Archive for June, 2011

The Green Refectory, 27th June

Today was interesting.  I tried to go to Ray’s cafe, and also Tre Espresso.  Both of these places were suppose to open at 7 according to the Iphone App.  Unfortunately, this was not the case, and both of them opened at 7:30am.  As a result, I made my way to the Green Refectory.  This was on the way back to work.  Using Illy coffee, The Green Refectory seemed more like a place to eat, with a vast menu, pastries and read made sandwiches.  A smaller place, it catered for mainly local people.  That was the vibe I got.  I ordered scrambled on toast, and was a little runny.  Nice consistency though.  The sourdough was pleasant, though a little thick.

Scrambled on Sourdough

Coffee
It had a mild aroma, with a hint of acidity.  It wasn’t strong, and thus lacked the full bodied flavour of some coffee’s.  However, the overall coffee was good.

Rating. 5.5.

Not bad

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Jasper Coffee, 26th June.

Aromatic

Jasper coffee is located on Brunswick St. Brunswick St has always been a popular place to get together and have a bite or a coffee. On a day like today, with the sun out, I was not surprised to see people out.

"Spring Vibe on a Winters Day"

A spring vibe on a winter’s day. Great to be out and about.  As soon as you enter the coffee shop, you get an overwhelming smell of coffee, like an addict in a meth lab.  It was wonderful.  They had many different coffee’s on display, as well as coffee machines.  A few staff to answer your questions, as well as a barista who seemingly knew what he was doing.  There are only a few seats available, some at the front, and some at the rear.  Surprisingly, there were a few empty tables, so I managed to get a table and chair.  It has a nice, peaceful area at the back of the shop.

Peaceful

The coffee
Today they were serving a singe origin Dominican Republic Coffee.  After the coffee, I had managed to have a look and whiff of the actual coffee bean.  it was delightful.  Really a good enticing coffee.  Although light in color, it had a strong aroma, with a hint of sweetness. It had s good level of acidity and little bitterness at the end of a mouthful. Even after having the whole coffee, there was minimal bitterness, which was good. The coffee itself had a nice sweet tone, and a smooth texture. The flavor was well bodied.

Rating. 6.

"Delightful"

The Artful Dodger, 21st June

'A Little Place on the Corner"

Although visiting Loco Coffee, I arrived at The Artful Dodger a little early.  I simply sat down and waited for Ed.  The waiter kindly gave me some water whilst I waited,  The place is a little open, therefore is quite easy for the cold air to come in.  Seated by the door I guess did not help.  This was a good summer venue, located opposite the cinema, and near some good restaurants.  Situated on the corner, with outside seats, it seemed like a good place to relax and enjoy quality time with friends.

Today’s coffee menu was a Single Origin from Tanzania, and the usual house blend.  It was always going to be the house blend for me, however, it is always good to know what other coffee;s are available, just in case I have an inkling for a 2nd (or 3rd)

The menu looked good, simple items, but all the basics were there.  Eggs, toast, muesli, etc, so all walks of like were catered for.

After Ed arrived, we ordered our coffee’s, and breakfast.  I went for the usual, and Ed ordered a French Toast.  He was fascinated by the menu, and he was stumped for choice.  His love for French people won out in the end, and therefore French Toast was the winner.

"Viva La France"

Something Different....not

The breakfast’s looked great.  Extremely appetising, and worth the effort of braving the cold morning. Ed has always been a fan of good food, and even he was impressed by the French toast he had.  I am sure he will go back for breakfast to the Artful Dodger before long.  My breakfast was also worthy of a mention.  Is was delightful, with the mushrooms cooked really well, and the scrambled in a little overdone for my liking, however the overall taste for me was the victor.

"2 Beans in a Pod?"

The Coffee

“mmm, alright” were the words Ed muttered, as I gently asked him to comment on it.  I wasn’t much of a fan either, however, it was better than some of the others on the Top 100 list.  I always harp on Proud Mary, 65 Degrees, however, they are in a different class, according to my taste buds though.  Omar is another that springs to Ed’s mind, although, admittedly, I have not tried Omar more than the once I have been there.

The coffee sensation itself was a little weak in what they had prepared.  Using the Ali blend, the coffee was not terrible, however, there was still some left in the machine, if I can say that.  Having said this though, I am certain that it would have been a lot better than the Gloria Jeans offerings, that Ed so easily dismissed as an uninformed choice.  After my first taste, it showed glimpses of greatness, however, the flavor fizzled out a little, and there was a slight tone of an unpleasant aftertaste, ever so slight.  Not as bright as some might say.

Rating.  5.5  Better than some, not as good as others.

Loco , 21st June.

Lets go loco

I was meeting Ed today for a coffee.  It has been a while since we both experimented new places.  I was looking forward to this.  I was due to meet the maestro at 8:00am, and was running a little early.  I decided to go to Loco Coffee.  Another place in Elsternwick, and though of taking the opportunity of killing 2 birds with one stone.  Located outside what you would consider the main shopping district of Elsternwick, Loco Coffee is a decent place to catch up for a quick bite, or simply have a coffee.  Friendly staff as well as decent decor, it has more or a English Rail Yard feel to it.  They have a variety of tea’s, as well as the usual range of baked mini’s.  I didn’t ask for a breakfast menu, as I was only going for a coffee, so not sure what this looked like.

"The Milky Way"

The Coffee

Milk was on special today, as this thing was loaded with it.  It seems like the coffee was half strength, and was not appealing at all.  As soon as the coffee hit my tongue, the brightness was killed by the milk.  The flavour was lost in it, sad to say.  Normally the taste of the coffee will linger in your mouth, though this was not the case today.

Rating : 5.

You might be wondering “After dishing the coffee, you still gave it a 5.  Why is that so ?”

I guess my perception of what coffee should taste like has changed.  The reason I say this, is because 2 or 3 years ago, I would have said that this was a good coffee.  No bitterness that lingers long after you’ve drunk the coffee, no dark burnt sensation of the coffee, and smooth due to the addition of the milk.  So now I am questioning my original judgement of the early ones I have rated.  I may have to go and try them again.

 

 

Proud Mary Single Origin

The Christina Aguilera

 

A tired Monday morning, I decided to travel to Proud Mary again.  I have visited 65 Degrees a few times in the past couple of weeks, and though I would give PM another go.

I decided to try a single origin this time, and asked the waitress what would be best with milk.  She directed me to the El Salvadorian “Finca el Aguillera”, the Christina special.  I am not sure that was the exact name, but I spent some time looking at the board to memorise it.  I am getting old !!

The coffee came out, and the aroma was good.  It had a sweetness about it, dark in color, like me, and looked rich in flavor.  This it was.  She described it as a Lime acidity, with toffee tones.  I could not seperate the 2, but this was another enjoyable coffee at Proud Mary.  This place is starting to grow on me like 65 Degrees already has.  Smooth, rich with flavour, it was a good starter to a week.  Fantastic

Bent Espresso, 19th June

Another lovely Melbourne morning. A little chilly, but the sun was out and made for a lovely seeing day. Playing gif today so hopefully the weather holds out. Bent Espresso is located in Bentleigh. On Bent st to be precise. I have been here before, and it was busy last time as well. A small neat place, it seems to have the usual regulars, chatting away with the busy waitresses, as well as the odd customers like me. All the staff are friendly, with a smile on their faces. It makes it more pleasurable to visit these places, as opposed to the places where customers are just profits, with turnover a key attribute.

Something Different ?

Fried or scrambled ?
Went for fried eggs today. On dark rye with a side of mushrooms. Being a small kitchen, it was hard to imagine that they could serve an army of customers, however, Bent Espresso is a small place, and they only need to cater for a few people at a time. I was interested in what the food would be like. Studio Movida also had a small kitchen, but the food was good, and was hoping today would be no different. I did enjoy todays breakfast. Simple, yet tasted great. Eggs fried to the right level, and the mushrooms cooked just right. The dark rye was a good change.

Artistic

The coffee.
It had a nice color and pattern at the top. I normally don’t comment on the artistry , however I think it does add another dimension to the coffee, the happy feeling when you get the coffee. It had a nice sweet aroma which manifested itself in the taste. Full bodied flavor, a little level of acidity, the coffee was good. Using the Simonelli machine, with Toby’s Estate Coffee, they made a good coffee.

Rating. 6.5. Lovely coffee.

Foxy Brown, 18th June

Inner City Charm

A wet and wintry morning, I had some time up my sleeve, and decided to head into the city area, and decide on a coffee place. I decided on Foxy Brown.

Foxy is a small place, with friendly staff, located only a few minutes from the city, in Northcote. An established inner city location, that has maintained the old charm.

You can easily see that this is always bustling. Being a cosy place, it’s a good spot to get together with a couple of friends, enjoy a coffee and some good food that was on the menu. There are different Single Origin Coffee’s available, as well as the Foxy house blend. I learnt from the Barista, that they change their house blend around, to maintain the optimum drinking pleasure of the coffee consumer. This was great. Dependant on the blend, there are different “curing” times after the beans have been roasted. I had never known this before. Maybe a sign of my coffee “amateur hour”.

The Arny Usual

Scrambled on toast.
Invariably, as you would have read in my blogs, my breakfast of choice has been the Scrambled Eggs on toast. Today was no different. Served on Dench Sourdough, (I have since learned that Dench is an Australian Bakery), This was really good. The eggs were a little runny, but I don’t mind that, as it kept a consistent texture. It was delightful.

Picasso ?

The Coffee
It had a strong aroma and a dark color. However, you could see the caramelisation happening on the milk as it sat. I let it rest for a little while before taking my first sip. It had a medium tempered acidity, with a hint of bitterness at the end of each gulp. Although this was not unpleasant by any means. It was a good coffee. It lacked a little in the design though….The experience of the coffee was present.

Rating : 6.5 One of the better ones going around.