Social Coffee, by Kirsty Nancarrow
Tucked away in the Woree Business Park, The Social Espresso Bar is a hidden gem
offering everything from a grab-and-go cup of joe to a curated coffee experience.
Even before opening the doors, Social Coffee owner Dion Miller knew he had chosen
the best spot to launch his new venture.
“There’s a thousand people working in the area and no other coffee or food vendors,”
“While we were setting up the business, we had so many people banging on the door
and asking when we were going to open that we made a take-away coffee hatch.”
The cafe’s proximity to the southern access road makes it an easy stop off for
commuters and tradies, who can order ahead through an app or over the phone.
Both of Social Coffee’s blends have won Golden Bean Awards.
Mojo, meaning ‘lucky charm’, is a full-bodied blend of Peruvian and Colombian beans
with notes of stewed fruit, caramel and chocolate.
For a smooth, flavoursome brew with a sticky fruit, chocolate and nutty nose, try the
Revival – combining Brazil and Colombian beans.
“Our family has a farm in Mareeba, so our long-term goal is to be able to include some
local produce as well,” Dion says.
“We’ve just put in our first coffee plants so we’re waiting to see how they start
growing and, in the meantime, we are talking to plantations up there to add some
local coffee to one of our blends.”
Dion has been a coffee wholesaler for the past five years, supplying beans to around
30 cafes in Far North Queensland.
“We’ve recently started supplying the cafes at the Cairns Hospital and the feedback
on our coffee from nurses, doctors and patients has been sensational,” he says.
“We’re looking forward to doing a few fundraisers for the Far North Queensland
Hospital Foundation, including sponsoring the Cardiac Challenge.”
Dion recently sold the popular city cafe and deli Providore Amore to focus on his true
passion, creating a ‘cellar door’ and barista school for coffee lovers on Ponzo Street
in Woree’s industrial precinct.
Connoisseurs can relax over their hot or cold beverage in the Espresso Bar enveloped
by the smell of coffee roasting in the brand new, top of the line Giesen imported from
“The idea is to create a whole different experience of coffee, where people can try a
batch brew, cold brew, pour-over, aero press and espresso,” Dion says.
You can take home your favourite bag of beans and Social Coffee even has campers
covered, creating a two-litre bag of cold-brew to ensure you have access to quality
coffee on tap on your next road trip.
For a real coffee fix, why not visit The Social Espresso Bar for a Barista Breakfast, a
cellar door-type experience combining an espresso, flat white and batch brew?
“We also offer pastries, bagels and daily specials, with hearty gourmet toasties such as
the Reuben, slow-cooked beef brisket, meat extreme, or chicken and pesto, all served
on thick, locally-made bread,” Dion says.
He is also passionate about coffee education and said Social Coffee will continue
travelling to where baristas own cafes to train them, even in places as far away as Mapoon on Cape York.
“A big part of our business is custom designing training packages for our clients as they
all have different equipment, set ups and layouts.
“We want to use our new facility in Woree as a training centre for our wholesale
customers to teach their up-and-coming baristas how to go from delivering a good
coffee to a great coffee,” Dion says.
He is excited about the in-house training offering, with plans to expand to a general
hospitality school in future, and room for a second roaster as the business grows.
“We are service-oriented and focused on exceptional coffee,” Dion says. “We want
people to return for their second and third cup.”
The Social Espresso Bar is open from 6am until early afternoon, Monday to Friday.
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