Monthly Archives: June 2009

Spoilt Hair and Body – Mount Barker, SA

39 Gawler Street, Mount Barker, SA, 5251

While not technically a cafe as such….ok, not at all….they, unlike other salons do not serve International Rust made from the re-boiled water from the kettle in the lunch room, but they lovingly (creative license) use an espresso machine to make you a real coffee, that you can enjoy whilst your hair is trimmed.

Latte Quality – Good – the coffee makers are Hairdressers (or Stylists or Artists – not sure on the correct lingo here,) so you can not expect a Cafe quality beverage – but more often than not, my coffee here as surpassed others made by coffee professionals.

Cost – is included as part of the deal when you have your haircut.  For a Men’s cut it is $25.00

Coffee SupplierRio Coffee

Fair Trade – Yes.  They pride themselves on not only using on ecologically sustainable and chemical free hair products but also providing ethical coffee to their clientele.

Venue Suitable for: A Hair cut, a nice coffee and a good chat with your hairdresser/stylist/hair artists

Gloria Jean’s Coffee – Glenelg, SA

63 Jetty Road, Glenelg, SA, 5045

Yes – I know – another Gloria Jean’s – but I tell you, the quality of the coffee in these franchise places is largely dependent on the skills of the barista. Anyway, I was in the area for a retreat day, and not knowing what else was around, I stuck with what I knew (or so I thought).

Latte Quality – Passable – very little foam to speak of, which meant no ‘hang time’ on the sugar.  The coffee was exceeding hot though, which overall made for a less than satisfactory experience.

Cost – average to high –  $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 – a very busy store on a major thoroughfare.
  • Deep and Meaningful – not really – I was there at lunch time, so it may be better during the quieter times – if such a store has them.
  • Study and Reflection – Probably – if you are able to get a table, and tune out the noise probably not a bad place.  I do not think it has internet access – there was a guy there with his laptop, and he was using his mobile phone as a modem, so that would indicate a No.

Grounds For Coffee – Mount Barker, SA

17 Walker Street, Mount Barker, SA, 5251

When I first moved to the existentially angsted (if that is not already a word, it should be….) Adelaide Hills, this was the first place I discovered that made ‘real’ coffee – and subsequently, it became for a season my ‘local’ coffee place.  It was where I went for meetings with colleagues, with co-workers and with congregation members all who were in search of an ear to hear, and some caffeine to stimulate.  Not sure whether this is a pro or a con for Grounds For Coffee, but it used to the regular coffee place of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer whose electoral office was around the corner.  However, after some less than satisfactory coffee experiences there (nothing to do with Downer, I am sure), I drifted further afield, and so this morning was, in sorts, a return home.  And don’t you just hate it when the memory and the reality as so far removed, as to be almost but not entirely indistinguishable from each other?

Latte Quality – Passable – a good looking foam, that only held up the raw sugar for about 8 seconds.  The first sip made my face contort, like someone unsure about whether this lemon upon which I am sucking is sweet or sour, or both. The coffee was either very, very strong (I have blinked since, so….) or burnt.  However, its (or my) palate improved, but even now, some two hours hence, I still have a less than pleasant taste in my mouth.

Cost – High – $3.50 for a ‘regular’ which in other places would be a small, or $4.00 for a ‘megalatte’ – which I ordered, and was perhaps my downfall.

Coffee Supplier – Their coffee machine and grinder are without label, but their signage and business cards indicate that Grounds For Coffee are coffee wholesalers as well as retailers.

Fair Trade – Is an option.  You can purchase coffee by the bag, with two variations of Fair Trade Coffee available.  To the best of my knowledge, this was the first Adelaide Hills Coffee place to sell Fair Trade.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – During the week this is a great place for a quiet deep and meaningful chat, as long as it doesn’t get too busy. The background music is a good combination of classical and easy listening, without those songs which get stuck in your head and demand of you, your solidarity in song.
  • Deep and Meaningful –Great – see above.
  • Study and Reflection – I went there today with the express (espresso?? – sorry) purpose of completing my sermon prep pre-reading, and it proved to be a more than suitable venue.  Just a pity about the coffee.

Meadow’s Bakery – Meadows, SA

Main Street, Meadows, SA, 5201

This is a great half way place between those colleagues in the Southern Regions of Adelaide, and where I am in the Eastern Adelaide Hills. Known primarily as a Bakery, it also serves coffee, and is a popular spot for bicyclists, motorcyclists and Sunday Drivers. I often use this place as a quiet place to meet.

Latte Quality – Passable – a very thin foam that the sugar quickly passed through. The coffee flavour was ok, but I was left not wanting a second one.

Cost – High – $3.50 for a ‘regular’ which in other places would be a small.

Coffee SupplierAltura Coffee

Fair Trade – No no mention in store, nor on the Altura Website.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – During the week this is a great place for a quiet deep and meaningful chat – on the weekends, particularly Sunday – forget it!
  • Deep and Meaningful –Great – see above.
  • Study and Reflection – probably would be, but I have never tried it myself. It has a great glassed annex with views of the hills – very peaceful.

The Organic Market and Café – Stirling, SA

5 Druids Avenue, Stirling, SA, 5251

A very comfortable, very trendy little Cafe – attached to an Organic Market (hence the name) nestled in a side street, off the main tree lined street of the picturesque Stirling.  Parking is a problem, but that is typical of Stirling at all times of the year. A good thing to do is park up near the steam engine playground, and enjoy the short walk to the Café.

Latte Quality – Excellent – only a thin foam but with a 25 second descent rate. Really nice flavour.

Cost – High – at least to begin with – $4.00 – but when the cup (read – bucket) comes to your table, the four bucks seems to be a bargain.

Coffee Supplier – According to the small label on the Coffee machine, the beans used were Vittoria.

Fair Trade – No – however, RIO Fair Trade Beans (and other brands of Fair Trade Tea and Coffee) can be purchased in the Market area.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – No – a very busy place, with people coming and going regularly.
  • Deep and Meaningful – probably a good place for it – enough background noise to allow for safety in conversation topic, but quiet enough so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself.
  • Study and Reflection – being a really busy place, and with there sometimes being a wait on tables – it is probably not the best place for that.
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