Monthly Archives: May 2009

Cibo Espresso – Marion, SA

Westfield Marion, Level 1, Kiosk 115, 297 Diagonal Rd, Oaklands Park SA 5046

Another South Australian coffee success story (and people in Melbourne think they know about coffee….), Cibo Espresso grew out of the passionate love of coffee from four first and second generation Italian-Australians, who wanted to provide a ‘simply Italian’ experience for their customers. With their distinctive decor (not to be confused by that other very Un Cafe like place, with remarkably similar decor), Cibo Espresso bars are now not only found all around Adelaide, but are also in Queensland.  A colleague and I often meet to ‘solve the world’s problems’ at Cibo’s, but the weight is lifted by the coffee…

Latte Quality – Excellent – lovely rich, thick foam with a 17 second descent rate, which insulated a hot coffee, even after a few minutes of resting

Cost – good to average – a regular (alto) Café Latte will set you back $3.20

Coffee Supplier – Assumed to be their own label – no obvious information around the store (kiosk)

Fair Trade – No

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – No – being in the middle of a large shopping centre, the ambient noise levels don’t allow for quiet anythings.
  • Deep and Meaningful – A possibility – depends on your ability to maintain attention and focus.  Lots of people walking by on either side of the kiosk, and if people know you are there – interupts can be plentiful (perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned I was there on my Facebook….?)
  • Study and Reflection – Surprising Yes – not the best place for quiet reflection, but I found the noise levels quite ok, allowing me to bury my head in Ben Witherington III’s Commentary on The Acts of the Apostles for about an hour or so…

Lars “Great Food & Wine” – Hyde Park, SA

116a King William Road, Hyde Park SA 5061

This is regular breakfast venue for a colleague and I, and for one of the best tasting and reasonably priced cooked breakfasts in Adelaide, you really can’t go past Lars.  But that is not the purpose of this Blog, now is it?  Perhaps that could be a ‘Boston Legal’ type spin-off??

Latte Quality – Good – there wasn’t any foam to speak of – which is a pity, as I recall my first latte here was “Lattastic”

Cost – really good – $3 for a regular sized coffee (across the board) – and as the new sign said, $2 regular sized coffees on Monday & Tuesday

Coffee SupplierDiamond Coffee

Fair Trade – Yes

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – Yes – the tables are small, and there is enough ambient noise to allow for privacy.
  • Deep and Meaningful – A possibility – depends on your ability to maintain attention and focus.  There are flat screen TVs inside, music in the background and the traffic of King William Road can all be distracting.
  • Study and Reflection – Not really that sort of venue.  Is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – but not really the place to spread out your books, laptop and do some serious study.

Bean Bar – Mount Barker, SA

Adelaide Hills Homemaker Centre, Shop K 6 Dutton Rd. Mt Barker SA 5251

South Australia’s own “Bean Bar” made its first jump outside the Adelaide city square when it opened its Mount Barker location in mid 2008.  The first ‘franchise’ coffee shop to hit the hills, it quickly became a popular place, and being the only food and beverage provided in the Homemaker Centre, its future is secure.

My coffee history with this place has been hit and miss.  A customer on both its opening and second day, one coffee was great, the other one was burnt – thus I have not been quiet as regular.  But as I sit here now (meaning they ow have internet access available) enjoying a perfectly resonable Café Latte, I wonder whether I judged them too early.

Latte Quality – Excellent – a full 30 second before my single raw sugar disappeared beneath the foamy goodness.

Cost – average to high – a regular Café Latte will set you back $3.80 – and there is no minimum spend (anymore) on your credit card, which is a bonus (earlier on you had to spend $5 – which often meant a coffee and something sweet)

Coffee Supplier – Imported by Aroma Fresh Coffee, roasted in Adelaide and sold under the Bear Bar logo

Fair Trade – no mention in store or on their website, so it would be safe to assume – No.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – possibly, although the store can become quiet busy, especially on weekends.
  • Deep and Meaningful – Not really – the loud orange and brown decor, does not really lend itself to D&Ms and the music – which is quiet – contains many popular songs of the 80s and 90s and lends itself to the barista adding his voice in song – and I must admit to humming ‘The Piano Man’ myself.
  • Study and Reflection – On a weekday afternoon this is a great place for some study (not so much reflection), as it contains an Internode Internet Hotspot (although very slow), good sized tables and good coffee.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee – Mount Barker, SA

Shop T1, Barker Plaza, Morphett Street, Mount Barker SA, 5251

Now I know that already, many of you coffee purist are thinking, “This guy obviously has no idea about coffee if the first thing he reviews is GJs” – but please hear me out.  My introduction to coffee; to real coffee; coffee that is other than NesCafé Blend 43 came through the Gloria Jean’s at Kingsways in Glen Waverley, Victoria.  If it wasn’t for the care and dedication of my ministry colleagues, and the skill of the resident Barista ‘Calvin’ (both is the making and in the presentation) – I would not be the coffee connoisseur that types away sipping on his Café Latte before you.  And also, they are my current local coffee shop and have been very supportive of a few ministry innovations we have been experimenting with.

To be honest, in the 6 months that this store has been open, and having been there at least three times each week, I have NEVER had a bad coffee.  In lots of GJ’s stores around the country, the quality of the coffee ranges with the skills of the barista – but at this store, all the baristas are of equal skill.  The staff are friendly – to the point of remembering the names of regular clients and their favourite beverages, the store is clean, parking is good – there is music, but you can still bury your head in a book for an hour and study.  So to my review: (see method above for review information)

Latte Quality – Excellent – about 10 seconds for the sugar to seep through the foam

Cost – average to high – a regular Café Latte will set you back $3.75

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jean’s have their own brand.

Fair Trade – No although some variants have the ‘Rainforest Alliance’ tag on them.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – not really – tables are a bit close together
  • Deep and Meaningful – Yes – a few couches, music is at good volumes
  • Study and Reflection – Yes – although there is NO internet access, but I use it regularly for sermon pre-reading.


Having only started this blog after all the good cafe’s had closed (I do not, under any circumstances consider McCafe to be a good cafe) I am yet to get out and make the first review – so in the mean time, some context from The Naked Pastor.


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