Borders shut. Interstate travel restricted. Gyms shut. Restaurants shut. Only the essentials.
Scott Morrison’s words to Australians, potentially a death knell to the start of a story that ended many businesses.
The Flying Elephant Cafe in Coolangatta just may have been on that list if it weren’t for its great location and let’s just say ironically convenient choice of Essential coffees they proudly support and represent…
The Coolangatta cafe marks a spot where New South Wales and Queensland meet near the coast and some of the world’s best surfing spots. Sipping on your flat white outside in the warm sun and refreshing ocean breeze, your gaze can take you to the state of your choice to see what each has to offer, either way you’re not dissatisfied.
However, in recent – unusual times – the café’s location has garnered new and unusual interest from multiple television reporters being used as a media backdrop for the likes of ABC, Channel 7, 9, 10 and Sky News to emphasize other differences between the twoStates. Differences which are usually highlighted by the media for and during the State of Origin Rugby League series.
The Flying Elephant Cafe has been featured on multiple news feeds, management and staff have been interviewed, and with it – their choice of coffees, ironically and clearly identified as; Essential.
The serendipitous name of coffee and its beautiful beachside location hasn’t been the key reason why you will repeatedly see the cafe being broadcast.
The cafe has been a recent lifeline to many border guards delivering great coffees for border patrol personnel, the Queensland Police Services, the Australian Army, and State Emergency Services, serving them nothing but the essentials (pun intended).
Prior to that, it was a regular favourite for locals from both States, interstate and international tourists and flight crews who were overnighting in Coolangatta, when the nearby airport was a major flight hub, BC – that is “Before Covid”.
This cool café is also one of the first places to get coffee when you’re coming into Queensland from New South Wales after you’ve been idly sitting in traffic in the border queue for a long time, possibly hours and crave a specialty caffeine fix.
These folks in their cars can see the cafe in the distance, like a mirage of a cool oasis in the middle of a hot dry desert, you can almost taste it from far away. The Skip ordering app has been a Godsend to many as they cross the border making that espresso dream become reality.
Although the Flying Elephant Cafe manager, Debbie longs for a return of the normal:
“We miss the visiting surfers who used to travel from their homes to and from the likes of Kirra, Green Mount and Snapper Rocks. We miss the many domestic and international flight crews who used to visit BC. – It was a favourite coffee haunt among flight crews and tourists from all over Australia and the world who flew in aboard their own ‘flying elephants’ (Jumbo jet) into Coolangatta Airport.
They would enjoy the café’s our locally roasted Bronze Golden Bean Medal winning coffee, Atomic, our Gr8 Organic Rainforest Alliance Certified single origin and our Signature blend (containing Maragogype – aka Elephant bean), lovingly crafted in our high-tech Reneka coffee machines – which if you look closely have their very own flying elephant branding also.
It may be some time before flight crews and tourists stampede the Flying Elephant once again, and we look forward to that day. In saying that, we have been fortunate with our location in other ways during this pandemic, and are grateful to be helping the border teams in a small way and we love that our coffee is Essential”.
The Flying Elephant Cafe: Corner of Griffith & McDonald Streets (under Reflections Tower 2, Coolangatta, QLD 4225)
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