The Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters is fast taking over far North Queensland.

The Cairns-based roastery, run by the coffee-obsessed Oliver James and navy veteran (the sailor) Ian Chill, has its beans in myriad cafes and restaurants across the region - and rightfully so.

Their White Label brew is as smooth as a George Clooney pick-up line with sweet, chocolatey notes that punch through when mixed with milk in a cappuccino, flat white or latte.

It is also the star attraction at Caffiend - the hippy-meets-hipster cool cafe in Cairns CBD, owned by James.

Here friendly and generous staff welcome you in, ready to caffeinate your veins with everything from espresso and cold drip to filter and iced varieties - all, of course, expertly made.

Caffiend co-owner Fern Campbell at her Grafton Street cafe. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Caffiend co-owner Fern Campbell at her Grafton Street cafe. Picture: Brendan Radke.

Just as popular as the coffee though is the timber-decorated venue's breakfast and lunch fare, which jazzes up standard cafe options with interesting cheffy touches.

Of a morning diners can expect the likes of miso-infused scrambled eggs with spring onion, black sesame, bonito, seaweed slaw and sourdough or smoked salmon on smashed avocado toast, with poached eggs, beetroot relish, horseradish cream and pickled cucumber slaw.

Come lunchtime, some brekky faves remain, such as the roasted smashed pumpkin on toast with dukkah-baked goats cheese, alongside the likes of a brioche BLT, a classic reuben and on-trend sushi bowl.

If you're choosing your dish for likes on Instagram, it has to be the tropical fruit French toast ($18.90). The sweet start to your day has been a hit on social media for its photogenic blend of spongy banana and walnut bread, bruleed banana, coconut gelati, coconut caramel sauce and a mix of dehydrated and fresh fruit, such as pineapple, kiwi and berries.

French Toast, fruits and edible flowers served at Caffiend cafe, Grafton Street. Picture: Brendan Radke
French Toast, fruits and edible flowers served at Caffiend cafe, Grafton Street. Picture: Brendan Radke

It's a tooth-achingly sweet dish you have to be a lover of coconut to enjoy, with the hard-shelled tropical fruit dominating all aspects of the combination.

While perhaps not as popular on the 'Gram, their signature brunch dish is the chilli eggs ($23.90). It stars two liquid-centred poached eggs draped with chilli jam that reportedly takes three days to make, with sourdough, local bacon, half a small avocado and a zingy pickled cucumber, spinach and herb salad that adds brightness and lightness to the substantial offering.

While coffee is mandatory here, it's the type of dish that would work well with one of their daily-changing housemade juices, like the beetroot, celery, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger variety available during my visit.

There is also a range of milk shakes, teas, chai, a daily house smoothie and iced tea, and a soda.

Caffiend is a solid cafe that hits its target market - the worldly traveller or local wanting something a little out of the ordinary, but not too far.

VERDICT

Food: 7

Service: 8

Ambience: 7

Value: 7



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