Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Vargabar espresso

Quick facts
Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 31/40
Bean: Morgans

As one of my favourite coffee stops in Newtown, I eagerly rushed to review Vargabar this morning. Varga has a great location on the corner of Wilson and Erskineville still just in 2042.

For mid-morning with a construction thing (and jackhammer) happening outside the window, the café, quite surprisingly (well not really) popular with a mix of young inner city types, many of who, like myself, are typing away on apple computers of some generation, there were few tables which are free so I settled down. 

Music is big band, which I reckon is great. Service is sometimes a letdown here, but as everyone was being served and the manager/barista having a quiet, I went up and asked for a flat white.


The coffee came quickly, while it was done very quickly, effort had been put into the look, with a nice bit of (subconscious) art happening on the top (you feel this is automatic thing not something the barista has to think about). Vargabar uses Morgans coffee, which is hard to miss as they publish this openly.

So, onto the coffee. The flatwhite I get has a smooth taste to it and sits well with milk. The coffee is not overly hot, and you’re able to drink it almost right away. I think the temperature is at that happy spot which a good milk based coffee should sit at. All coffee is presented in white china cups, which are on the whole are cleanish, not that it really matters, as it’s not trying to be classy. Having had a few sips, there is a nice coffee, rather then milk after taste, and you can taste it more on the top of your tongue.


As I am writing up a corporate governance paper, I hand around for a while and order a little while later a long black. This is where the coffee shines. The long black has a rich spicy aroma. The crema is thin and dark, and sits well on top of the drink. You taste the coffee in the front of mouth and the taste does not linger long. As I was writing for a while I found I could keep coming back to the long black, even once cool, it didn't really develop that nasty bitter taste once cool, could be a good place to get an iced coffee. I don't usually go for them.

Big plusses of the café are the free wifi (unwired), knowledgeable staff (most of the time), the food (but that’s for another time) and that relaxed nature to the café, you don’t feel guilty sitting here for a while and writing or reading time away.


I find it’s hard not to love this little almost hole in the wall café and this is clearly mutual with many locals and regulars flocking to the space.


How I rate it:
1. Coffee score
Style: 7/10
Experience (taste): 8/10
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Coffee total: 15/20
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2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Cool?: 8/10
Service: 8/10
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Cafe: 16/20
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Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 31/40




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Vargabar Espresso on Urbanspoon

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