Monthly Archives: March 2011

Currency Creek Estate – Currency Creek, SA

Winery Road, Currency Creek, SA, 5214

It has been nearly 18 months since our lounge room floor was graced with the presence of Steve – and it was he who suggested that my next coffee review should be out at Currency Creek – a place, where earlier that day we have been doing some wine tasting, while on our ‘welcome to region – we have been here less than a month – wine tasting and thai food tour – with Steve who was the only Minister from CoC who welcomed us to SA when we moved’ – we were going to get T-Shirts printed, but the titled went round it twice.  Any Who – in the need to get my first assignment piece done for this seventh to last unit on my second Master’s degree done – I took a study day just to read and drink coffee, and ended up out at Currency Creek.  They have been promoting their ‘coffee and cake’ service via a sign on the Strath to Goolwa road since we have been down here, so I was surprised – when you consider I couldn’t get a park in the car park, to discover that I was the only person there for coffee (it was a Tuesday afternoon) – but there was a great deal of laughter coming from the wine tasting area.  The staff was very friendly – there was only one – a very friendly woman who looked after my coffee needs, whilst also lubricating the tourists with the best of what Currency Creek Winery has to offer.  I took my seat – all alone with a view of the lush green grass which rolled its way down the hill towards the creek known for its Currency. Unless you want to die from a sugar induced coma – don’t try ‘Caramel Sin’ – oh, man!

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  I was a bit dubious considering all the tasks that she had to perform – but it was good.

Cost – $3.50 – for a large latte glass

Coffee Supplier – Andronicus – I know – aka Nestle – yuck. 

Fair Trade – Nope – did I mention it was Nestle?

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was pretty much all alone in a great big room – which had the potential for a roaring fire in its centre – the only down side was that being the only person there, the music had no where to go but to me – so the Michael Buble which was followed by Guy Sebastian – kind of sucked, but I worked through it.  Of course every time I hear Buble sing “I did it my way’ – I can’t help but associate that with Roxburgh’s “Missional Change Model”

the fly café bar – Tullamarine, VIC

T3, Concourse E , Gate 5 – Melbourne Domestic Terminal, Airport Drive, Tullamarine, VIC, 3043

For those of you who are regular flyers of the blue virgin, you will have seen this bright orange place in your travels.  With nearly two hours to kill before my flight home, I decided I’d try this place – rather than my usual sludge from Hudsons.  To my surprise the staff of the fly café bar were friendly to customers (only my second experience of this in Melbourne so I was a bit taken-a-back) and after only a short wait (15 mins) I received my coffee, and proceeded to enjoy it, while reading ‘The Missional Leader‘ by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk for class.  You can also order food here – although as with most airport shops, you need to bring a cheque book or already have a large overdraft – and it also serves pretty much any sort of grog you can think of – hence the use of ‘bar’ in its name – I suspect this is where the real money is made.

Latte Quality – Good – it had what I could best describe as an ‘earthy flavour’ – but don’t ask me why.  I hated my first taste, but it grew on me.

Cost – $3.90 – for a large take away cup – which is not bad remembering that this was in an airport.

Coffee SupplierGravity Espresso – which according to their website is Melbourne’s ‘coolest’ coffee

Fair Trade – No mention in the café nor on the website.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – if you are looking for a place to conduct these sorts of activities in an airport – you have come to the wrong place – although I did managed to read the same page of my book about five times in the seat nearest the window near gate 5….

cafe NOVA – Fitzroy, VIC

307 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065

This was a great place to end our final day in Melbourne – after we had enjoyed the great food and hospitality at Joe’s Garage, we wandered and experienced the sights and sounds – and a great second hand book store – of Brunswick Street, before settling on cafe NOVA for coffee.  Being that the night was balmy, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the ambiance of bumper to bumper traffic, the noxious smells from cars in serious need of TLC [not the Truth and Liberation Concern], the traffic halting congestion that can only be caused by a tram on a narrow street, all the while be bathed in the warmth of brake light theatre – ahh, Melbourne – although all that fun could explain while staff seemed to want to be anywhere but at work…  Seriously, it looks like Brunswick Street could have any number of great cafés on it, and I am sure that they could all do with a trip to two to Adelaide to learn now to properly make the stuff 😉

Latte Quality – Excellent – the best of my time in Melbourne, with a subtle nutty flavour.

Cost – $3.50 – for a ‘regular’ sized latte – although I would describe it being smallish…

Coffee SupplierDimattina Coffee – from Melbourne’s northern suburbs

Fair Trade – No mention at NOVA – not any obvious mention on Dimattina’s website

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – possibly a venue for all of these purposes if you picked you time appropriately and were disciplined enough not keep  looking around at all the sites and sounds.

While we were there, we were sound witnesses [as in we heard the sound of her hitting the ground and surmised the rest] of a nasty accident between a female cyclist and the bitumen coating of Brunswick street.  Fully decked out in her cycling gear – down to the lock in shoes on the pedals, this cyclist decided she would move across the street running parallel with the tram tracks – rather than hitting them at 90 degrees – her front tyre got wedged in the tracks and over she went – head first into the street – luckily for her, there was no car close by to add to her woe, and as luck would have it there was am EMT Paramedic sitting in his car directly opposite where she hit the ground – he was by her side in less than one minute. We prayer for her as we walked back to the car, and pray that she is doing alright.

The First ‘Top 5’ for 2011

Click HERE to see my top five coffee experiences since September last year.

I still haven’t forgotten about the review suggestions from my two readers [Rose and Courtenay] – as soon as I am any near those cafes – consider them reviewed.  They were:

  • Café Komodo – Prospect
  • Giovanni – Mt Barker
  • My Café – Mt Barker
  • Briccone – Adelaide

Gloria Jean’s @ Wavos – Mulgrave, VIC

Centro Waverley Garden’s – near Target – Police Road, Mulgrave, VIC, 3170

Now despite this store not even being recognised on the official Gloria Jean’s Coffees Australia website – this was my local store for many years – with friendly staff always making consistently good coffee – trained by barrista extraordinare Calvin – formerly of the GJs on The Kingsway, Glen Waverley – now a national trainer. This place had the advantage of being the only recognised coffee place within walking distance of the college – at least until Stadium opened.  It was great to return here on my recent trip and discover that nothing had changed [Hello, my name is Simon – and it has been three years since my last Wavos GJs coffee].

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  Pretty much what you would expect.

Cost – $4.45 – for a regular take away cup – which is on the expensive side compared to other cafés but is consistent with GJs (other than at airports…)

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jeans Own Brand. 

Fair Trade – No – Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – I had used it for all of these purposes, being in a large open space at the quieter end of Waverley Gardens.

Mt Evelyn Bakery & Café – Mt Evelyn, VIC

16 York Road, Mount Evelyn, VIC, 3146

A coffee stop on our whirlwind tour of three distinct expressions of church.  Let’s be honest – as the sign would indicate, this is a bakery that serves coffee – not a coffee shop – so that is an excuse.  The Vanilla slice was great for the first three bites, and then became sickly sweet and the staff were…less than pleased that they had customers.  But other than that….

Latte Quality – Passable.

Cost – $3.00 which is good value for money

Coffee Supplier – not indicated anywhere – which is never a good sign

Fair Trade – see above.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – probably not – not sure if any of the staff from Careforce frequent this place – they may have a different perspective.

Stadium Café Bar & Lounge – Mulgrave, VIC

Shop 7, 2 Stadium Circuit, Waverley Park, Mulgrave, Vic 3170

In the later part of my Melbourne years (Jan 2003-Dec 2007) this place became as much my local as did GJ’s over the hill – and again, it was probably just as much about the friendly staff as it was about the coffee – and the awesome fries with this addictive mayo kind of dipping sauce this – do you remember Jarrod? Well the friendly staff that I knew have gone [Jo] as has the dipping sauce [although that did disappear while I was still there – which brought an end to weekly sessions and sent us looking elsewhere] but it is still the closest Café to the College (at least until the Tabor one is fully operational) and so while I was there for a week’s study – we had to get a ‘real’ coffee.

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  I had a couple of cups from here – all takeaway, so it largely depended upon the barrista.

Cost – $4.50 – for a large take away cup.

Coffee SupplierVittoria Coffee

Fair Trade – No mention in the café nor on the website – however Vittoria do have one variety which is Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – During the daylight hours definitely – I used to meet here weekly for peer mentoring, and there was generally a quiet table to be found somewhere – either inside or out.  It you are tragically a Hawthorn Fan [Peter] , this is the place to come to watch the boys run around on the training ground.  The Stadium Café Bar & Lounge is in the only remaining part of the old VFL Ground known as Waverley (aka Arctic) Park – for South Australia readers – just think Football Park, as they were almost identical in design and construction.
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