Every aspect of Pablo & Rusty’s revolves around just one thing: coffee that’s as close to perfect as possible. You can smell it before you walk into the new CBD store; you can even see the shiny white Victoria Arduino espresso machine that takes up most of the counter space from across the street, thanks to a handsome glass frontage.
For its first Brisbane outlet the Sydney roastery has found the perfect balance between exacting, scientific methodology and warm human interaction. It’s probably due to owner Saxon Wright’s background in chemistry, as well as his passion for researching better ways of roasting coffee.
There’s a science to the ordering, too. You can line up in the traditional fashion, but better yet swipe your re-usable Frank Green coffee mug, its built-in chip keeps track of order preferences and loyalty points. The coffee is then weighed out to the gram and heated to the exact right temperature for that particular bean.
If you’re not an espresso expert the barista is happy to recommend a blend. Or suggest the single origin, which changes at least weekly – it’s currently a bright, blueberry-scented brew.
“The coffee [has] to shine,” says manager Helen Bode. “Our focus is on giving people a fantastic experience with their coffee, even if it’s just popping in to grab a takeaway.”
You can experiment further with some creamy almond milk or small-batch macadamia-nut milk from outside of Byron Bay.
Those avoiding caffeine aren’t left out. Cold-press juice and zesty ginger beers made using natural water kefir fermentation are available, as is a generous selection of teas. You can hang around for a confab or takeaway a pastry, cake or vegan and gluten-free slice, hand-delivered every morning by West End’s Peregrin Pastries.
For those visiting from Sydney it will be a familiar experience, the only difference is in the attitude. “People start work later,” Bode says. “They’re more relaxed and more willing to have a chat.”
You suspect it won’t last, though. Speciality coffee joints like Pablo & Rusty’s are still underrepresented in the city – it’s only going to get busier and busier.
Pablo & Rusty’s
200 Mary Street, Brisbane
(07) 3236 4525
Mon to Fri 6.30am–3.30pm