When Penny and Peter Wolff opened the original Dandelion & Driftwood more than one decade ago, it provided something new to the suburb of Hendra in Queensland.
“We offered full table service, were detail driven with tasting cards for every coffee that went out, and had a massive range of coffees and brew styles on offer. It’s more common now, but was quite radical 11 years ago and helped drive suburban café culture in Brisbane,” Penny says.
While the original café closed its doors in 2018, Dandelion & Driftwood continued its life with a new location at Brisbane International Airport. However, with COVID-19 bringing international travel to a halt last year, Peter and Penny decided it was time to bring the café home, reopening Dandelion & Driftwood at a new site in Hendra in February.
“The community support we’ve seen has been amazing. It’s shown the longevity of Dandelion & Driftwood, with people coming in who used to visit the first shop, not realising we’d continued at the airport,” Penny says. “People are quite taken by the new look and feel of the place. We have more space for one, which allows us the opportunity to have a bigger offering as well.”
Dandelion & Driftwood has introduced a wine, craft beer, and cocktail list to its already impressive coffee, breakfast, lunch, and high tea offering.
“Our beverage list has evolved over time and is now quite extensive, with about 21 teas, many we’ve never had before. Being able to introduce a cocktail and wine lists as well is super exciting,” Penny says.
From its café design to menu creation, Dandelion & Driftwood is inspired by the idea of balance and juxtaposition. For example, the design combines old-school charm and influences with modern twists, textures, and furnishings.
“What has always been of interest to customers is the elements of Dandelion & Driftwood that make the brand unique. We want to ensure that when you walk into the café, there’s a feeling of comfort and you fall in love with the space, setting customers up for a great experience, because it’s visually appealing yet homely,” Penny says.
The name Dandelion & Driftwood evokes the idea of femininity and masculinity, which carries through everything from the menu to service and coffee offering. The café offers two house blends: the delicate, bright, and fruity Dandelion Blend and heavy, robust, and earthy Driftwood Blend.
“Having tasted a lot of coffee and with Pete’s 35 years of experience in the industry, we know not one coffee will suit everybody,” Penny says.
“If you come in a group, it’s likely some will enjoy Dandelion, others will prefer the Driftwood blend, and some will only be interested in the single origins available. We offer tasting flights of espresso and piccolos, so if a customer is undecided or wants to know the difference, they can put them side by side and taste it for themselves.”
She adds this serves as a good starting point for the customer to explore different flavour profiles, developing their own palate, and understanding what kinds of coffee they enjoy. As they become more adventurous, they can consider ordering the different rotating single origins, prepared via a selection of different brew methods.
“Eleven years ago, many customers didn’t understand there could be such a great variance of flavour, acidity, body and sweetness in coffee, but over the years customers have now become more discerning, they’re also more receptive of new experiences,” Penny says.
“It’s been a lovely journey to see the Brisbane consumer come to understand coffee and I’m proud of the role Dandelion & Driftwood played in that history.”
Dandelion & Driftwood
20 Doncaster Street, Hendra, Queensland 4011
Open daily 7am to 4pm
(07) 3667 8388
This article appears in the June 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.