Monthly Archives: August 2011

Coffee Prizes Everywhere!!

Free Coffee for a Year from RIO Coffee

from their facebook fan page “ONE WEEK LEFT until we draw the winner of our FREE COFFEE FOR A YEAR promotion! Quick – tell your friends!! The lucky liker will be selected on 3/9/11.” Which I guess just means that if you want to be in the running for a year’s supply of RIO Coffee (not a bad thing at all my friends)  – 500g per month delivered to your door – then get on over to their Facebook page and simply click ‘like’.  For terms and conditions click the Facebook logo below and follow the links.  I’ve done it.  And as per the Genovese Otto Espresso machine competition below – if you win, I’d like at least an invite for a coffee….;) 

Win a Beanhunter Keep Cup!

From the Beanhunter website and twitter feed ” Hmm, still after a KeepCup? Well we have more! To go into the entry to win a KeepCup, simply

1. Write a review or submit a new cafe on (or via our iPhone Application) and,
2. Link up your Beanhunter account with your Facebook account to share your reviews with your friends. Easy!

We will randomly choose 25 very lucky winners. To enter you must complete both of the two tasks above. The more reviews you write the more chance you have to win.  Remember, you can now submit follow-up reviews of cafes you have already rated before. Competition closes on Sunday 28th August 11.55 PM AEST.  Good luck!”

Now I have been on at you for a while now to sign up to the Beanhunter so that we South Australians can prove that we at the very least have more quality (and quantity ) coffee places than the Gold Coast and Canberra – since my first post on this we have surpassed Auckland, New Zealand – and now there is even more motivation to sign up!!  Remember if you are one of those few individuals who have an iPhone – you can download the Beanhunter App to help you find the best coffee near your location!!

Unlike the Free Coffee for a year and the Otto Espresso Machine – should you win this prize, there is really no need to share it with me….unless you really, really want too 😉

Coffee quote of the week.

(Dean and Rory are sitting at a table in Luke’s Diner. Luke refills Rory’s coffee mug)
RORY: Thank you.
LUKE: Do they let kids drink coffee before school?
RORY: Why, do you think it might lead to harder stuff? Lattes, cappucinos…
LUKE: Forget I asked. (walks away)

RORY: Great. Oh, there’s my bus. Sip. (sips coffee) Kiss. (they kiss) And bye.
DEAN: Bye.
(Rory exits the diner and runs to catch her bus as Luke walks over to the table)
LUKE: Fast runner.
DEAN: It’s the coffee.
LUKE: Not your face?
DEAN: Excuse me?
LUKE: Sorry, just missed my youth for a second. I’m back. Coffee?

Gilmore Girls – Season 3, Episode 3 “Application Anxiety”

Win an Otto Espresso Machine just for ‘liking’ Genovese Coffee

Win an Otto Espresso Machine just for ‘liking’ Genovese Coffee

“Melbourne’s favourite Coffee” company, Genovese Coffee is giving away an Otto Espresso Machine once it has reached 2000 likes on its company Facebook Page.  Once this mystical figure has been reached, they will randomly choose (not sure how – they don’t say) a fan, and award them the Machine!  How easy is that?

This generosity from Genovese is to celebrate the launch of their new logo, as pictured on van number one.  So if you love coffee (and if you didn’t you would be reading this stuff), and you love Genevese (who doesn’t) and you are semi-addicted to Facebook (that pretty much covers everybody – well accept you – but then you know who you are and why…) then get on over to the Genovese Facebook Page and simply click ‘Like.’

It goes without saying, which is why I will write it instead that if you happen to win the Otto Espresso machine and I don’t – and if you happened to learn about this excellent competition from me – then I expect you to invite me round for a ristretto and a latte.    Just click on the “Find us on Facebook” logo and click ‘Like’. 

Appleseed Café – Strathalbyn, SA

30 High Street, Strathalbyn, SA, 5255

Strathalbyn is one of those idyllic little Adelaide Hills/Fleurieu Peninsula towns that residents of the flats (aka Adelaide) flock to on weekends, and eastern state tourists come to visit to see what air looks like when it does not contain so much smog.  Or at least, they come to the High Street of Strathalbyn, because that is where the antique shops and the quaint cafés are located – you head too far east and you get to the zinc mine.

Located on the Adelaide side of the High Street is the Appleseed Café – which I discovered was even there, after my first subscription edition of Beanhunter magazine arrived yesterday and it said this place was a place who stocked the magazine (after five newsagents looking at me dumbfounded when I asked about it – “what scene Magazine?”) – looks more like it should be in Hyde Park or North Adelaide then in Strath.  Looking classy, yet comfortable both inside and out, the Appleseed Café is known locally for its concern for those who have food issues – allergies, intolerances and other conditions which are more frequent that other cafes realise – and so has a dedicated and supportive clientele, as indicated on their facebook page.

Latte Quality – Good – as with many take away coffees the barista over compensated with the temperature, which (a) made the cup difficult to hold in one hand, with my toddler holding my other hand, and (b) even after allowing driving time to the playground, it still burnt my tongue. And I ordered a large, but rather than keeping pour to milk ratio equal, this was just a very milky latte.

Cost – $5.20 for a large take away which is expensive.

Coffee SupplierVeneziano Caffe

Fair Trade – Probably not – at least there was no mention in store, but Veneziano do do a “Pure™ ‘Fairtrade Organic”

Customer Service –  – average – pretty much what you would expect – you go away neither blown away by the experience, nor complaining about it;

Special Notes – Plenty of food options for those needing gluten free, vegan, organic etc.  Kid friendly with a children’s menu.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was there at around 1pm and while there were customers in the various rooms, it was by no means packed. There was also some outside seating available.  There is also a beautiful Uniting Church only a short stroll away should you need some spiritual guidance.

coffee by the beans – Lockleys, SA

Shop 3, 394 Henley Beach Road, Lockleys, SA 5032

I never thought I’d say (or write) this, and I will probably never say it again, but “I want to move to Lockleys!”

I’m going out on a limb here folks – and I am asking you to join me here – because I am declaring that my ristretto, latte and chat with Daniel and Richard at coffee by the beans yesterday provided me the best coffee experience I have had – anywhere – period.  And while coffee by the beans is in a strange place – just off Henley Beach Road, facing Rowells Road so you can’t actually see it if you are coming down Henley Beach Road from the city – it is so worthy of the search and discovery.

Situated in a fairly tired looking group of shops, coffee by the beans is a funky yet classy, aesthetically pleasing yet conformable espresso bar (not café – as for these guys, it is coffee first – so there is no food menu to speak of, other than a few HUGE muffins and cookies in jars on the counter) whose singular desire is that YOU the customer will have a great coffee experience and come back – even my nearly three year old son who was with me, enjoyed the experience – and kept reminding me half the way home that ‘the man from the shop brought Daddies coffee and put it in the car’ – those who have toddlers know that getting everyone and everything back to the car in one trip can be an adventure in itself.

They also service Saeco and Delonghi coffee machines – but not my Sunbeam Café Series – I asked.

Latte Quality – Lattastic!! – I know I said I would never make this declaration without a few visits – but in fairness to me (a) this is my blog, so it is my opinion we are going with; (b) I live in Goolwa, they are in Lockleys – how often am I going to get the chance; (c) I did have a Ristretto and a latte and (d) this is my blog.  Daniel prepared for me a single origin costa rican – which was truly a wonderful coffee

Cost – $3.50 for a regular drink in, which is average – $3.00 for a Ristretto. $4.00 for a take away latte.

Coffee Supplier – coffee by the beans – sourced and roasted off site – you can also purchase their beans for your own home usage.

Fair Trade – No indication in store – No indication on their website.

Customer Service –   –  freaking awesome – I’m going to nominate them all for Australian of the Year – I would keep coming back, even if they switched to International Rust and an ern (not really, but you get the drift) – if it weren’t for their calling into the coffee industry, they should be teacher customer service…

As an aside to this, often when I am out and about drinking coffee and let slip that I also review coffee (after I have paid and received my beverage – always – no cash for comments scandal here, let me tell you) I get asked where else I have been and I say a few places and generally the person asking will say something negative towards the other place and their coffee or service or both – not here – I mentioned in particular my other out of the way coffee place – The Coffee Barun – and the guys had nothing but good things to say about them and their coffee – that is class.  That alone encourages me to encourage you to check out coffee by the beans.  I also said that I was a Christian Minister and they didn’t freak out – always a positive sign 😉

Special Notes – While not providing anything for them, the place – by its design and its staff – is kid friendly.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was there at around 2pm and for the most part, my little dude and I were the only two there – Daniel and Richard indicated that their busiest times of the day are the ‘on the way to work caffeine fix’ and ‘the after school crowd’ – so if you can avoid those times it is the perfect place – also if you need some quiet prayer space, there is quite an impressive Anglican Church across the road. There is plenty of seating inside, in a variety of forms and two tables outside should you enjoy the sun….

bb’s café – Mount Barker, SA

Shop S6 Mt Barker Central, McLaren Street, MOUNT BARKER, SA, 5251

While the serious lack of forward planning, and infrastructure development by the local council and state government has done untold damage to Mount Barker as a town (almost a city) – with the narrow streets with more cars then they ever thought they could carry, which make Springvale Road in Melbourne look like an 8 laned super highway, and the empty shops with their newspaper or black plastic window dressings which make it look like an apocalyptic  modern wasteland – the extra people have developed within it a strong coffee culture.  As you will have noticed, that over the last few weeks almost all the reviews have been on places in and around the Mount – this being largely due to my wife having to regularly visit, and then take up temporary residence in the maternity wing of the local hospital with welcoming our second son to the world – and it continues today.

bb’s café is located in the humorously titled ‘Mount Barker Central’ – in the old section, near the Telstra shop and soon to be near some brand new empty shop fronts which are almost finished in what used to the carpark.  I had never seen this place before, nor had I ever heard of the bb’s café franchise (an Australian Company – same one that owns Brumby’s, Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie). The place was clean and tidy, although quite empty – but the staff were very friendly, and my nearly three year old son was taken by the aquarium in the corner.  They also do a ‘shout a friend’ deal, which is basically a buy one get one free thing – on the day I was there it was muffins.

Latte Quality – Passable – the foam was very chunky (large bubbles) and it tasted slightly burnt – but it was just drinkable.

Cost – $4.10 for a regular drink in, which is pretty expensive.

Coffee Supplier – bb’s coffee – they do their own.

Fair Trade – No indication in store – No indication on their website.

Customer Service –  – memorable – you talk about this place – this is how everyone should be, but few are.

Special Notes – I had a blueberry muffin (and got another one free) and it was very nice.  Their promotional material indicates that everything is baked fresh on the premises daily.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – Absolutely – other than us, there was only one other customer in the store – and there was plenty of seating – chairs and couches – and we were there close to 4pm, so this was the after school rush time….

Coffee quote of the week.

“It’s all in the grind, Sizemore. Can’t be too fine, can’t be too coarse. This, my friend, is a science.”
Black Hawk Down (2001) – Grimes (Ewan McGregor)

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