229 Boundary St, Coolangatta QLD 4225
Heading down to the southern end of the Gold Coast always feels like a mini vacation, with its glorious beaches and laid-back vibes that seem to radiate from the border. It is in the magical place where Coolangatta ends and Rainbow Bay begins that you can find SouthEast Espresso, a locally oriented café that is worth the visit on your southerly adventure.
As your eyes are charmed by the wave-inspired mural by artist Belinda Gillies that adorns the length of the café, you are drawn to the counter where coffee and food is itching to be ordered and consumed. This locally-loved spot becomes decidedly busier on the days when the surf up the street is pumping. The best seat in the house is easily the low bar across the window, which allows for good lighting and even better people watching as you enjoy a coffee or two.
Owners Stacey Megee and Jim Granieri took over SouthEast Espresso almost five months ago and decided to make a few changes for the better. As Stacey informs me, “We want to go as organic and locally sourced as possible with our food and coffee, with each dish having at least one ingredient from a local farmer.” It was this philosophy which brought about their move towards serving High Trees Estate coffee as their house blend and Parallel Coffee Roasters as the providers of their rotating single origins.
The High Trees Estate 100% certified organic Rainforest Byron Blend was smoky scented as we dived into an espresso, with a sweet, smooth flavour of tobacco and a stone fruit tang at the back of the mouth. The long black maintained the savoury elements, but the mellowness of the longer pull allowed for more muted orange and currants flavour to come to the surface. Adding milk in the form of a piccolo gave off a caramel popcorn aroma, with flavours of milk chocolate, caramel and an almost bubble-gum note that flared on each sip.
The single origin on offer was Parallel Roasters Konga Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which we gleefully sampled as an espresso that had savoury scent with hints of sweetness, a big satisfying hit of acidity and tangerine juiciness pops across the tongue. The citrus flavours were enhanced in the long black, with bright tangerine explosions that expand out to a toffee like finish.
SouthEast Espresso are open every day from 6:00am to 3:00pm. Get in early for your pre-beach caffeine hit and enjoy the café’s endeavour, and motto of ‘keeping it local’.