Fresh to Brisbane after several years at Sydney-based White Horse Coffee, Gupta is an industry veteran with more than 10 years under his belt.
But these were not normal years, because Gupta does not work with normal beans. He is a specialty coffee aficionado, meaning you will find nothing but the best at his newest CBD venture, Edward Specialty Coffee.
Located — where else — on Edward Street, Edward Specialty Coffee is a no-nonsense cafe. It is narrow, not conducive to lingering or chatting, but you are not there to linger. There is seating for about five, but you are not there to be seated. You are there for the speciality coffee.
Specialty coffee is essentially just superior coffee: it tastes better. Its grown and processed with more care. Studies have found that all of coffee’s alleged health benefits are present in specialty coffee — though not necessarily in your run-of-the-mill, regular beans.
“It’s a lot more about varietals, the way it’s processed, the region it comes from. It’s like how a wine maker approaches making wine, as opposed to someone who’s just growing wine at home and sticking grapes in a jar,” said Gupta.
I sampled a Guatemala coffee, which, as Gupta promised, did not taste like traditional espresso. Tart and fruity, it burst with notes of green apple — and Gupta has made it his mission to introduce Brisbane to just how varied the world of coffee can be.
“I remember when I tried my first specialty coffee,” said Gupta. “It tasted like a Cherry Ripe, and I thought, I’ve been lied to my whole life. I thought coffee was supposed to be bitter and strong. That’s not true.”
He has four origin coffees on rotation, ensuring that there is a balance between fruitier options and more traditional nuttier ones. Milk-based orders (organic is the only option) will use a White Horse blend, the only place you will find it in the state, as Gupta is the only one selling it in Queensland. An extraordinary amount of attention is paid to details and making sure each cup does the coffee justice
That same mentality is carried throughout the café as a whole. Edward Specialty Coffee is not just named for the location, but for the character the lean, minimalist shop evokes. And it happens that Edward is a dapper gentleman, one who needs his morning espresso before appraising the city from his corner office, one who dons bow ties, and one who has discerning tastes.
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