Archive for May, 2011

Small Block, 31st May

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This was my first venture into Brunswick East. I have had a look at a couple of places, but never really crossed the area for work. It was a bad day I chose for this. Terrible traffic. Got up a little late, had some breakfast st home and left about 6:45. At 8:30, still on the freeway, stuck, I thought this wasnt good.
Finally made it there for a short stop. Basically sat down, had my coffee, and left. I did pay of course. 

They use a La San Marco espresso machine, I don’t remember coming across many of these yet.  The main ones I have come across so far are Synesso, Slayer and La Marzocco.  I will have to do a blog on the different machines that are out there are the moment.  Their house blend was Coffee Supreme, and I haven’t come across this brand yet either.  Interesting I thought.  They also have a single origin coffee available, but I did not try this one.  I will go back there, as the food that was coming out was quite nice.  It seemed like a nice place for a breakfast or casual coffee. 
The coffee.
A hint of acidity on the tongue, full-bodied flavor. With a nice strong aroma, it had a smooth texture and very consistent the way through.  My only fault, if I can be so harsh, which I shouldn’t, would be a little bitter aftertaste of the coffee.  other than that, it was great. 

Rating : 6.6. Definitely back there again.

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Atomica, 29th May.

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I finally made it to Atomica.  I have tried a couple of time during weekdays, but they have been closed in the morning when I drive by.  I have been here before,  a couple of years ago.  Ed actually took me here, saying what a great coffee it was.  Great atmosphere, friendly staff, the place really has a character about it.  They have different types and style of coffee’s available, and 3 various types of coffee’s to make coffee from.  They had a single origin coffee from Brazil (if I remember correctly), and the house blend.  The house blend was Atomica Dark.  They also have Decaf available.  The breakfast menu was good.  Offered the basics as well as a couple of different variations.   I saw something I liked straight off the cuff.  Mushrooms on toast.  I ordered this with scrambled eggs. Pictured below, this was a really nice plate.  Basically it was various types of mushrooms.  It had a nice look to it when it came out, and was a very nice tasting dish.  Very different to what I have had in the past.  It was a good place to visit.

I have traditionally only had 1 latte from each of the places at one given time, however this time I decided to have 2 coffee’s, as I was intrigued by the single origin,  I had this, and it was completely different,  in a nice way.  It was definitely a good coffee, with the acidity, aroma and  body very defined.  It was also a good experience, and will definitely try this again.

The coffee.

As mentioned, the house blend was Atomica Dark.  I thought it would be strong and bitter, but actually I was pleasantly surprised.  It had a nice aroma, full-bodied, with a vibrant acidity.  I really enjoyed the coffee. 

Rating  6.8.  Enjoyable coffee. 

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New York Tomato, 28th May.

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On the way back from the Airport, I knew New York Tomato would be open. So I decided to drop in. I guess I have to apologize for the outburst of calling them bafoons for opening late. I found out they open at 7:30. The book says 8:30 and the iPhone app says 7:00. I guess they don’t know themselves. Anyway. The place has a nice feel to it. Colonial music in playing in the background. Interesting. Was a good menu, variety of healthy and ‘unhealthy’ options available. By unhealthy I mean sausages on the side, scrambled eggs etc. It had a small kitchen, with a smiling barista. Couldn’t ask for more then that. However, I found some staff seemed like they were friendly and smiling, though there was no warmth. Maybe it was too early for them for a Saturday. I ordered something I have seen before, but never tried. Boiled eggs, baked with Napoli sauce, Fetta, green olives and Dukkah. As pictured below, it looked pretty darn good. It tasted pretty good, though with this style of dish, the sauce is very important. The texture of the egg after being soft boiled then baked was a little inconsistent. I’m not a big fan. As a a result, not as enjoyable as I would have liked. It was filling though. All the dishes I noticed on the other tables looked pretty good. My assumption was that they served pretty good breakfast, and definitely an option if your in the area. I left the place at approximately 10:00am, and the place started to get really busy. FYI. if you just come in off the street, there are tables upstairs too, so don’t assume that because downstairs is full, that you won’t get a seat.

What is Dukkah ?
I have seen Dukkah on a few menus, and know it is a spice blend, but what does it consist of ?
It is a Middle Eastern nut and spice blend, traditionally used for dipping bread into, with olive oil. Also could be used for a topping to salads or vegetables, or as crumbing for meat and fish. It consists of the following :

Sesame seeds Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Black Peppercorns, Sea Salt. I am assuming that you can add and subtract from the basic, but then he flavor will be different.

The Coffee
It was consistent, good body, mild acidity and definitely no bitter aftertaste. This was very comparable to
All the other places that used the seven seeds brand. It was enjoyable.

Rating. 6.5. Very good coffee, and as an overall experience quite good.

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Liaison, 27th May

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Having a look at the book in the morning, I found another inner city place that I have visited. Liaison. Thus is located just off little Collins st, between Spring and Exhibition st. I walk in and the owner barista is a friendly ol chap. It seems that there is a Liaison Club. A group of gentlemen, that all ride bikes, were in a corner chatting away with the owner as he is churning out coffees. Another hidden place thar people seem to know and like being there. I was sitting down for a few minutes and all of a sudden the place was full of people wanting coffees. All of a sudden the loud voice of the owner softened, and started to really churn out the coffees. Using a small Wega machine with trade standard Genovese beans, people simply liked the atmosphere and obviously the coffee that was served up.

They had a selection of pastries, cakes, muesli etc for a breakfast treat. A good experience.

The coffee
It had a strong aroma, and when I took the first sip, it was strong. Although not strong in a distasteful way. It had the right amount of milk, and a smooth consistency. It looked a little darker.

Rating. 5.5.

Espresso 3121, 26th May

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As mentioned in the previous blog, I was suppose to visit New York Tomato. Bafoons. Anyway. I ended up at Espresso 3121. As soon as I walked in, the aroma of food and coffee mixed hit you in the face. It was a good sensation. Maybe that’s next. The all in one shake. Scrambled eggs, a coffee shot, all made into a shake for convenience. Drive through McDonalds, how many sugars with that sir ?

The didn’t offer a ‘cooked’ breakfast as such, but the had croissants, cheese and egg muffins, muesli etc. A healthy alternative. Aghhhhh. Anyway I ordered a cheese and egg muffin.

It was down a small alley way. They offer a couple of coffee beans to sell. Single origin coffee, Bond st House blend. nice cosy place. A bit of Temper Trap playing in the background. I can imagine this as a nice place to have a weekend lunch or something. Being a warehouse environment though I can imagine it could be a cold place in winter.

The coffee.
A little watery I have to say. The acidity and the flavor though were nice. Not sure what makes a watery coffee. It was a nice coffee though. I like a creamier style of coffee. So I guess typically I would go for this type. However, I can’t take away the fact that it was, well what tasted like, a good bean. The strength of the coffee was right. The aroma of the coffee was also good.

Rating. 5.8. Not quite a 6, but definitely better the standard 5.

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New York Tomato, 26th May

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I was looking forward to this, and they were suppose to open at 7 am. This didn’t happen. ‘Not happy Jan’

7 Grams, 25th May

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Number 50. Mini milestone achieved. I didn’t plan on doing a “coffee run” today. Felt lazy today, and decided to go into work a little later. Decided on Richmond as I haven’t tried a coffee in this area yet. Well not officially anyway. It was a small place, 7 Grams, with a deli feel. To some degree a little like a suburban or industrial cafe. I ordered a cheese and tomato croissant. This was nice. Nice soft croissant, toasted but not burnt, so it maintained it’s shape, and had a nice texture, with the cheese melted just right.

The coffee
It was a little stronger than I am used to. It needed a little more milk, however I understand some people like coffee this was. Having said this, I normally associate a bitter aftertaste with this type of latte. However, this was not the case. It had a little aftertaste, but nothing too great. A little acidity on the tongue, which was ok.
Could have done better with the design though.

Rating. 5.5. Not bad.