An Adventure up Elizabeth Street

I must admit, I have grown lazy. Actually no, let me rephrase that. I’ve grown comfortable.

You all know that I have an irrational inadequacy complex. If you don’t, and you are new to my blog, I suggest that you venture over to my “My Irrational Inadequacy Complex” post, before continuing through this lovely little read. But anyway. A while ago I discovered a brilliant little laneway cafe called Bean and it became my new favourite city jaunt. I was proud of myself for defeating my irrational inadequacy complex and relieved when it turned out so well. So relieved, in fact, that I have not been exploring any other cute cafes, as I said I would.

I grew comfortable. This is terrible. For the sake of the life of this blog, it could not continue. I must continue forth on my journey to overcome this complex and experience all fun coffee shops in Brisbane city. Luckily, today is a cool drizzly day and I often find I am at my most adventurous when it is raining. So that’s what I did. I went on an adventure. What did I discover on this adventure? A little coffee shop called Bonsai Botanika


Entering this coffee shop, you are hit with a wonderful mix of classic French country decor, the rustic edge of deli products secured artistically in glass cabinets and the hipster flair of fake grass, rose gold lighting, wooden ceilings, and a dramatic display of fancy cold brew towers. It is inviting, homey, and a comfortable escape from the cold bite of the rainy outdoors. So far, so good.

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Next let’s have a look at the menu, shall we?
As a uni student with a love of coffee and a wallet that is short of money, I don’t go to cafes for the food. I go for the coffee. What did I find? Heaven. So many options it was difficult to decide.


You not only have cold brew. You have the option of chemex cold brew or Kyoto cold brew. Do you want to choose your roast? Well they’ve got that covered too. How about you throw some chocolate ganache into the mix, just to be super fancy. Do you want to be out there and try some Japanese Rice Tea? They say go for it. I’m all about the variety. These guys have got that down.

Naturally I ordered a Kyoto cold brew in a medium roast, despite the cold weather, because I wanted to explore the wonders of a medium brew from Kyoto (#yolo). What did I get? Crushed ice, and coffee and milk presented in cute little conical flasks. Ummm, yes.

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Flavour? Amazing.

Now, although I’m not eating food, from where I am sitting (yes I am so excited I’m actually writing the blog post about the cafe whilst still at the cafe), I can see the menu. We’ve got pancakes, quiches, french toast, rice pudding, noix cake and any number of other fun times that I can’t quite decipher from this distance. There are pastries and cakes in the cake cabinet and just so many good times, I can’t even. I also just spotted a choice in hot chocolates between swiss white chocolate, 32% milk chocolate, 67% Madagascan dark chocolate and 70% dark chocolate. What is this place. This is magical.

For some people, the service is also important so I shall say this. Everyone here is welcoming and friendly and the service is quite fast. There is a bar up on the second level as well for anyone who cares about that and it’s not too busy so I would consider this as quite a comfortable little hideaway from the life of the city. The only thing I will say is that this place isn’t particularly cheap. But honestly, for the quality and choice you are getting, this is to be expected.

Overall, I’m in love. If you want somewhere that has a nice open feel, with a rustic charm and an endless choice with food and beverages then please, Bonsai Botanika will be your slice of heaven. It’s on Elizabeth street, just around the corner from Topshop, so is fairly close to the heart of the city and it is definitely worth the venture.

Whilst Bean remains my favourite for its cosy atmosphere that is inevitable in an underground setting, this is definitely a new favourite to add to the list. So friends, go forth and drink coffee.



My Irrational Inadequacy Complex

I have an irrational fear of trendy cafes. Shall I elaborate?

Every time I go into an epic cafe I feel like I am somehow undermining its trendiness, just by existing. I don’t know why I am so put off by these cafes. I’m certainly not lacking in confidence and I at least like to think I have enough style about me to be able to enjoy a caffeinated beverage without offending the next guy. So surely I should have no problem. But I do. With no reasonable explanation for my issue, I have dubbed this fear as an ‘irrational inadequacy complex’.

Irrational Inadequacy Complex:
The belief, with no justification, that one is unsuited to a particular experience due to perceived social inadequacy.

Let me help you get the full picture of this problem, by telling you a story.

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For the last three months, I have been walking past this same epic cafe, twice a week, to and from uni. It’s called Bean and is buried deep within the bowels of a very artistically decorated laneway, with a cute little banner inviting us in to ‘escape the city’. So of course the hipster inside me leapt with excitement at the thought of a new city hideaway. On multiple occasions, I thought to myself ‘I can do this. It’s just coffee. I’m a uni student. I belong darn it.’ With this little burst of courage I would turn slightly in the direction of the alley, see the paintings on the walls, be reminded of the trendiness I was about to be drowned in, and once again, my irrational inadequacy complex would kick in and I would continue on my way through the city, as if I’d never intended to indiscreetly enjoy a coffee in Bean cafe.

However, I was determined to conquer this irrational inadequacy complex and on a drizzly April day, I finally did it, with no regrets. I wandered down the cute little alley, turned a corner, ventured under scaffolding and climbed down a staircase to the fabulous little hollow of the city, known as Bean. Upon entering, I was welcomed by the warm glow of the gentle lighting, a casual and comfortable atmosphere with lounge chairs and boardgames everywhere. I was greeted by a very enthusiastic barista and I enjoyed a perfectly brewed cold drip coffee.

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I was also pleased to be reminded of the extent of the irrationality in my complex. Bean was full of regular people; a family, some hard working uni goers and at one point – to my delight – a couple of men in their 70s, who’d come for a casual gossip amongst the youths. It was brilliant. I had a great time, I had great coffee, and it was warm and inviting.

So what have we determined?

That my complex is, indeed, wildly irrational. That Bean definitely exudes a touch of brilliance. That this is most certainly my new favourite city jaunt.

So if you have this complex, don’t let it hold you back from a good beverage in a good place, because the fear is, indeed, irrational.

Stay happy and keep exploring,
– Alice