this all sounds a bit intense, The Maillard Project remains first and foremost a terrific coffee spot and classy cafe. It’s pouring four espresso options and three filter options daily, all of them using coffee that’s roasted in-house. The cafe’s Feature One blend sits next to a bunch of single origins roasted with beans sourced from Colombia and Ethiopia. There’s also cold-drip coffee with tea sourced through Australian Tea Masters.
For food, a fully equipped kitchen means an expansion of Coffee Anthology’s (now retired) menu. Dishes include a pork-stock congee served with smoked ham hock, pickled bamboo, mixed herbs and soft-boiled egg, and a potato rosti served with pork-and-fennel sausage, pickled radish and zucchini.