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
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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
-----------
Cafe: 14/20
-----------
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
-----------
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
-----------
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
-----------
Cafe: 15/20
-----------
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40



Holm Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, 15 December 2014

Manchester Press (Melbourne)


Melbourne Visit: Part 2

Nerd’s I have a confession, I went to Melbourne in winter this year and had some amazing coffee and café experiences. Sorry I’ve been so slack.

While I don't write much about other cities I thought I’d put up some from our Southern city.

Manchester Press

Scores:
Coffee: 17/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 31/40

Another café, another alleyway with of cause, an unmarked café entrance.

Remembering back to one of the last cafes I went to in Melbourne I’m writing about it because it is really worth the visit.

Manchester Press, found down when I believe is Rankin Lane, just off Little Bourke Street (that’s the best directions I can give), is a café that has clearly hit the big time. UrbanSpoon rankings are high, bloggers have over reviewed the place to death (yours truly adding to the mess) and Broadsheet, Good Food Guide and by the looks of it Lonely Planet all raving about the place. If there was a standard bearer of the Melbourne Café scene this would have to be one.

Walking in from a rain shower at 2:30 in the afternoon, Nerd2 and I were greeted with a room heaving with people. By the look of the clientele a mix between inner city workers grabbing a late afternoon caffeine hit and tourists, lots of tourists (like me!).


Described by Broadsheet as a “surprisingly spacious and tranquil” and “the kind of place you could be perfectly comfortable spreading out an entire newspaper”… I’m not sure they came, but on this wet winters afternoon, if I’d spread about a newspaper (even a crap tabloid size newspaper – SMH, AGE I’m looking at you) I would have it in the face of the guy next to me.

Staff on our arrival tried their best and with great skill, quickly found an edge of a table for Nerd2 and I to perch on (we naturally looked very cool in doing so). Once seated I ordered a long black, Nerd 2 a tea.

The first thing your note about Manchester Press is the impressive bagel menu; I seem to remember ordering one and love it. The second thing your notice is that this space is bloody fantastic. Manchester Press is exactly how I’d make an artsy alleyway café look, to a T.



Lean back (making sure you don’t fall into guy next to you) and admire the street art across the walls, the sculptures on top of things, those huge light fittings and the random collection of tables. Again it’s enough to make this Sydney Nerd quite envious.

The coffee was soon with us. The long black had a delightful cheery floral roasted aroma to it with caramel undertones that solidified the aroma.

Taste wise I found it to be a solid well balanced drink. While floral in the aroma, in the taste it had some initial earthiness to it. This earthiness was followed through with a long sweet, nutty caramel aftertaste, just great mix.

Letting it sit, the acidic flavors of the bespoke 8oz roast, that were there initially started to become quite mellow, the caramel taking over the show.

Nerd2 and I lingered a while here, enough for me to get a macchiato, which came with some super stylish latte art. Again a very fresh, sweet, complex experience.

Overall, if you don’t mind the crush and a bit of a wait, the café is well worth the trip. The staff are uber cool hipsters, but still helpful. The space is killer the art and what not impactful and the 8oz coffee which they run through their espresso machines is a roast I’d like here in Sydney. My only advice – if you’re here in winter avoid the seat near the door (if you can) it gets bloody cold.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 9/10
-----------
Coffee total: 17/20
-----------

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): American subway
Cool?: 8/10
Service: 6/10
-----------
Cafe: 14/20
-----------
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 31/40


Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Atlas Kiosk - Bondi

Scores:
Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 29/40

Another weekend and another trip to Bondi. I’m clearly trying to make up for my lack of beaching last year with trying to hit the beach every weekend I can, even if I’m a Darlinghurst resident…

After a bit of a wet Sunday morning, Nerd 2 and I having done a wild cliff walk, looked to hit up one of the multitude of cafes on Hall Street. There are a few famous ones on the street: Sensory Lab, Bills (Bondi); Gertrude and Alice; and a whole stack of other hyper popular joints like Bondi Hardware, choice is not the problem.

One of the first cafes on Hall Street (if coming from the beach) is Atlas Kiosk a café with a strong 1950’s diner vibe. The café, when thinking on it could easily fit into any seaside suburb along the Sydney coastline. Although it’s larger than life staff like surfy/musico staff clearly fit the Bondi bill.

Walk in, pushing through the surfies waiting on the footpath for their takeaway coffees and pull up a chair. You, like I, may find the menu a little hard to come by, so go past the counter on the way in and the staff with sort you out.

The menu boasts of Deluca House roast being pushed though the grinder, that the menu names as the ‘beast form the east’. Love a bit of bravado in hyping up a coffee. Also note they highlight where the milk is from or something (I’m not up with my milk knowledge) regardless I thought it was cool.

Order at the counter and go for one of the Mediterranean options. Look, I don’t review the food, but to this totally unknowing nerd it was some good stuff.

When it came to the drink orders I went a latte (hey how could you not want to try Jersey milk?), Nerd2 a chai (the drink with the leaves).

While waiting on the food and drinks Nerd2 and I scoped out the place. It’s clearly a lot of people’s local, the banter between the barista, staff and customers was amusing and friendly. It’s also worth checking out the wall of random post cards/posters and other stuff around the shop (not that you’d miss them).

The coffee came out - it looked good although it was a “no extra shit” kind of place. While I expect the barista knows how to make a leaf out of milk and what not, that’s not just a big thing here. Points do however do get added for the tourist spoon, it really fit in with the whole outfit. Milk ratio wise, as you can see for yourself, my drink sat right, milk was hotter than some places, but not burnt at all, thanks jersey milk?

The coffee smelled and initially tasted of dark chocolate and something a bit nutty likely hazelnut. It was a full-bodied affair for a milky coffee and had the hint of something sweeter to it.

Letting the sucker sit for a while, brought out something far sweeter to it, like mixing caramel and dark chocolate together, the nuttiness I found was getting a little lost in the cooler drink.

Overall, I’ve been to Atlas 3 times in the last 3 years and not been disappointed once. The staff are friendly, food tasty and coffee a very strong option in a highly competitive street. Would recommend.

Scores:
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10 – spoon wins them love
Experience (taste and smell): 8/10
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Coffee total: 15/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Happy Days
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 7/10
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Cafe: 14/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 29/40


Atlas Kiosk on Urbanspoon

Monday, 8 December 2014

Bowery to Williamsburg (Melbourne)

Melbourne Visit: Part 1

Nerd’s I have a confession, I went to Melbourne in winter this year and had some amazing coffee and café experiences. Sorry I’ve been so slack.

While I don’t write much about other cities I thought I’d put up some from our Southern city.

Bowery to Williamsburg

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

I hate to say it as a Sydneysider, but this café is ace.

Found as down an alleyway, predictably next to some dumpsters, this café gem was my first pit stop in Melbourne.

Walk up and grab a seat, I was there in winter so a seat outside (like what I did) had a heater welcomingly near it. I’d not recommend the seats without one in winter (in summer the city is ridiculously hot so clearly don’t sit near a heater then…).

The café is part of the American food revolution that is taking over all cafes. Therefore, I went for a latte and some ridiculously amazing sounding fatty, Australian sculpted, bagel.

The latte came out to me pretty quickly and was served with a (Hershey’s) Kiss,. You’ll see the latte art was also killer.

Aroma wise, the smell of the coffee was quite mild with some soft sweet milk flavours wafting through my nose.

Taste wise it was divine, the soft notes of caramel and something else milky sweet cut, mixed with some gentle smokiness from the roast cut through the milk very well. It was anything but overpowering, and went super well with the Hershey Kiss.

Let it sit and let it cool with the air around you (or if its summer the super hot air around you). The coffee becomes something akin to a desert, with the caramel taking control, for the love of god don’t add sugar.

Overall, goddamn this place is cool. I really rate it and hate thinking of a café up with Brewtown Newtown, but it totally is. The staff are friendly and will likely find a way to squish you in. The inside of the café (which I’ve not talked about) has a great subway theme to it. And the coffee is unlikely anything I’ve come across in Sydney. Bowery and Padre (the roaster) I take my hat off to you sirs.

Ps. If you’re wondering I believe the blend I tried was called Daddy’s Girl espresso blend. When will it be in Sydney?

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): American subway
Cool?: 9/10
Service: 7/10
-----------
Cafe: 17/20
-----------
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 35/40


Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon
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