Cup of Truth

Posted on by snoffeecob


Another dollar, another day. At least, that’s what an American colleague used to always say to me. Basically it was meant as a wry way of saying, “wow, my life is really meaningless, I’d totally rip off my shirt & tie if I had the fuck-you money to be able to retire right now.” I guess going to a 9–5 job every day of your life is a little bit like that.

Why, you might ask, am I ranting about boring office jobs, when you, my beautiful and exceedingly intelligent readers, are waiting for the latest low-down in espresso news?

Well, nobody knows the ashen face of the miserable 9–5 office worker better than the dudes of Cup of Truth. They see, daily, an endless stream of cubicle-bound salary-people trudging – literally – through a subterranean tunnel towards the light at the end. But it isn’t a light in the metaphorical sense, no, my fascinated reader, it is a neon strip light at the end of the Degraves Street subway, leading to the filthy alleyway where they have to enter their offices to waste another day of their fading youth.

There in that tunnel, day in and day out, our heroes of Cup of Truth tirelessly serve “coffee-based drinks” to the tired and worn-out individuals underpinning the economy of our capitalistic society, ensuring the retirement funds of the ultra-privileged 0.1-percenters.

Hidden in what could be described as a little cabinet, barely large enough to hold two baristas at once, Cup of Truth is a hole-in-the-wall espresso bar located the subway tunnel between Flinders Station and Degraves Street. People who regularly commute into the CBD by train will know the phenomenon: busy, harried-looking office workers bustling by, as a group of friendly-seeming patrons of Cup of Truth hang around in the walkway, either waiting for their takeaway order or drinking whatever it is they’re drinking.

I initially thought the baristas were too snarky to bother paying too much attention to their coffee, but after walking by a few times, late for some bullshit early-morning meeting, with a lack of caffeine eroding my willpower, I thought I’d give Cup of Truth a more serious try. Apparently, since not long ago, they’ve switched the coffee beans they use as their house blend. The internet tells me they use beans from Axil Roasters, but I’m unsure if that’s pre- or post-switch. Will have to go and ask. They seem to mostly serve a rushed takeaway crowd (all jostling with their damn Keep Cups – I will rant about those another time), but they also have a few actual ceramic cups, so you can have espresso on-the-spot.1

To be honest, I had a lot of trouble coming up with a rating for their espresso, because it’s a blend that is actually a bit more “modern” than I’d usually go for. It’s quite .. what’s the word .. bright, with interesting flavours and structure going on, but it manages to do that while avoiding the newfangled-espresso pitfall of being much too sour. On paper, it’s not the kind of thing that I should like at all! But, after trying their house blend a few times,2 I actually find myself really liking it. I’ll be coming back, trying to pin down what exactly I think of it. But, even though I hesitated about what exact rating to give, it’s definitely very comfortably in the does-not-suck range. Probably you should try and avoid vexing the baristas too much, I’ve noticed that they’ll gleefully talk shit about you or whoever. For whatever that’s worth. ;)

TLDR: Definitely give Cup of Truth a try – I dare you!

  1. I almost think it’s not worth drinking espresso from anything other than pre-warmed ceramic cups. Woe betide the espresso bar that only has paper cups available. 

  2. They do have a single “O” – I can’t even begin to fathom the wankery that would go into straight-facedly saying single “O” as if you’re so urbane and rushed that you can’t bring yourself to just say “single origin” – but I have only tried their house blend.