If anyone has a firm grasp on the state of Brisbane’s coffee landscape, it’s Coffee Anthology’s Adam Wang. The Margaret Street venue has long been hailed as one of The City’s premier caffeine dispensaries, helping instigate the specialty coffee wave when it opened in 2014. Over the years Adam’s desire to elevate the community to new heights has grown, so when Coffee Anthology began to nudge the limits of what it could achieve, the idea to expand gained traction. Adam’s brand-new concept The Maillard Project is, in a sense, a spiritual successor to Coffee Anthology – one that aims to maintain the unassailable consistency of its predecessor while expanding upon its operational scope. Adam describes The Maillard Project as a social space – part cafe and part education centre, where coffee enthusiasts can swing through for a choice cup or linger to wax lyrical about all facets of the craft – be it roasting, brewing or sipping. One of Adam’s goals is to remove barriers to entry for budding baristas and provide access to high-grade gear in a bustling cafe setting. Here folks can get hands on with top-of-the-line brewing and roasting equipment, helping them either learn the basics or hone their own skills across multiple machines in a real-life environment, encouraging the sharing of information and thereby enhancing the scene’s overall quality. In order to do this, Adam has created a singular space that’s unlike anything else found in Brisbane City or its surrounds.
The Maillard Project’s Charlotte Street home is a sleek and modern hive of activity, with a bright light-industrial aesthetic fashioned by Clui Design. A central coffee hub that dominates the interior is where you’ll find two of the cafe’s three coffee machines, as well as a specialty filter bar. Gleaming brewing apparatus, high-tech grinders and other specialised gear (including an impressive space-age BKON craft brewer) offer plenty of exciting theatre for those that perch around the hub’s perimeter, but those eager to situate themselves away from the frenzy can opt to sit in the cafe’s alfresco seating area or in the formal dining space at the rear of the venue. Situated near the cafe’s entrance is the glass-encased roasting area, where a polished Loring seven-kilo roaster prepares batches of the cafe’s blends and single origins (and also allows for roasting training). Further along the wall is the education nook, which features its own coffee machine and a raised counter perfectly suited for cupping sessions. It’s here where baristas of any level can sign up for a session, taking the machine for a spin under the tutelage of The Maillard Project’s crack team of coffee pros.
Let’s not forget that The Maillard Project is also a cafe at heart. While the coffee hub’s dual machines are intended to supply the venue’s to-go and dine-in customers respectively (one boasts tools to assist rapid brewing, the other offers a greater level of manual control), Adam has purposefully selected the machines to allow his barista team to express their own personality and style through the cup they’re making. This gives the team free rein to bring out different elements of the coffee on a case-by-case basis if desired, showcasing the character of the brew while ensuring quality. The Maillard Project’s coffee selection includes four espresso and three filter options (all roasted on site), offering a broad cross-section of flavours to sample. In addition to coffee, The Maillard Project is also expanding upon Coffee Anthology’s brunch menu, bringing across Anthology favourites and pairing them with seasonal and experimental newcomers, as well as the popular breakfast degustation. With a larger kitchen to work with, The Maillard team are pulling out all the stops, offering all-day classics (Nutella waffles with sous vide pear and vanilla anglaise, chilli scrambled eggs with baharat butter, and eggs Benny on house-made English muffins), breakfast signatures (pork bone-broth congee with smoked ham hock, cardamom pancakes with yuzu curd and meringue, and potato rosti with pork-and-fennel sausage), and drool-worthy lunch eats (sand-crab linguine, beef red curry and wagyu burgers with thick-cut bacon and cheese). Coffee Anthology’s kitchen has now transformed into a bakery, which supplies both sites with delectable pastries.
The Maillard Project is now open to the public. To find operating hours and contact details, cruise over to the Stumble Guide.