Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Manfredi at Bells (Killcare - NSW Central Coast)

Scores:
Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): /40

Good coffee and fine dining are not a normal combination of words you put in a sentence when talking about the NSW Central Coast. In fact just thinking about it good coffee and fine dining at hotels are a rare combination to start with…

A long weekend away finds Nerd2 and I at Manfridis, the restaurant of the very fancy hotel Bells at Killcare on the NSW Central Coast, about an hour and half north of Sydney.

Typically when you walk into a hotel restaurant at breakfast you expect to find chaos, food everywhere and stressed staff, etc. However, and prepare to be shocked. We found neither.

While this was amazing to find a super flash restaurant in a Zen like ninja state. Actually finding the staff to seat us was a bit of a challenge. Lucky Nerd2 and I are skilled at stealing the choice seats at cafes; we quickly acquired a large bench seat near the fireplace.

Once a staff member found us she was a little surprised but very pleasant (we had after all just appeared apparently out of nowhere), coffee was on the agenda we ordered two long blacks.

Not long in their creation, the long blacks from initial impressions looked good. With both a nice heat and a good crema.

The aroma of the coffee was that of something initially quite smoky followed through by a fruit sweetness balanced against some wood spices. I’d call say it is a radical Italian roast.

Food wise, because I know you’re interested, I got this great baked eggs thing and Nerd2 went for this nice looking mushroom ricotta meal. I stole some of her mushrooms.

Drinking the coffee, I found the smokiness, sweetness (of something like a dried raisin) and some woodie flavours, following through from the aroma. Overall an enjoyable coffee experience.

Breakfast was good. Thanks for asking. I ate far too many handmade pastries.

As I read the paper I allowed the coffee cool and steep. Disappointingly, the flavours fell down leaving the drink a little too acidic. (It can so easily happen in places that don’t churn through coffee enough due to demand). But I’m on holidays and likely being a bit of a dick.

Overall, it was a good and peaceful meal. Staff on this weekday occasion were over the top friendly and the food solid. The coffee was top notch for a hotel’s restaurant and very solid for a drink outside of it in Sydney. It is easy to recommend the experience and coffee, if for some reason you’re in the Killcare region like Nerd2 and I were, go check it out.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
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Coffee total: 13/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): English manor house
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 7/10
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Cafe: 14/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40


Click to add a blog post for Manfredi at Bells on Zomato

Monday, 10 August 2015

Lid & Jar (Chatswood)

Scores:
Coffee: 16/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 29.5/40

Chatswood, from the look of all the construction has gone through a bit of an evolution. Once a rubbish North Sydney with a Westfield (e.g. a prime example of Sydney suburb with no heart), it seems to have embraced its multicultural population and with a few million dollars to make it over today it feels a lot more like a town centre (at least on a sunny weekend). This is the second café in my Chatswood adventure, Lid & Jar.

Walking down Victoria Ave., you'd be hard pressed not to see what looks like a sliver of a café, Lid & Jar. If you're like me when you see it your cynical coffee senses will be tingling. While looking like hyper compact and modern coffee shop, there is a lot of ‘fun factual information’ on coffee on the chalkboards outside. Typically this is a flag of a rubbish coffee shop trying to be cool. But hey I'm not in Chatswood that much…

Walking in I found not a sliver of a café trying to make the residents of Chatswood feel they were in the Surry Hills with only a few square meters to sit in, but a expansive space, Lower North Shore kind of space, spilling out onto the town square. The cafe looks like the owners walked into a junk shop and said “we'll take the lot” including old ladders, oil drums and those plastic grape vine, but it works.

Also, my cynicism decreased when I saw the Slayer, so I grabbed a seat in the sun.

The staff were quickly all over me once I had sat down asking what I was looking for – a piccolo latte. They also brought me a glass of water.

While waiting for my coffee, I asked myself what is the one item, according to the patrons of Lid & Jar, that I could not be without? The answer is an electronic gadget of some sort. Couples, solos and even large groups of people were all on their phones, computers and tablets. Oh 2015.

The coffee, from first impressions, looked fantastic, heat reasonable, art top notch (if a barista can crank out this sort of art constantly, she/he is clearly exhausted at the end of the shift but a legend) and with an interesting punchy sweet aroma. I thought it would be hard to match Steam Engine in looks for the area, but there you go.

Sipping on it I found a slightly bitter, earthy, nutty espresso with some nice dark chocolate-like notes to balance both flavours. I'd say, being a total wanker about it, that it feels a little gritty in the mouth but the flavours are full of fight and tend to linger pleasantly in the mouth.

If you're letting your drink linger and steep it's likely you'll find that it becomes far more earthy at the expense of both the nutty and dark chocolate flavours, but imo it's not a negative.

In case you're wondering, Lid & Jar use Coffee Brothers Roasters, which are a local roaster from up the NSW coast a little.

Overall, it’s a new take on the Lower North Shore cafe. Yes I hear you say, this is the second Lid & Jar and it’s actually a Western Sydney(ish) chain in the making, but the place feels very Lower North Shore rather than very generic could be anywhere Coffee Club. The coffee, via the roaster, espresso machine and clearly a lot of help by solid barista, is great. A very worthwhile stop in a coffee tour of Chatswood.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
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Coffee total: 16/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
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Cafe: 13.5/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 29.5/40


Click to add a blog post for Lid & Jar on Zomato

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Artificer Specialty Coffee Bar & Roastery (Surry HIlls)

Scores:
Coffee: 19.5/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 35/40

Ready to feel unfashionable for the sake of an amazing coffee? Me too.

This Saturday found me walking down Bourke Street with some vague instructions from a mate to look for the coffee shop/roaster whose name starts with an A.

Artificer (it turns out) found on the corner of Bourke and Phelps streets was my destination.

Surry Hills' answer to Coffee Alchemy of Marrickville, Artificer is your no food, no tea and no additional shit kind of café, sorry cronuts fans. Where Alchemy feels like a warehouse Artificer feels like an expensive Swedish homewares showroom… Come in, line up and almost instantly feel awkward when trying to balancing a coffee.

The café was pleasantly not mental like the rest of Surry Hills at 10am on a Saturday, so I was able to order a piccolo and grabbed a seat along the window in one smooth amazing move.

While you wait for your coffee I challenge you to not feel uncool in Artificer. My fellow patrons were just at a different level to me. Old couples were wheeling and dealing in the East Sydney property market, perfectly dressed and cashed up. Younger guys and girls reading poetry. And people outside were talking about the pros and cons of designer cats. I recommend gazing lovingly at the Synesso machine.

The good news is service is fast and friendly and the barista was open to a quick chat, which distracted me from my inadequate chat about property, poetry and cats.

The first thing you’ll notice about your coffee is the weight of the espresso mugs. Maybe I was just having an odd morning, but in my notes to myself I underlined how much I loved the weight of the cup… there you go.

After you calm down like me about the weight of a cup. You’ll see how well it was presented. Judge it for yourself, but I reckon the drink looked ace.

The piccolo was both fruity and floral(ish) with something a little spicy to it, a nice level of acidity was there too. I found the drink to be very creamy. I was told after the fact that they use some sort of jersey milk. Nice touch. Look, like most of these extreme coffee shops the coffee will be divine, but very far from the cocoa flavours you may have come to recognise from Sydney roasters.

From my understanding the roasts change often here, but if you end up with a different bean, don’t stress I’m sure it’ll be just as ace.

Overall, it’s the best coffee I’ve had in Surry Hills over the last year and equal if not better than Sample. Just come here, feel inadequate and enjoy the experience (and yes, that is possible in the world of coffee).

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 10/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9.5/10
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Coffee total: 19.5/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Cool?: 9/10
Service: 6.5/10
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Cafe: 15.5/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 35/40


Click to add a blog post for Artificer Specialty Coffee Bar & Roastery on Zomato

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Steam Engine (Chatswood)

Scores:
Coffee: 17/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 34/40

What’s the thing that Sydney train stations and the suburb Chatswood have in common? A reputation for quality coffee. Much like the art gallery paradox I talked about in my previous post, coffee shop owners know when they have a captive almost desperate audience they can produce a weak but profitable product.

The Steam Engine found within the interchange at Chatswood (below the station) blows both of these assumptions out of the water.

Like something out of Surry Hills (and a little reminiscent of Sample Café), Steam Engine has a hole-in-the wall feel with great mix of coffee flowing.

While it may look more ‘takeaway’ to you north shore folk due to its size, don’t be alarmed it’s not. Do as I did and grab a table and/or chair, that may feel like you're nearly sitting on top of someone, and pull out the paper.

Coffee ordering during the normal flow of things is via the counter. However, I managed to get an order at my table. A piccolo was on its way.

Judging by the people asking for it, the Steam Engine has developed a bit of a cult following for single origin coffees. It seems like demand is well outpacing supply and they were out of them on my visit.

The piccolo came to me pretty quickly and was made using their house blend, which the barista told me was a bespoke roast by Toby’s Estate.

Looks wise, it was spot on. A small, well proportioned, drink with simple heart, reasonable heat to it.

The aroma was quite rich and a little dirty, there was a clearly something a little fruity/ sweet to this drink.

Taste wise, it was delightfully sweet with a high level of acidity to it, which given the 4 or 5 standard brands of beans in Sydney is unusual for a house blends.

Flavours sat/fluctuated somewhere between a sweet stone fruit like a nectarine and something honey sugar like - caramel perhaps?

The only thing I was disappointed by during my experience was the lack of a glass of water with the coffee. However, it was not until sitting in front of the tap for a while that I figured out the jars and the thing that looks like an industrial pipe is the tap – perhaps I am getting old?

What topped off the experience was the barista coming to have a chat with me to make sure I was enjoying my drink. It’s the small things, which add to the experience.

Overall, there is a lot to love about this café. The staff are charming and seem to be interested in this customer’s experience. The coffee is solid and given the demand for the single origins I am sure they are worth giving a shot if you’re here on a weekday. While the café may not be built for an ideal North Shore dine in experience, if you’re an eastern suburbs or inner west nerd like me, the small cramped conditions will make you feel right at home.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
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Coffee total: 17/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): industrial hole-in-the-wall
Cool?: 8/10
Service: 9/10
-----------
Cafe: 17/20
-----------
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 34/40


Click to add a blog post for The Steam Engine on Zomato

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Encasa Deli (City)

Scores:
Coffee: 14/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40

Sitting beside cured meat and listening to Spanish radio is not the ordinary way I start my mornings. But a coffee shop I walk past every day, Encasa Deli finally lured me in on my way to work. The little bro to the likewise named Encasa on Pitt Street, the deli has novelty factor oozing from it, Spanish and Sydney after all rarely mix.

Found in midtown on Bathurst Street between Hyde Park and Town Hall, it is in an unusual part of the city (at least to me) as, notably, there are a lack of big offices towers making it more of thoroughfare than a destination.

It was about 7:30am when I ventured in, the Deli had a good vibe. There was a mix of construction workers (likely on their first coffee break of the day) and suits starting their day.

I ordered a latte and grabbed a wine barrel table.

While takeaway coffee is preference in ordering here, it did not take too long for the barista to make my drink.

On arrival it looked pretty good. The aroma was sweet, cocoa rich and a little bitter to the nose.

Tasting it, the initial flavour was of a very dark chocolate, both bitter and sweet. The drink itself was quite balanced, full of punch and flavour. They use Calima coffee which is a Colombian blend. A nice choice for a Spanish style place.

Sitting here people watching, I saw a few bocadillos get made at the deli, which seems to be their food thing and I got some serious food envy (muesli at work is about as exciting as my weekday breakfasts get).

The highlight of my stay was the utter amusement and confusion of staff when a lady came in demanding guaranteed gluten free food. While I feel sorry for my gluten free mates, the demand in a deli which specialises in sandwiches was a little odd.

Letting the coffee sit, I found brought out a slightly fruity tinge to the milky drink, kind of like adding a little bit of orange to a piece of dark chocolate.

Overall, I’m surprised that I’ve not come here before, given that I walk past it all the time. Encasa Deli is a charming space with very different and delicious food options, and has coffee which in brand, origin and flavour are unique for the city. Oh, if you come, don’t be a loser like me, make it a longer stay and grab some food.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
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Coffee total: 14/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Spanish Deli
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 7/10
-----------
Cafe: 14/20
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Encasa Deli on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 May 2015

MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace

Scores:
Coffee: 16/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 30/40

At least to me, an unsurprising connection is that people who like art typically also like coffee of the wanky variety. Museum cafes have picked up on the first point and, more often than not, realise they have a captive audience and so serve shit coffee at high prices which their customers (Art Gallery of NSW I’m looking at you) which fools like me will still buy.

There is perhaps nowhere better equipped in using the captive audience café theory than the MCA at Circular Quay. Firstly, coffee in the city is generally rubbish on weekends with the heralds of the city coffee scene closed, with only a few notable expectations – Workshop and Gumption who are a bit of a trek away from the MCA. Secondly, the view from the MCA’s café is simply one of the best in Sydney and why not serve up rubbish at high prices with a view like this?

The good news is the coffee at the MCA’s Sculpture Terrace café is far from shit, it’s actually pretty good.

Having checked out the Light exhibition this Saturday I thought it would be a good move to finally review a café I’ve been to a few times with my mate Chris, who, as a law student, seems to treat this café as one of his many studying homes.

I got here at 2:30pm, deliberately as if you want anything other than a hair pulling shitfight for a table don't come for lunch. I lined up and ordered what the couple in front of me ordered - a piccolo latte.

The people at MCA’s café are an interesting mix of parents with small children looking like they are ready to crack, tourists with unbelievably large cameras and random weirdos (like me) looking cool reading their phones.

The coffee came out to me quickly enough and I was impressed at the simple artwork, heat of the drink and speed that it had come from creation to me – it was still settling as it was sat down.

The coffee – Little Marionette had a quite sweet aroma with a hint of the roaster lingering.

Sipping it, the coffee was very flavourful. Milk chocolate mixed with something acidic like an orange with some of the roasters smokiness coming through.

I’m a happy camper.

Letting it sit brought out some of the hidden bitterness of the drink and this will go two ways with you. Either you’ll love the flavourful pungent coffee and it’ll delight you. Or you’ll be overwhelmed by the new strong bitter flavours and feel like you’ve been punched in the face. I fell into the first, but you're forgiven if you think it’s more like the second experience.

Overall, the MCA’s Sculpture Terrace Café is a pretty wonderful experience. The view is killer and the coffee is well above other options in the area on a weekend and still a very good drink any day of the week. Where it will let you down is if you’re here during lunchtime, which I know will make this dreamy café experience feel like a circle of hell in a fight to the death for a table.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
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Coffee total: 16/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): A poor mans Quay with a better view.
Cool?: 9/10
Service: 5/10
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Cafe: 14/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 30/40


MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Jim (Paddington) [Corretto]

Scores:
Coffee: 14/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 29/40

Easter Sunday is a painful day to get a coffee. I decided, in order to ensure success (finding a good coffee), to walk far and wide to fuel what is clearly a caffeine addiction. And where better to go than the all day coffee-drinking epicentre of Sydney, Paddington?

Let's start by saying getting a coffee by yourself in Paddo can be a bloody intimidating affair. Couples, poodles and dachshunds all look down their noses at you... like you're some sort of oddity - a solo person having coffee alone! (Shock, gasp). I’d advise, if you’re like me and at Five Ways to make a choice of one of the 4+ or places quickly and when choice is made go for an inside seat. That is, if you don't like the judging faces.

I chose The Jim (sign posted as Corretto) for no reason other than it was first place I came across and looked rather stylish. I followed the order of the girls in front of me and got a latte.

With the key ‘people watching’ seats taken, I grabbed a seat on the upper balcony space, which, while not as popular a spot as a window, I thought was a cool space.

It did not take too long for the coffee to appear at my table. I did, in the process of waiting, snag water with ice and a lemon slice - totally unexpected and fantastic addition to the experience.

The coffee was presented with some simple art, it was a nice layered drink and had a reasonable heat to it. The aroma was rather sweet and had an interesting roasted balance to it.

While writing the review I thought to myself what was the one thing you must not go without at The Jim, according to my fellow patrons. I’d say yoga pants and/or fluro Nike runners. While it may seem unlikely you've used them for exercise they are always good to provide an image that you may around your fried breakfast.

Drinking the coffee I found it to be a delicate light sweet drink, it was a little rich with hints of a something like caramel and/or milk chocolate. Let’s settle and say a slight roasted smoky aroma with a sweet cafe con leche style flavour set.

Letting it rest brought out a very flavourful, and rather delightful, drink.

Overall The Jim is a great space and feels like I'm hanging out in a mate’s kitchen. Service even on a hot, busy public holiday break was exceptional. The coffee is simple and elegant with a deep flavour set. If you’re feeling lost at five ways like I always do, The Jim is worth a shot.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
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Coffee total: 14/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): A mate's kitchen
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 8/10
-----------
Cafe: 15/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 29/40

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bondi Harvest - Bondi Junction

Scores:
Coffee: 13/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40

Bondi Junction is not known for its great food or its great coffee. But you make the most of where you are at.

Last Saturday morning found Nerd 2 and I in Bondi Junction, wandering the many floors of the most confusing shopping mall in Australia.

While there are a multitude of food courts and coffee shops (if you can find them), pickings of where you'd be keen to eat and get a good coffee are slim.

One of the newer options, that Nerd 2 had heard about was Bondi Harvest in the Eastern Hotel. We thought it would be worth a shot.

Let's face it, if you're around my age, the Eastern is not somewhere that: 1.You've likely been to in a while and 2.  A place you would have thought about ever eating in at.

For starters you'll notice the place has a killer layout. Walking in, I found Bondi Harvest to be fresh, open and modern, yet old in style. It is a cafe that has made use of the art deco style space and captured a classic yet modern diner feeling.

I had to stop my ogling quickly as I ran into the "please wait here for a table sign". Even though the cafe was a little empty, the staff asked us to wait, good service, a little funny though. We waited a minute or two and then were shown to a window table, facing the mall.

We put in our order for 2 long blacks and some brilliant looking food options.

On its arrival, the long black was served with brilliant looking crema in a shiny red cup, oddly with a napkin between the cup and the saucer.

The aroma of the coffee was of the roast, rather than the bean – Vittoria coffee (the roast) is an old school coffee that follows a very mass produced but traditional Italian style coffee in flavour. In essence they chose mass quality consistency over being individually brilliant.

The coffee’s initial flavours were neutral to sweet (milk chocolate like), quite acidic with a slight bitterness on the tongue.

On the food - it did take a little while, but was well worth the wait. I was particularly jealous of Nerd 2’s meal which was quite spectacular.

Back to the coffee - Letting it sit for a while did no favours to the taste. The dark roasted flavours, which were more on the bitter and acidic side initially, were now overly dominant totally suppressing the sweet milk chocolate bean.

Overall the café is a strong option, with its food and redone space being the two killer blows. Yet if you're a coffee nerd like me, the coffee is itself the letdown and a little off par. Yet, if you judge a coffee by its nearby peers (against other Bondi Junction options) it starts to become one of the better options around. Worth the visit if you're in the Junction.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
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Coffee total: 13/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Modern diner
Cool?: 8/10
Service: 7/10
-----------
Cafe: 15/20
-----------
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40



Bondi Harvest on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Edition Coffee Roasters

Scores:
Coffee: 18/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 35/40

I’m not sure who told me but some cafe owner, ages ago, said “Rob some things you can mix in cafes others you shouldn’t”, it make sense when you're talking cafes, right? Now I’m not totally sure what shouldn’t be mixed.

If you were to pick two country's cuisines/styles out of a hat Japanese and Scandinavian would be unlikely pair and you’d be likely asking yourself WTF am I to do with these? But these two unlikely cultures blend really well.

Welcome to Edition, found on the Café Street of Crown but squarely in the Darlinghurst area, it is a killer, sleek wonderful space. And given the hype in the blogging space, the hate on urbanspoon and the fact it’s right around the corner from me, I could not help but check it out last Sunday.

Comfortably busy for a 9:30am on a Sunday is how I’d describe it. Walking in I grabbed the huge leather armchair near the door - rather than the last table as I am not the worst human in the world and lounged into the space.

It took a little bit, but one of the happiest staff members I’ve ever seen came over and asked me what I’d like - I went a piccolo latte. She offered sparkling water as well.

With sparkling water in hand I sat back and admired the place, white bricks, concrete floor, copper milk jugs, hipsters naturally everywhere, and the smell of pastries and coffee floating about, not a bad mix.

The coffee came over to me pretty quickly served by the barista who asked me how I was hanging or some such.

Unique is the first thing that came to mind after I had a sip.

Served in a small porcelain cup (very Melbourne) with a comparatively huge Nordic-like spoon (which I wanted to steal), the piccolo had a lovely simplicity to it, its aroma matched the simplicity providing glimpses past a slightly smoky smell to something a little fruity?

Tasting it, I found the drink to be reasonably balanced, although leaning a little more towards the acidic side of things and quite sweet/fruity (perhaps a stone fruit) with a flavour that just kept on giving.

Due to its lovely brutal simplicity, I’d put money down on it being a single origin roast of some sort. On this I am not sure how they can sustain this bean if it is indeed a single origin perhaps they rotate across a few beans?

Letting it steep, the initial flavours developed into something more sweet and floral the acidic bitterness kept everything under control. I wrote down that there may have been a slight undertone of something earthy, but likely I was over reading the drink.

As I sat there with my drink I contemplated that if there was one downfall of the place, it is likely going to be that will be too popular and that’s not ideal firstly, its not a big space (and likely a source of complaints on urbanspoon), and second, there will be no room for me. The staff while super happy and chilled are not the sort to move those who linger at tables on, so if you come here post 10:30am, expect a bit of a wait.

Overall, what’s not to love? The café is beautiful, the staff are the super friendly sort, there is sparkling water literally on tap and the coffee has some of the most unique flavours going around. Weekdays even promise to be even better for us nerds with cold drip Japanese coffee available, I have no idea how that will go, but given the rest of the coffee it’ll be worth checking out.

In response to the negative reviews, single origin coffees often do not often have the adequate ability to punch through a latte while keeping their great flavours, so perhaps do what I did and get a piccolo. And just to make sure I was there on a one off wonderful day, I came back yesterday with Nerd 2 and grabbed a meal and had an espresso.

The meal a venison and wasabi burger was ridiculously brilliant and nerd 2’s smoked salmon and pickled dish which was very pretty, meal sizes are not very hung over Sunday filling though so if you're after a fried up meal, perhaps go elsewhere. The espresso I had, served in the small white porcelain cup was very syrupy sweet, sticky and reasonably full bodied and punchy. Different to the piccolo in flavour, it was one of the better espressos I’ve had in, well, bloody ages.

Don't listen to the haters I do highly recommend.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 9/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
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Coffee total: 18/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): A well styled Japanese cold storage refrigerator
Cool?: 9/10
Service: 8/10
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Cafe: 17/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 37/40



Edition Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cafe Holm

Scores:
Coffee: 13/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40

After a European holiday my first thoughts of a coffee review in 2015 hit me on the streets of my old haunt Potts Point.

Holm Café, found on Victoria Street, about halfway down closer to the Coke sign side of things was my café of choice.

A hot summer in the inner city, the street side tables were all taken so I went for an inside spot near the coffee machine. Walking in, this place can be truly called a hole in the wall; it’s about 2m to 3m across, so things will be cosy.

A friendly girl took my latte order and I was content to read the newspaper and people watch near a hot espresso machine.

The coffee was made without ceremony or style, however the ratio was spot on, heat well done.

The team at Holm have Black Drum roasters on the job. The coffee had a wonderfully spicy, sweet and smoky aroma to it. It was quite strong smell. I enjoyed it.

Drinking the coffee I found it to be an interesting sweet spicy experience, quite mellow in flavour with a low level of acidity.

Letting the coffee sit as I read the paper improved it via the steeping of the grounds, it became an interesting milky, spicy and complex sweet rich drink.

Overall, it’s a nice spot for a coffee, and I’m sure doubly nice if you can score a seat outside in the summer (or the reverse in winter). The coffee is worth a go as it is from an unusual roaster in Sydney, who seems to be producing an interesting and complex roast.


Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
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Coffee total: 13/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): a hole in the wall
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 8/10
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Cafe: 15/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40



Holm Cafe on Urbanspoon
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