Blackboard Coffee, Varsity Lakes

It’s official! The bar has been raised! Not just on coffee, but also on food.

Following the metamorphosis of Blackboard Specialty Coffee into a full blown restaurant, taking over adjoining space and remodelling, there has been a lot of fine tuning. Owner Nick Pearce has not been afraid to experiment with the additional shop to find the best fit for the changing demands of clientele. From grocer to baker to freshly prepared goods all baked on site to go, the produce has always been excellent, the food of sensational quality. Finally, it’s as though the former preppy specialty coffee joint has emerged from its chrysalis into a hip, vibrant and understated dual ‘dine in or take away’ food venue – one of the most exciting enterprises in town!

Blackboard_Greens on Sprouted Spelt Hugely popular with Bond Uni students and locals since it opened, the refurbished restaurant has the space to accommodate its clientele. You get the feeling of being in a huge overblown country kitchen where all the grown up kids have gathered for brunch. The effect is cunningly achieved through rough-hewn timber fascias, irregularly-edged white tiled pillars, with timber and angle iron tables on a rustic polished concrete floor, achieving an understated relaxed elegance.

Blackboard 4 The same attention to detail is evident in the all day menu. It’s a foodie’s absolute joy, both to read and to eat, constantly evolving to remain at the cutting edge of food service on the Gold Coast. Too many choices leap out to entice us, demanding many return visits. From the vibrant plate of Seasonal fresh fruit with Barambah organic yoghurt and honeycomb ($13) being enjoyed at the next table to our lunches of Grilled dukkah salmon with pearl barley salad ($19) and Grilled skirt steak blue corn tortillas with avocado bean salsa ($16), or the House-cured spiced salmon dressed in its own pearls on a bed of avocado labna and rye, there’s an emphasis on top quality healthy meals using trendy ingredients of the moment. Much of the produce is purchased directly from local producers, including Kyogle bacon, Bangalow fresh curd, and Nimbin Valley goats’ cheese. Gluten-free options are clearly marked.

This is one of the best menus we’ve seen in some time – fabulously cool yet accessible to the knowledgeable diner, super healthy with a dash of naughty thrown in.

Blackboard has grown up, and it’s absolutely, truly exciting!

(Updated September 2015)

Blackboard 23 January 2012:

Walking into Blackboard Specialty Coffee at Varsity Lakes, you can’t help feeling that you’re back in school. There’s a preppy feel about the place, a cool vibe drifting across from the university beside the lake. It’s a pretty funky scene with clean scrubbed fresh open faces, young passionate baristas (all ex-patrons who asked to join the payroll, they tell me), bench seats extending back into the cool darker depths of the shop, life lessons on the boards (sorry, walls), the feeling that you’re just catching on…and then the lightbulb moment…

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Blackboard6B So, what is the big discovery?

Well, Blackboard’s impossibly young proprietor, Nick Pearce, dares to think of coffee as the best winemakers think of grapes, their juices being crushed from premium grapes picked from old vines planted in stony soil on the northern slope in the vineyard of a renowned estate…

Nick speaks of fruit picked in season, ethically harvested, brought straight from the farm, delicately prepared (blended and brewed) giving care and attention to method (pressure, temperature and time of extraction)…

Yes, we are talking coffee. It’s what we’ve always known about winemaking and food, but few have thought to apply these same principles to coffee, let alone stating them so clearly.

It does sound very scientific, but it’s really about paying attention to detail – doing it right to achieve a top result!

It’s about trying to achieve the barista’s ultimate goal: a coffee that tastes as close as possible to the hypnotic aroma of roasting coffee beans.

Blackboard4B Blackboard has a House Blend (45% El Salvador, 40% Guatemalan, 15% Ethiopian beans), a Single Origin coffee, swapped every week, and if you’re a serious coffee connoisseur, try the Aeropress – a lighter roast using total immersion brewing and extraction. Drunk black, it’s smooth and delicate, the tea-like tannins curling the sides of my tongue.

Nick talks blends as a chef talks ingredients or a sommelier talks wine. He’s way too smart for school, with coffee wisdom way beyond his years, so it’s ironic really that he’s still a student!

Shop 7/240 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes Ph: 07 5575 7538
Blackboard Specialty Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Atmosphere Breakfast Catering Coffee & Tea Location Lunch Main course $15 or less Restaurants Varsity Lakes , , , , , , ,

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