Capulus Espresso – Hobart, Tasmania

must. write. blog. NOW!!!

Wow…it’s like rockets have been going off in my head for the last half an hour!

Why?

I just had a killer espresso from one of Hobart’s newest coffee shops, Capulus Espresso!

Capulus Espresso

Capulus Espresso

Opening it’s large roller door for the first time only four months ago, I can partially blame Capulus Espresso for my new found love of coffee, and espressos in particular (yay for increased productivity in the workplace!).

We actually have a pretty decent coffee machine at work, but for some coffee snobs (yes, I’m looking at you Paula!) that’s just not good enough. And so it was that a couple of months ago I found myself sipping on what I could only describe as the lightest, yet most intense cup of dynamite I had ever tasted!

No espresso has even come close since, so this afternoon I had to return to see whether my mind was playing tricks, or whether it really was that good. Karen was also pretty keen to give the place a crack, if only to rub it in my face if it turned out I couldn’t tell the difference between good espresso and a Blend 43!

It was the house blend that I had tasted all those months ago, and today the alternative brew was a single origin that had been sourced from Kenya. After discussing the pros and cons of each with store owner and barista Daniel (ex-Salt for those that are regulars at that well respected Moonah cafe), we decided to go with the house blend as it was described as having good punch and intensity, with the Kenyan being a lot smoother on the palate.

Capulus Espresso - tiny, but packs a punch!

Capulus Espresso – tiny, but packs a punch! (just like their coffee)

As per my reaction above, you already know the result! It was fantastic and just how I remembered it. Thank goodness Karen actually agreed with me, as she has a much more extensive coffee experience to draw upon than myself and I’d trust her conclusions over mine any day!

While the coffee itself was obviously very good, we both agreed that there were a couple of minor areas where improvement was possible. Firstly, for those people sitting down at one of the tables inside it would be great if a small glass of water was provided with the coffee, and secondly, it would add just that little bit of extra class if a ceramic cup was used for coffees drunk on premises, rather than the cardboard cup provided for takeaways. Not massive criticisms, but opportunities nonetheless.

Now Capulus could easily stand proud on its coffees alone, but where they go the extra mile is in the way they, and the adjacent Bespoke Hairdressers, have laid out and decorated their interior space, and the opportunities they are giving to local artists.

Both business share a common space at the rear of their respective shopfronts, and this space has been used brilliantly.

The first thing that struck me on walking into the room was the massive ‘Bespoke’ graffiti artwork on the rear wall. Just stunning!

Welcome!

Welcome!

I was quite curious and approached Daniel to find out what it’s all about. He explained that the artwork, including numerous pieces hung on the high industrial walls, were produced by young local artists and that they had also provided them with a corner to display a number of their wares for sale to the public.

Artist's corner at Capulus Espresso

Artist’s corner at Capulus Espresso

Comics, clothing, bags…it was a great range that showed a lot of talent in the respective designer.

DJ decks - for artist opening events, general ambience and general downtime (don't worry, it's not doof doof!)

DJ decks – for artist opening events, general ambience and general downtime (don’t worry, it’s not doof doof!)

A great initiative, as achieving a toehold in any market, particularly for young up-and-coming artists, can be extremely difficult.

As a concept I love what both Capulus and Bespoke have achieved. It’s unusual, yet it makes so much sense that I’m amazed I haven’t seen it elsewhere. Everyone loves a coffee at the hairdressers, so what better and symbiotic relationship than to also have a coffee shop only metres away? Genius!

And then, to top it all off they have a small library of total awesome books available for punters to kick back and chill out with. Anner Rice, Tolkein, Wilbur Smith, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Terry Goodkind (although his talent is pretty debateable!)…the list goes on. Yes, most happen to fit within the supernatural/fantasy genre, but that’s my cup of coffee right there!

(I do also question the inclusion of Phillip Pullmans ‘His Dark Materials’ books…but I guess even aspiring writers need to catch a break.. :D)

The library at Capulus Espresso

The library at Capulus Espresso

Just so you know, while Capulus do provide a very small number of biscuits or other baked goods for sale, this isn’t their focus so don’t go there with the expectation of a big feed. Coffee is their strength, and they play to it brilliantly.

Hobart can pride itself on the number of quality coffee shops available to the public, yet this is also what makes it so difficult for new players to build their own customer base. Capulus are still establishing themselves, but from what I can see, and have tasted, they are on the right track.

They’re located on the corner of Tasma and Elizabeth streets, opposite the 24hr emergency vet service. Show your support and give them a go. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Capulus Espresso - Corner of Tasma and Elizabeth streets

Capulus Espresso – Corner of Tasma and Elizabeth streets

ps. yes, I know, I know…I forgot to take a photo of the coffee. Rookie error.

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