I went to Brazil cafe this afternoon before work. There was a sign up on the counter announcing that K Road icon Brazil would be closing for good on September 30! Whoa, there!
I will quickly make a list of reasons why Brazil is (not yet was) lovely.
- The coffee.
- The peeling paint on the ceiling that kind of looked like a map of a strange world.
- The steep steps that are easy to walk up but tricky to walk down.
- The old bus seats.
- The coffee milkshakes.
- The sticky varnish on the tabletops that will rip your newspaper if you’re not careful. That’ll teach you to read.
- The coffee menu displayed on the old computers.
- The beaten-up industrial fittings.
- The pinball machine.
- The faded glory of the old Mercury Theatre days.
- The fierce espresso machine.
- The music, which usually includes some sort of drum and bass.
- The perfectness for it as a morning-after recovery place.
- The dirty boys who hang out at the bar, drinking espressos, telling unfunny jokes.
- The coffee, the coffee, the coffee.
Brazil have a box where you can write down and share your memories of the place.
K Road is, without a doubt, changing, but I’m not sure what it’s changing into.
Here’s the notice about the closure:
And I’ve taken a few photos of Brazil. Click the latte to see more.
The Herald has an article about the cafe’s closure.
Ok, it’s time for part three of the places to get coffee from that aren’t Starbucks, or whatever I’ve called it.
There’s a Starbucks on the corner of Pitt Street and K Road. Just across Pitt Street and down K Road a bit is Brazil. It could be named after the coffee-producing country, or it could be named after the Terry Gilliam film. Or maybe it’s a bit of both. It’s got the coffee and it’s got a really unusual interior.
The building its used to be just an alleyway leading to the back of Mercury Theatre, but then narrow, deep building was built in the gap and it was a fruit shop for years. Now Brazil lives there.
I really like the mezzanine level. It reminds me of old suburban coffee bar mezzanines and the adventure of bringing your tray with a sausage roll, a lamington and a plastic bottle of pretend orange juice up the stairs. But today at Brazil all I had to carry was a glass of orange juice, my latte was being brought up by the staff.
The seating up stairs looks like it’s from an old bus. It fits right in with the very non-renovated walls. The ceiling has layers of peeling cream and green paint which from a distance look like a map that’s been painted on the ceiling.
There was no ambient jazz playing in the background. Instead the foreground music was some really stimulating, really satisfying reggae. (I think I’ve developed a thing for reggae.)
Places like Brazil don’t/won’t/can’t get killed off by Starbucks because they exist outside of the Starbucks universe. You can’t just pop into Brazil for a quick coffee, you have to be enveloped by the Brazil existence for a while.
My latte was good. I was very pleased with it. I’m also going to recommend the coffee milkshake Brazil does. It’s $5, but it is so incredibly good that it’s worth every last cent. It kicks the arse of a Frappaccino.