Where you can get the best coffee in Ipswich
THE people behind the counter are the most important ingredient in customers coming back for more, according to two of Ipswich's most popular coffee spots.
The QT asked its readers to pick their favourite, with Dancing Bean and Strictly Coffee coming out on top as joint winners with 17 per cent of the vote each.
Dancing Bean owner Richard Mergard opened the cafe and roastery in Ipswich four years ago.
He established the business in 1999, put the first legal coffee cart in Brisbane and has been roasting coffee for the past 15 years.
Mr Mergard got the "urge" to move west and into the Ipswich city centre, setting up in a laneway located behind Heisenberg Haus.
"We're coffee roasters first, cafe second," he said.
"It's more about the people making the coffee than the actual coffee itself.
"They're the heroes.
"Our house blend is about 80 per cent of our sales and it's designed to be a one size fits all blend."
Although he said it had been a difficult two-and-a-half years with the redevelopment of the CBD, he was positive for the future.
He relied on loyal customers and supplying businesses with coffee around south east Queensland to survive.
"We're hoping for something better," he said.
The business, which employs six people, has recently sent out its first samples to Los Angeles with the hope of exporting to the United States.
"We've got a representative over there that is building a base so we can start roasting over there," he said.
"We started roasting coffee in Cairo in Egypt about eight years ago. As small as we are, we've got runs on the board.
"We're looking at opening in Japan in six months. Japan is a third wave coffee country. They're just discovering coffee like we did 20 years ago. We're in the early stages of negotiations now with doing something similar in Japan."
Strictly Coffee owner Amanda Greene was celebrating the business reaching its fifth birthday this week.
"My whole team is genuinely passionate about coffee and about tasting profiles," she said.
"We offer three blends. We try and educate all of our customers when they come in.
"Our head barista and manager Gareth (Black) and I worked together previously in a cafe that was in this location and in another one.
"We had the opportunity there and we missed what we did and our little family that had followed us for the two years prior."
She said it was her team's passion for what they do that kept people coming back for more to the business on Brisbane St.
"(Customers) know what they're going to get and we maintain such a high standard," she said.
"Everyone loves the vibe that we've got here. Everyone always comments how much they appreciate that we remember their name or their coffee.
"You're always there for people because you do become the first person they talk to in the morning sometimes. It's a job I wouldn't pass in for the anything. We all love what we do."