Coffee review: Stairwell Coffee

Shop 67/3131 Surfers Paradise Boulevard
​Asian Alley, Centre Arcade

Sometimes we need to venture to some interesting places to find a truly excellent cup of coffee. With the budding coffee culture on the Gold Coast even tourist mecca Surfers Paradise has been aptly caffeinated with many great cafes, but none as alternative and unique as Stairwell Coffee, an emerald-hued gem hidden down one of the suburb’s oldest alleyways.

Stairwell is located exactly where you imagine it to be: Harry Potter style under the stairs in the affectionately named Asian Alley. Originally used as a surfboard cupboard, the area was repurposed to house the hole-in-the-wall coffee shop four years ago with owner Clayton Dalton transforming Stairwell into what it is today just eight short months ago. Frequented by locals and regulars through the alley on their way to work, it’s a lucky find for anyone in the heart of Surfers needing a cup of the good stuff.

Proudly selling his own Windomal Roasting Co. beans, Clayton reports that he picks and chooses the single origins he has on offer in Stairwell, roasting the beans locally and supplying them to a few small coffee shops. Diving straight into the coffee brewed in a beautiful matte black La Marzocco machine, the espresso has a hint of citrus that develops into an earthy leather-like flavour with hidden marshmallow bringing the initial sharpness down to a mellow finish. A larger than usual piccolo brings the marshmallow flavour hinted at in the espresso into the forefront, making for a beautifully sweet cuppa.

We were most excited about trying Stairwell’s nitro coffee, currently being made from single origin beans from Guatemala. Clayton has spent a lot of time perfecting Stairwell’s nitro, making it himself from his own beans. As he informs me the carbonation of the coffee helps it to take on a whole other profile. With a fizzy liquorice and sherbet aroma it’s like drinking a grown up spider with the popping chocolate flavour and a smooth earthy finish. It’s easy to see why there were so many takeaways of the nitro while we were there.

Open from 7:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to midday on Saturday, it’s well worth treating yourself to a small adventure to find Stairwell Coffee, our very own emerald city contained quite neatly in a cupboard under the stairs.

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