John Mills Himself: “really hard to find” say Brisbane locals. “Worth the effort,” says the Coffee Cities Project

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“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.

Coffee is from The Single Guys in Kenmore and Coffee Supreme, who have a Queensland beach-head over in Woolloongabba – local roasters only, say the young crew who run this place.

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)
Food ★☆☆☆☆
Coffee ★★★☆☆

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