Saturday, 17 August 2013

Third Village - Darlinghurst

Coffee: 15/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 31/40
Bean: Toby’s Estate

Please note: This cafe has gone under serious renovation and is more of a takeaway spot now.

Fellow nerds I’ve been a bit quiet over the last two weeks my apologies. I’ve been moving away from the bright lights of Potts Point, to the… equally bright lights of Darlinghurst (yes, a huge move I know).

The first café to review in my new hood is a local favourite by workers and locals alike, Third Village on Stanley Street.

Third Village is everything an inner city hipster would look for in a local café, exposed brick, high wooden ceilings, remixed music, and a oh so cool cafe attitude as can be seen by their help wanted poster: “must have an outrageously good experience in top Sydney cafes”.

When you get here follow the crowd and go up to the counter and order what you’re looking for. I’d advise scoring a seat before you walk up as you’ll make the rookie mistake of having a sandwich and coffee coming to you without a table at the ready. I ordered a latte at the counter and grabbed at seat at the large communal table.

The coffee came over super quickly by the barista and was finishing layering as it hit the table. The coffee had an effortless leaf art happening. The heat of the drink was spot on, and laying at about what we’ve come to expect from a free pour lattes in Sydney.

Tasting wise, if you’d not picked up you’re drinking Toby’s by the sign on the window you’ll taste it. I’ve never had a love affair with Toby’s Estate like I have with other beans. As I’m sure you know, it’s a well overused bean by many a café to cover the fact they are crap. Third Village does a really good job with the bean. You’ll both smell and taste the caramel and citrus combo that comes with the bean being used well.

Letting it sit to cool the caramel comes to dominate the flavour, however some other kind of fruitiness sits well with it. No idea what kind of fruit like flavour it could be, a sort berry perhaps?

Overall, the staff are friendly (when I got up to leave they all said bye), the café set-up to suit any level of hipster, coffee very solid (potentially better than the Toby’s on City Road) and not to mention the food which is brilliant. It feels like the kind of café you’d hope to find in Darlinghurst, and is well worth the visit if you enjoying being a café tourist as much as I do. I’m not going to make the call and say “this is my new local” just yet. But chances are if you drop by you’ll see me.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 8/10
Experience (taste and smell): 7/10
Coffee total: 15/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): If a hipster café gate-crashed an inner city terrace.
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Cafe: 16/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 31/40

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  1. Coffee Nerd......Im intereseted that you dont seem to talk much about machines, nakeds, splits, basket sizes, VST's, Auto vs Manual Grinders, coffee roast date, milk brand etc. As someone in the industry these are, to my mind, really important aspects of espresso production and are things that are generally pretty easy to ascertain just by watching the barista at work and asking a few simple questions. thoughts?

  2. Ha. I totally agree with you and this is a debate I have often with people. There is far more that goes into a coffee than what I write about. Ages ago there was a choice I had to make over the audience I was writing to and in saying that the verbals that people wanted me to talk about.

    To start, I took down far more notes on things like milk, machine, type and brand of grinder, humidity (how controlled was the stores environment), and so on. However in writing up the blogs I had to narrow this down to a few key digestible elements that most people who are my audience would get.

    I also found when I was asking these questions, playing with the machine, grinder and what not, the coffee presented to me to review more often than not was far better than those going out.

    My logic has become over the last two years firstly, I wanted the average coffee experience, not some blogger experience and second, you can have all the best equipment in fount of you and still stuff up, or you can have average equipment and still pull together something alright. Judging the final outcome seemed to be the leveller; however flawed we both know this assumption can be. However, I reckon most of my coffee scoring reflects a good barista/machine/bean combo.

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