The Waiting Room, I mean Cupping Room, Civic

  • A really, really long wait
  • Fancy coffee
  • Caters to coeliacs

After dropping the kids at childcare, Michael and I headed into Civic on a Monday morning for a bit of breakky! Parking up opposite the courts we decided to try the Cupping Room. I’d been to the Cupping Room once before earlier this year and my first experience was alright. We’d gone for some lunch and I remember that occasion taking quite a long time to get a table and the food being ok.

We reached the Cupping Room at 9:35am. There were a few groups of people standing around outside and a sign requesting people wait outside to be seated and not enter the building. This was presumably due to COVID restrictions so Michael and I stood around, watching a group of protesters set up at the High Court opposite the café. 

The Sign

After 5 minutes or so, a member of staff came out and took our names telling us there was a 15 – 20 minute wait to sit inside. We could’ve sat outside immediately but it was a bit chilly, especially in the shade. Eventually after waiting for about 30 minutes, we were finally called in to sit at a small corner table by the window. The table was in a nice spot and we could continue watching the protesters at the Courts!

The décor in the Cupping Room is very light and comfortable. There are some calming blues, lots of warm wooden counters and shelving, and behind the coffee station is a very pleasant mural of what looks like a coffee farm. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find an angle where you can see the mural in full! The tables were a bit seventies, they had cork tops but they suited the relaxed feel of the space and there was some generic, laid back music playing in the background.

When we sat down, a staff member came over with a piece of paper containing two QR codes. One was the COVID check in and the other was for the menu. The staff explained that as part of their COVID precautions they had gone paperless, which makes sense but may be a problem if you forget your phone! She left us with the menu and Michael and I mulled over it for a few minutes. It also included an extensive coffee menu. 

The Cupping Room’s focus is coffee, and their website states the café is “designed to take you on a flavour journey”. The staff explained all their coffees were basically a flat white but that you could choose your own blend. The most expensive coffee on the menu was $22 but my mug of decaf was $6.

Once we’d decided what we wanted to order, we waited. We spent about 10 minutes trying to catch someone’s eye before we could order. Michael opted for the French toast with a mug of Founders coffee, and I went for the Avo with extra bacon and a mug of decaf. When I ordered I explained I was coeliac and that I needed gluten free food, and the wait staff, who was very friendly, stated that the kitchen was not gluten free but she would notify the staff and they would be careful and do their best to avoid cross contamination. 

Decaf (Front) and the Founders coffee

Our coffee came out after a short wait. Michael’s Founders was full bodied and he was happy with the taste. My decaf (which wasn’t on the menu) was quite delicious, it was a little smoky and creamy. However, both coffees were a bit cold – it wasn’t so bad that it couldn’t be drunk or that they needed to be returned but they were not as hot as we liked and by the time our food came out, the mugs of coffee were cold. For a place specialising in coffee, I feel it was a bit average. 

After ordering we began waiting again. We spent about 40 minutes between getting a table and our food arriving, which after the 30 minute wait just to get in the door felt excessive.

Eventually our food came out. The French toast was not gluten free but Michael said it was good. It had a lot of different elements that worked well together. There was a nice lemon curd and a chocolate chip mascarpone that was very subtle. 

The avo was very filling. There were two slices of extremely thickly cut bread, which I think was from Deeks, piled with avocado, two poached eggs, olive and mushroom tapenade, cranberries with a sprinkling of dukkah on top, and two slices of streaky bacon on the side. Combined these items were very complimentary to each other and it was quite enjoyable food however there was some room for improvement.

Firstly, the bread was huge – like an inch thick which was a bit too big, and the two poached eggs were overcooked. When I cut into them, instead of the yolk oozing out, it stayed put. 

Having said this, the bacon was yummy, nicely cooked to be a bit crispy and not too smoky, the avo was fresh and the dukkah really added some flavour and texture to the dish.

Once we’d eaten, we finished off our (cold) coffee and headed to the counter to pay. In total the two breakfast and two coffees came to $59.65 – which I feel was a bit steep. This might be because we spent 80% of our time waiting. There were clearly not enough staff, which I remember being something Michael and I discussed the first time we went to the Cupping Room too. Although the food was good, it wasn’t worth the wait and the coffee was not hot enough even if it was tasty.

1/1-13 University Avenue Canberra ACT 2601

One thought on “The Waiting Room, I mean Cupping Room, Civic

  1. Hi hanarnold,
    Glad to hear you had enjoyed food I’m cupping room, and feel sorry for you haven’t had best experience. I was the head chef of cupping room back then( not anymore), I was try to deliver not only money worth also want to share the flavour what I liked under very limited condition. I do really appreciate honest review that makes remind me time I spent there


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