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Di Bella - Bowen Hills

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  • Di Bella - Bowen Hills

    A fortnight ago I wandered into the Di Bella store in Bowen Hills at 8am in the morning.  I had left home at 4am to catch a plane to QLD and had no time for an airport coffee on the way out of Melbourne (maybe that was lucky?), only offered instant coffee on the plane and after sorting hire car and getting moving on the ground I was really looking forward to a good coffee.

    I found Abbotsford Road really easily and managed to get a car park right out the front.  Within a minute I had my first double espresso off the La Marzocco (Felici blend) and was looking for a follow-up.

    Walking into Di Bella you are greeted with a really comfortable retail space full of friendly uniformed staff ready to help, there are coffee beans stored in a climate controlled cabinet (see pic2 below) and as you work your way down the length of the counter you pass the La Marzocco and enter an area perfect for a quiet coffee and a chat.  On the big screen is footage of recent cupping sessions, competitions and just general visual coffee info.

    Beside this area is a row of open windows, pallets of beans and two Petroncini roasters dominate your first impressions.  In the middle of this space is the "baby" 60kg Petroncini and at the other end is the 120kg bean gobbling monster.  Driving the roaster was the roast manager Anne Cooper who promptly  welcomed me with a "happy dance" and a big smile (remember this is at 8am in the morning!).  Anne gave me a guided tour of the roastery while she was still roasting on the 120kg beast, with frequent dashes back to the roaster to make sure all the profile targets were hit.  120kg of green beans per roast, approx 3 per hour will yield nearly 300kg of roasted coffee an hour and every single one of those roasts was closely monitored to ensure the expected quality standards were met.    That 300kg of coffee is then promptly packed, roast-date stamped and shipped around the country often arriving too fresh to use which lets the customer determine their own bean rest period.

    Phillip Di Bella walked in and greeted me with a big hand shake and an offer of another coffee, these guys had all been there since around 7am.  For the next hour or so he showed me the ins and outs of the whole operation with no secrets and I quickly got a feel for what drives this place.  PEOPLE, really good people, truly happy people, people that enjoy what they are doing and love working together as a team to produce something they are honestly passionate about - a great coffee experience.

    I would like to thank Phil and his staff that I met on the day for their perfect hospitality and free rein to wander around the operation.  I can also highly recommend the Arnika Reserve blend as a doppio espresso with its mid-heavy body and what could be a wet hulled indo that adds some of the earthiness style that I really enjoy in an espresso.  


    Di Bella Coffee Head Office
    82 Abbotsford Road
    Bowen Hills

    Pic1 – Andy distracts roaster Anne on the big Petroncini.
    Pic2 - From climate controlled beans to the LM at the other end.
    Pic3 - Domestic machines in the training room.  
    Pic4 – The "baby" Petroncini roaster.
    Pic5 – green bean roaster fodder leading to the packing area.

  • #2
    Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

    Book a flight, hire a car, hail a cab, walk if you have too.
    Put Di Bella Abbotsford Rd Brisbane on your list of things to do before you die (of too much coffee)
    Check out the back wall, staff pics and their preferred brew.
    You are permitted to get really fussy and order your coffee exactly how you like it.
    Close to perfection.


    • #3
      Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

      Ditto. A great experience with a really friendly crowd. Had a friendly guided tour of the whole operation by Jon Laker, their retail manager, last Monday after the Nationals. The people definitely enjoy their work and the results show in the cup. Being close to the airport means youve got little excuse to miss in coming in or out.


      • #4
        Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

        We are in Brisbane so we took the train to Bowen Hills and Di Bella today. A short walk from the station. We wanted to see Di Bella in Brisbane as we have been to Di Bella Melbourne a few times. Busy as. We were blown away by the size of the roasting set up. Good food but not on as big a scale as Melbourne. Great coffee as in Melbourne. Friendly staff. The Drive thru was busy. Phil was seated networking with his staff outside in the Drive thru area.
        Bought some Ali Reserve beans, Modena and Decaff beans as well.
        Another great coffee experience under the belt. Thanks Di Bella


        • #5
          Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

          Glad you had a fun time and be sure to pop in next time youre in Brisbane - the Di Bella brew bar should be installed and up and running by then.


          • #6
            Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

            Thanks so much rival81 we did enjoy our look around a very busy and vibrant place. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]Loved interacting with passionate and happy coffee folk. We will be back next year as it is so easy to hop the train. We are enjoying our Modena which we purchased yesterday.


            • #7
              Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

              I love this place, the staff are so cool.


              • #8
                Re: Di Bella - Bowen Hills

                I am stunned that it took me so long to drop in on Di Bella coffee, but I felt it was time for a change...

                And I was really impressed with them after dropping in this afternoon, the place is a nice setup, like Andy described I dont think its changed much, has such a nice feel about it Id say.

                Super helpful and friendly, I think it was lovely Lauren (Im awful with names) who recommended I try and buy some Felici bend (Im a big milk drinker), and sure enough it was possibly one of the best cups of coffee I have had in Brisbane for years, knocked out by someone on the machine who seriously knew what they were doing, best milk texturing I have seen in ages.

                The range of misc gear was also good, I noticed some well priced tampers, and they had a small 400ml jug I have after for awhile (and it was cheap).

                I gratefully downed a second FW of the blend of the day on the way out, Conquista I think, also very nice (their man on the machine really was good), so many thanks Di Bella and Ill be back for sure...