“Really hard to find” is how Brisbane locals describe John Mills Himself, a coffeehouse/bar that’s hidden away in an old printer’s workshop at the end of a lane off Elizabeth Street in the city – you might have to ignore the address and googlemap it.
(You actually can find it from its Charlotte Street address – there’s a door, there’s even a sign on the footpath. You just have to go down the stairs, turn left, turn right, go along the corridor, pass the Koala Foundation shop … oh, never mind.)
When you finally find JMH, the narrow space, the bare brick, the marble-topped bar and a floor of those little hexagonal bathroom tiles that you might remember from the 1960s create a certain mood, as if John Mills Himself had been pulling espresso for Brisbane since Luigi Bezzera invented it.
The Single Guys house blend is a 50/50 Ethiopia/El Salvador; it has a nice balance of fruit and caramel in a pitch-perfect flat white, while single origins might include a Colombia Carlos Rodriguez or an Ethiopia Duromina.
The fridge is stocked with cold brew – black and milky – from sister cafe Bunker in Milton, as well as John Mills’ own Heirloom label cold iced chocolate.
Food? Not much more than a plateful of gnarly raspberry and coconut muffins. Pull up a chair for a Coffee Supreme Honduras single origin instead, or come back after 4pm for craft beer and cider.
With the laneway location, the classic fit-out and the asymmetrical haircuts, John Mills Himself is a contender for Brisbane’s hippest coffeehouse.
John Mills Himself
Where 40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane (access via Elizabeth Street)
When Mon–Fri 6.30am–3.30pm (bar Tues–Sat 4pm–late)