Abhi Gupta has spent 10 years involved in specialty coffee in Sydney, working everywhere from the front lines in inner-city cafes to behind the scenes at White Horse Coffee roasters. But he says it didn’t take him long to fall in love with Brisbane’s coffee community.
“I’ve been blown away by how welcoming everyone has been to a new face,” he says. “There’s so much knowledge and openness – the Sydney scene is obviously bigger but in terms of talent there’s not much difference.”
Gupta liked it enough to put down some roots, opening Edward Specialty Coffee in the CBD in late October. Located a few doors down the hill from Central Station and tucked into the historic Anzac Square Arcade, Edward’s decor has classic throwback touches. The counter is tiled in forest green, the wooden floor and furnishings dark and unpolished; it’s a welcome change from the ubiquitous minimalism of white and pine.
The cafe is geared towards takeaway, but if you’re lucky you can snag a seat at the little tucked-away booth or at the huge glass front window.
Every morning Gupta starts up four grinders for his rotating espresso, filter blend and single origin and cold brew, all from White Horse (an exclusive for Brisbane). For snack options, Danny’s Bread and My Plate deliver Edward’s counter pastries and vegan sweets.
Gupta says Edward Specialty Coffee is really about making specialty coffee mainstream and giving everyone what they want. “I know I look like a massive hipster coffee guy,” he says. “I have tattoos and glasses and I like bikes and old cameras and whatever. But I also don’t care if you want syrup in your coffee or sugar in your cappuccino. I’m also really proud of our decaf options; people who can’t have caffeine don’t have to get stitched up anymore. And none of that detracts from our main goal of serving great-quality black coffee.”