Coffee, food and full of beans

MOVE over Melbourne, Canberra’s percolating with fab coffee.

One of the longest established coffee-roaster operations in our city is Cosmorex in Fyshwick – with more than 40 years in the biz and three generations of family experience.

Cosmorex is full of beans these days, creating new coffee blends, rebranding its packaging, splashing fresh paint on the walls and decorating with funky looking coffee-branded posters.

Adding to the flavour are the recent bronze medals bestowed on Cosmorex at the ninth annual Golden Bean Awards, a competition held in Port Macquarie and run by trade magazine “Café Culture”.

According to “Café Culture”, it is the largest roaster competition in the world. Cosmorex competed against 1300 plus entries, winning in the categories of Australian Grown, Syphon and Single Origin. One of Cosmorex’s winning blends is Castro Sorriso from their new Black Rhino range (available only in 250gm packages for $14.95).

Bar Cosimo is the food side of Cosmorex’s operation. It is small and designed around offering quick, easy, inexpensive bites for breakfast and lunch.

We popped by and surveyed the scene, noting the warning that everything on the menu is “subject to availability”, meaning once they are out for the day, they are out. And out of several options they were (by 1pm). That was okay because what tickled our fancy was available – a chicken Caesar wrap and a simple BLT. Both were yummy and only $7.50 each.

The menu changes weekly to hold the interest of regulars. On our visit, a turkey club sambo, bacon and egg muffin ($5), and ham, cheese and tomato toastie ($5) were available. Most sandwiches are pre-wrapped, and the salads, like the chicken pesto, are pre-made so you can pop in and out quickly. It is nothing fancy, but it hits the spot.

If you are keen on something sweet, the dark, dark, chocolatey chocolate ganache tart is rather decadent, to say the least.

Bar Cosimo has a small but growing deli section for shoppers. Stock is limited at the moment, but includes award-winning Byron Bay muesli, made with organic and biodynamic ingredients – this is muesli with “no added nasties”. I’ve had it many times and it’s fantastic.

Other new coffee blends are the Sumatran Eye of the Tiger, Byron Blue Estate and Strawberry Fields. Certified fair trade coffees and certified organic, single-origin coffees are sourced from around the world, including from Africa, Central America, South America and Indonesia. And Cosmorex is proud of its new eco-friendly Brambati coffee roaster, an artisan machine that works to extract as much flavour as possible from the beans.

Cosmorex has indoor and outdoor seating.

Cosmorex, 47 Kembla Street, Fyshwick. Open Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm, and Saturday, 9am-noon. Call 6280 7511.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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