Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Century of Coffee

A Century of Coffee

100 Reviews

Celebrate with me – 100 Coffee Reviews since the beginning of ‘Make Coffee Not War’ or as it was originally know ‘The Travelling Café Latte’  (I know – pretty lame – almost as lame as using the word lame to describe it).  It has been fun – certainly some massive coffee highs – a number of sleepless nights – and a fair number of coffee lows (do a word search of Bad – dare you).

Just as an idea – and not knowing whether anyone actually reads my coffee subjectivity – would a review series appeal to anyone?  Or perhaps a Top 10? Or should I just shut up and get drinking towards the double century?

As always – I appreciate any comments.  Grace and Peace = Simon C (aka Make Coffee Not War).

As an aside – I got my century on the same day as Sachin Tendulkar got his 100th 100 (for those international, non-commonwealth readers – that is Cricket).

Taylor blend – Stoneyfell, SA

1/34 Hallett Road, Stoneyfell, SA, 5066

Taylor Blend was one of the very first speciality coffee places recommended to me to review when I started this blog – and after nearly three years and 99 other coffee reviews, I finally made it.  Yes – for those who are good at maths, this is my 100th coffee review – congratulations to me, and congratulations to Taylor Blend for making the 100th review such a [spoiler alert] positive experience.  Nestled in the leafy green, well to do suburb of Stonyfell, Taylor blend is exactly what you’d want and expect from a speciality coffee place.  It is inviting, comfortable, spacious – has a great outlook, friendly staff, skilled staff, coffee conscious staff – and other than it being out of the way – it is up there with my other favourite locations.

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Çikolatte – North Adelaide, SA

133 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006

Finding Çikolatte was a total fluke.  I went looking for two other coffee hotspots on Melbourne street – neither of which I could find even after two slow drives down its length – although I did managed to located UR Cafe after a long walk – however it was closed on the public holiday – but not Çikolatte. Located not that far from the now derelict ‘Loose Goose’ – Adelaide winner of My Restaurant Rules (remember that blast from the past?) – heading east towards the hills – Çikolatte – according to its bollards and signage, was just the place I was looking for.  For lunch time on a public holiday it was about half full – offering your typical range of lunch time fare (wraps, focacias, etc.) to go with their hot & cold speciality drinks – the atmosphere was nice, the decor comfortable.  There were three tables outside under the verandah – but, due to my English complexion, I stuck with my table by the window (and as it turned out – I think also by the toilet door….).

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Caffeteca Espresso and Panini Bar – North Adelaide, SA

53 Tynte Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006

I am not sure how happy I am with this place.  It has nothing to do with the coffee – which is great (see below) – it has more to do with their timing.  For four years, I worked in an office literally across the street from them – and back then, Caffetecca was a continental deli – if it has been this great little cafe back then – perhaps my coffee addiction would have started years earlier. Situated on the corner of Margaret Street – about half way down Tynte towards the hills – Caffetecca – is quickly building a good reputation for quality coffee and great panini – although I have only had the coffee.  Perched on a high stool, in the window seat I was able to enjoy my latte and ristretto while taking in views of my old red bricked office – and the people who were out and about enjoying the Adelaide Cup day sunshine. Read the rest of this entry

Public Holiday Coffee

Public Holiday Coffee

This coming Monday is the Adelaide Cup Public Holiday – and I am hoping to use this time to come up to the ‘big smoke’ (aka Adelaide) and do some coffee sampling.  However, it dawned on me that perhaps Adelaide’s wonderful coffee people would also be using the Adelaide Cup Public Holiday as a chance to give their group handles a rest.  Can anyone out there in coffee land tell me who is open and who is closed on the Public Holiday Monday?

When you do what you do, how do you do it? Drinking or Tasting Coffee

Cupping - not spooning!

When I was first introduced to the world’s second most traded commodity (i.e. coffee – just in case I had already lost you) I was simply  – like most people – a coffee drinker.  I loved the flavour, I loved the atmosphere of the coffee place, I loved the social and communal aspects of coffee – but I could down a latte pretty quickly, and tell you it was nice.  When I become more serious about coffee and purchased a half decent home espresso machine I was still an avid coffee drinker for all of the above reasons (well other than atmosphere – because I was making coffee in my family room – most likely with Octonauts on in the background…not quite Paddy’s Lantern or Bar9) but then a number of things happened which  encouraged me to consider more than just drinking coffee, but to also appreciate coffee for what, where and how it is what it is.

Firstly – I read the  book “God in a Cup: the obsessive quest for the perfect coffee” – which introduced me, on a far deeper level, to the world of speciality coffee – and the 400 or so taste variants that the experts can detect when they ‘taste’ their coffee – I took this as a challenge.

Then – I was introduced to the ristretto – a wonderful little coffee drink – the first 15mls of a single shot to be precise – which is super sweet, low on the caffeine, minus any bitterness  and highlights so much more of the unique bean qualities than does your average latte or cappuccino.

Ristretto from the Coffee Branch

Then I purchased some beans from Barossa Coffee Roasters, which came with tasting notes – including bean origin, and likely flavour profiles etc. and all of a sudden I was drinking my coffee in a more mindful way.  I began savouring the experience and seeing if I could detect the individual flavour nuances on the front of the tongue verses the back of the tongue – the dominant after taste etc with the result that my coffee drinking experience became much deeper and fulfilling.

If you are interested in developing your pallete from that of a coffee drinking to a coffee taster – check out this excellent post on the James Hoffman blog by clicking the link.  Also, for those in Adelaide – if you want to go that next step, Ian Callahan over at Bar 9 is conducting a Cupping Night next week – for more information, click HERE – so wish I could make it!!

If you need to see how it is done, this You Tube clip is pretty good.  Life is too short for instant coffee!

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