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Pat Connolly, Ben Toovey and Josh Jackson

We love an exceptional brew – of the coffee variety that is – and the Gold Coast has really picked up its game over the last few years when it comes to building an enviable coffee culture.

Due, in no small part, to these three gentlemen; Pat, Ben and Josh, Locale Coffee Roasters Coffee Development Team and the epitome of coffee connoisseurs.

The trio were on the Gold Coast recently for the opening of Pearl & Ash, a newbie brewing with Locale Espresso so we nabbed them for a chat on being the best in the biz and what it is they love most about the little brown beans.

What do you love most about coffee?
Pat:
I love the complexity of coffee, the fact it’s ever-changing and always teaching you something new. Ben: The diversity, both of the flavours and the people working in the industry, from the farmers to the baristas.
Josh: I love that coffee can bring people together, from all walks of life. It’s a continuous cycle of education…how far you go down the rabbit hole is up to you.

How have you seen the coffee culture change over the years?
Pat:
Increased competition has been the biggest change I’ve noticed over the past 10-15 years. This has brought with it a push towards transparency, from farmers to importers to roasters to baristas; everyone now has much more clear and precise knowledge of every part of the supply chain. Customers are more educated also. Everyone is far more comfortable sharing their knowledge and experience than ever before. Technology and social media have had a big impact on the industry, both good and bad. The quality of coffee and food is at a higher standard than ever before.
Ben:
Consumers are becoming more educated about quality, and more open minded to try new origins of coffee and different brew methods.
Josh: I don’t think people have ever been as engaged as they are now, which has been great for our industry. They’re interested in where their coffee is sourced, how it’s produced, its environmental impact and so on…it’s not limited to the coffee industry either. The ease of obtaining information and connectivity to others worldwide has been a key driver of this.

Tell us your personal favourite brews…
Pat:
Currently I’m excited about what’s coming out of Yemen. Very exciting coffee at the moment.
Ben: If I had to choose one coffee to drink every day it would be a filter brew of a light roasted, washed Kenyan.
Josh: Always love a good pourover but I’m digging our current Colombian microlot from Finca El Mirador as an espresso.

Josh, tell us how your career in coffee came about?
I started out in hospitality as a chef and always had a love for the industry. I left the crazy hours behind and got a ‘normal’ job, which happened to be at a coffee company. I loved still being in touch with the hospo industry (just on the other side now), but it was there that I was first really exposed to coffee. The intrigue of it has driven me to want to keep learning as much I can.

What is it about Locale Coffee Roasters that stood out for you…
As one of the originals of the Locale team it was about being able to shape the brand to be exactly what we wanted it to be. Obviously great coffee is critical but making it more approachable and emphasizing the importance of good relationships was what I felt was missing and these things have always been a huge focus for us.

Ben, you are the epitome of a coffee connoisseur, tell us your journey to becoming Australian Roasting Champion…
Winning the 2018 Australian Roasting Championships was the result of years of roasting and cupping, combined with accumulating more experience of the competition format, its rules, and ways to maximise potential points on the scoresheets.

Why did you decide to build a life and career around coffee?
My beginnings in coffee were very humble, and along the way I developed more and more passion and dedication for the craft, but I owe a lot of my progression to the support and opportunities provided to me by the Genovese family, and their companies Genovese Coffee and Locale Coffee Roasters.

Pat, you came second in this years’ Australian Coffee Roasting Championships, what has it taken to get to that point?
Pat:
Success in any coffee competition comes down to teamwork. Our team heavily analyses every aspect of coffee roasting, so I guess it’s a culmination of years of analysis, experimentation and trial and error. Being dedicated and loving what you do is also helpful. I work as part of a great team who have been involved with this competition for a few years now, so experience helps too.

What does a competition like that entail?
It’s a 3-day competition that is based around roasting and blending 4 different coffees. Each competitor must present a blend and a single origin. Each competitors’ coffees are blindly tasted and scored based on the quality of their roasting and their flavour descriptions. Other smaller technical aspects come into play also, but it’s essentially whoever can adapt their roasting the best to un

Cameron Turnbull

He’s the guy in the know when it comes to all things coffee and for good reason. Cameron Turnbull is the QLD State Manager for Locale Coffee, a business focused on exceptional tasting coffee and (our fave) sustainable production.

We sat down for a chat with Cameron to find out the local spots Gold Coasters can taste this top notch brew and how to get your hands on some take home beans.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and raised on the Coast before heading up the highway to Brisbane 28 years later. Six years on, I’m still finding myself back on weekends and obviously weekdays for work.

What was your favourite thing about living here?
My favourite part of living on the Gold Coast would be the coastline. I think we take for granted how lucky we are to have such amazing beaches. I also love the amount of cafes and whiskey bars popping up. There is a real shift happening in the hospo industry with more and more opening.  

Tell us about Locale Coffee?
Locale started in Melbourne in 2015 with a mission to create consistently great tasting coffee and help bridge the gap between traditional Italian-style espresso and the extremely light-roasted coffees at the other end of the spectrum. We are dedicated to sourcing the highest quality beans from farmers around the globe who share our focus for quality, sustainability and social responsibility. Yes we roast in Melbourne but you can also get your hands on locale in QLD, NSW and WA.

How is Locale unique?
We roast to order every week of the year and deliver fresh to our customers nationwide. We take our responsibility to the environment and future generations of coffee drinkers seriously too. We offset every one of our emissions by purchasing carbon credits from renewable energy programs around the globe, making all our products 100% carbon neutral. Above all, we’re about relationships. We want our café partners to run a successful business so we help them out wherever we can. From coffee training sessions through to promoting their café via our Instagram and website, we’re there for our customers all the way.  

Which cafes are brewing it locally?
Wildernis Café and Bar – Palm Beach
Quade and Co – Miami
Serendipity esp. – Varsity
My Little Kitchen – Broadbeach
Lilypad – Robina
Beanaway esp. – Oxenford
Arnies – Sanctuary Cove

Can we buy Locale to take home?
Absolutely, a lot of the cafes sell the beans in 250gm or even the kilo bags for the real coffee lovers. Keep a lookout for new additions to our website so you can buy fresh coffee delivered straight to you.

What are your thoughts on the Coast’s coffee scene in general?
The coffee scene on the Coast is becoming more and more specialised. If you think back 10 years ago, cafes weren’t on every street corner and it’s the younger generation who are really driving the coffee scene here. These days to be a successful cafe on the Gold Coast you need to tick a lot of boxes and having a specialty coffee is high on that list.

Can you share your ultimate Espresso Martini recipe?
Mine is made with a spiced twist;

  1. 30ml Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum,
  2. 30ml fresh espresso (usually one of our single origins) otherwise any of our blends
  3. 30ml DeKuyper Café Liqueur.

Shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass.

What are Locale’s plans for the remainder of 2018?
For the final six months of 2018 we really want to keep the momentum going. The guys using Locale Coffee are loving the feedback from their customers, which is always great to hear. Later in the year we will again be participating in CafeSmart as a roaster partner. It’s a nationwide initiative bringing coffee roasters, cafes and consumers together to raise money and awareness for homelessness. Apart from that we just want to keep on roasting great coffee and ensuring our customers give the Gold Coast a consistent and tasty brew every time.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant:
Goccia Italian Pizzeria
Café:
All of the ones that serve Locale
Beach: Mermaid Beach – Alfred Street
How does your weekend usually look?
My weekend usually starts with a trip to my local café with my daughter Audrey for a short black and a babychino for her. Then we usually hang out at our favourite parks or down at the beach before a little arvo siesta. Now a father of two, my weekend nights are a little different so a nice glass of red with my wife or my favourite single malt usually gets a run before doing it all again the next day.

Treat yourself at Southport’s stunning new coffee and wine bar

It seems like every single day a stunning new Insta-worthy space opens up on the Gold Coast to fulfil our pretty picture loving needs. And not only pretty picture loving. Coffee loving, wine loving AND delicious eats loving. All of the things.

The latest spot to do exactly that is Pearl & Ash, an absolutely stunning new café and wine bar at The Brickworks in Southport that we would like to model every single room in our homes off, thank you very much.

The vibe is modern minimalism at its very best, all blush pinks, steel hardware, tiny little tiles and polished concrete with a sleek espresso machine at one end and a fully stocked wine bar at the other.

A neon sign in our new favourite font shines out from one wall, while a big, old window allows for all the natural light to pour in from the opposite side. One of our favourite fitouts in fact.

The menu is equally as exceptional, filled with breakfast, brunch and sweet goodies that’ll keep you coming back to taste test them all.

The House-Made Granola was a treat with dragonfruit, pannacotta, chia seeds, lime coconut Co Yo, kiwi, berries and toasted coconut. Pretty and delicious.

The Smashed Avo is also a winner (as always) but particularly because it comes with popped baby capers and baby capers are one of our favourite things in the whole world.

For brunch, the Roasted Spiced Cauliflower comes with pumpkin and thyme hummus, baby vegetables, tofu and avocado and it is a healthy, taste sensation.

The Green Lip Mussels are a must-taste with coconut, kaffir lime, lemongrass, chilli, ginger and organic sourdough. Amazing.

Sweets-wise, there are NUTELLA HOTCAKES and wait for it, they are banana choc-chip buttermilk hotcakes, Nutella mousse (OMG), salted peanut brittle, maple syrup, cinnamon and strawberry compote. So all the very best things in the one magical, life-changing dish.

Do not miss that one.

The coffee is made by the team at Locale Espresso so you know it’s the goods and of course, there is a perfectly curated array of wines so you may sip either delicious drink while you brunch or pop in for an after-work catch-up with the girls. Or both.

So, if perfectly put together spaces with a menu that’ll tickle your tastebuds plus coffee AND wine are your thing (and we know they are), make Pearl & Ash the next stop on your foodie tour of the Gold Coast.

You might just find it’s your new favourite.

 

LOCATION: The Brickworks, Ferry Rd, Southport
HOURS: 8am until 6pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

14 reasons locals love Southport

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

It may be home to the Gold Coast’s bustling business district but Southport can also boast a huge array of incredible eateries, culture and general good times.

We’ve rounded up 15 things locals love about the place and we reckon you might enjoy them too.

In no particular order, enjoy.

Southport Sharks
There is many a good time to be had at Southport Sharks including dining at one of the delicious dish-packed restaurants, drinking at Aviary Rooftop Bar overlooking the city, joining in on one of their classes at the Health + Fitness Centre or getting involved in one of their many good time events. The possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect spot for a family event or take the crew for a Sunday afternoon session. Happy days no matter what.
Where: Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Southport Yacht Club
Waterfront dining is the name of the game at Southport Yacht Club with two venues to choose from and stunning scenes from whichever you choose. You’re also welcome to just sit back and kick up your heels with a cold beverage or two while gazing lovingly at one of the many beautiful yachts in the marina. It’s one of the Coast’s best locations and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Where: 1 MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Zero Latency
Zero Latency is a free-roam, virtual reality experience like no other. With up to eight players per game, you’ll have the BEST time fighting zombies, exploring mystical places and challenging your friends on space stations. All you need to do is put on the VR headset, strap into the backpack and pickup the controller. Get 10% off here. It really is so good.
Where: 34 Smith Street, Southport

Panezski Distillery
The Coast’s first vodka distillery opened in Southport a few short months ago and what a treat. The family-owned business are whipping up three types of vodka, two types of gin and even a couple of beers on the premises and you can pop in to grab a bottle to go, or you can sit down and enjoy a cocktail and a charcuterie board and spend a bit of time. Very cool. 
Where: Unit 7/55 Bailey Crescent, Southport

Vinnies Dive
Who doesn’t love a good dive bar. Particularly one that doubles as a live music venue and has a huge range of your favourite beers on offer (and some you may not have heard of). Head in there to discover some new music from both local and interstate bands and if you’re in the mood for a party, which we know you are, you can hire the space out for your next one.
Where: 44A Nerang Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar 
On the ground floor of the building you’ll find the deli section of the establishment, with an array of delicious meats and cheeses that will be brought together in platter form for your feasting pleasure. Upstairs, the rooftop bar boasts tasty cocktails, even more delicious eats and views across the city. It’s a real good time.
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

Randy Wallhole
To put it bluntly, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted a Randy Wallhole bagel. There are eight flavours to choose from which means you have multiple per day if you so choose. Go for the Pulled Bas first up, it’s got Smokey BBQ pulled beef, peri mayo and apple slaw. Wash it down with some of the best coffee on the Coast and be on your merry way.
Where: 4/21 Nind Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge
A newbie amongst the Southport bunch, Boudoir Lounge is the very best spot for a tasty brunch with the girls or simply a few cocktails after work. Found on Como Crescent, it quickly became the go to spot for those looking for some delicious eats, in a sweet setting and with unique sips of course. Inside there’s also a hair and beauty bar so you can get fabulous before you head out on the town. Perfect.
Where: 410/1 Como Crescent, Southport

Broadwater Parklands
Whether you’re four or 40, theres tons of fun to be had at Broadwater Parklands. For starters, you can sit and stare out at the yachts you’ll never set foot on. Then, there’s the bouncy pillow (maybe don’t go on there without a child), a kiddies train, a water playground and weekly events from theatre shows to foodie markets. See, fun.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

D Point Ten
Oh donuts, how we love you. D Point Ten can be found on Stevens Street and, in keeping with the general donut vibe, is a little hole in the wall space pumping out the freshest of donuts we may have ever excitedly shoved into our greedy mouths. In all the best flavours no less. Go the Ferrero Rocher for sure.
Where: 6/1 Stevens Street, Southport

Cardamon Pod
The delightful folk at Cardamon Pod are serving up delightful dishes with a focus on clean eating but of the prettiest variety. They offer vegan and gluten free options for breakfast and lunch with a side of organic coffee and vegan desserts. All very delicious and it’s very hard to stop at just one thing or not to post on your Instagram.
Where: Brickworks Centre, 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport

Panezski Artisan Distillery (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
Southport’s centre of swimming is something for all of us to be proud of. It’s as pretty as a collection of swimming pools can be and, as it was home to all the Commonwealth Games water activities, it’s world class. The architecture is sleek and there’s a training room featuring pits filled with foam for the divers to practice in.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport 

Escape Hunt
Imagine being wrongly accused of murder, chained to a wall and having to rely on your friends’ detective skills to free you. Who you gonna call? Welcome to Escape Hunt, Southport’s brain bending game guaranteed to test your problem solving skills like they’ve never been tested before. There’s a few scenarios you might be faced with, all of which involve solving a mystery with a set of intricate clues. It’s the most fun you can have inside a locked room. Make sure to take your smart friends. Grab 10% off here.
Where: 2/162 Scarborough Street, Southport

Brickworks Centre
Where to start. There are SO many excellent places to peruse at the Brickworks starting with Ferry Rd Market where you can nab yourself everything from beautiful flowers to the freshest breads, seafood and fruit and veggies galore. God it’s good. Within the Centre, there’s also stunning homewares, fashion and design stores and health and beauty services. Oh, there’s also always some really cool events.
Where: Ferry Road, Southport 

Words by Kirra Smith

Southport Aquatic Centre (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
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