3/1136 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
It seems that the further south you venture down the Gold Coast Highway, the more chilled out the vibe becomes. Wedged in amongst the vintage shop fronts that date back to a time before the high rises took over the landscape is Department of Coffee, a funky little nook which bursts through the retro exteriors of its neighbours offering passers-by many a caffeinated delight.
“Good food and hospitality starts with great customer service,” I am informed by owner Jacqui Kelly, who along with husband Travis decided to throw in their lives in Ballarat and make complete sea change to the Gold Coast. Calling it a “lightbulb moment” the stars seemed to align most fortuitously for them when Department of Coffee came up for sale a year ago. “We decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back!” she cheerfully informs me.
The interior is best described as eclectic with bright wire light fittings, exposed brick and wood along the walls and funky tiles that run down the bar and onto the floor, like a wave spilling over onto the sand. Situated along the walls behind each table are ‘help yourself’ filtered water taps that offer a quirky point of interest for the patrons.
The beans for the coffees are sourced from Sydney based coffee company Schibello Caffé, with their Columbian Reserve blend being used at Department of Coffee due to its consistency in the often unpredictable GC climate.
We greedily order a multitude of coffees and dive into them as they arrive fresh from the La Marzocco machine. The espresso has a spicy and sweet aroma with a flavour that plays along the tongue morphing from sweet chocolate to tangy orange heavy citrus and onto sour cherry. These flavours mellowed out in the cold drip, which had a more orange zest and mild chocolate flavour. With the addition of milk in a latte the flavours were pure, sweet, caramelised chocolate heaven. The coffee of the day was unanimously decided to be the piccolo, which held the flavours of the espresso together into a delicious drink bursting with sweetness that was gone far too soon. A must try when you stop by!
Open from 5.30am to 2.30pm weekdays, 5.30am to 11am Saturday and 8am to 11am Sunday, Department of Coffee is a quirky little place worth stopping at on your next trip down to Palm Beach.