Author Archives: TheRev

Two Brothers – Mitcham, VIC

558 Mitcham Road, Mitcham, VIC, 3132

It has certainly been a long, long, long x 10time since my  last review – and basically, I have no other excuse other than to say that life has been busy. Life is busier in Melbourne, than it ever was in “heaps good SA.” But putting that aside, I had a day off, some reading to do and so I went in search of a good coffee.

As I have lamented to friends around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I have been missing Adelaide coffee – having been unable to find a good consistent coffee since crossing the border – at least in my neck of the woods.  So when the caffination urge hit me (not to mention the quantity of Masters reading I had to do) – I had to search for a coffee in my area (within 5kms) that came recommended.  I searched Facebook and Beanhunter and came up with the Two Brothers in Mitcham.

Only opening in July this year, the Two Brothers would fit very nicely into the excellent coffee culture of the Adelaide Eastern Suburbs – perhaps even in its South Australian suburban namesake. Decked out in traditional café garb (read: polished concrete floors – polished timber fittings and fixtures – exposed brickwork – a bright expresso machine – in this case a gorgeous blue WEGA – and an opening front window) the Two Brothers also comes equipped with a rear courtyard, a family friendly attitude and a substantial breakfast/lunch menu.  It may also be a mecca for the local Christian community – as the people two tables down from me were having a very vocal evangelical conversation. and were known by one of the two brothers behind the machine.   Read the rest of this entry

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Most Popular Cafes of 2012

The guys over at Beanhunter have put together their “25 Most Popular Cafes in Australia” list, which features some very well known and respected coffee institutions.  I was disappointed to see that no Adelaidian Coffee Spot made the top ten (see below) when my experiences so far in Melbourne indicate that Adelaide Coffee (Barun, Bar 9, Mother’s Milk, Paddy’s Lantern, Pure Expresso, Red Berry etc)  is better and more consistent…How many of the top 25 have you visited?

The Top 10

  1. Dandelion & Driftwood (Brisbane)
  2. Proud Mary (Melbourne)
  3. Coffee Alchemy (Sydney)
  4. Canteen Coffee (Gold Coast)
  5. No Name Lane (Gold Coast)
  6. Cartel (Breakwater) (Geelong)
  7. The Good Bean Espresso Bar (Sunshine Coast)
  8. The Baron Coffee Shop and Small Bar (Sydney)
  9. Axil Coffee Roasters (Melbourne)
  10. The Birds & The Beans Espresso Bar (Sunshine Coast)

Click HERE for the full article

Urban Social Cafe – North Balwyn, VIC

6/321 Balwyn Road, North Balwyn, VIC, 3104

John “Hannibal” Smith was noted as often saying in the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together,” however it is often just as good when the plan goes totally and utterly pear shaped!” as I discovered in relation to Urban Social.  I had attended the Manningham Prayer Breakfast at the Manningham Club in Bulleen and being a complete nube when it comes to Melbourne – when leaving I did the Adelaidean thing and avoided the line up of traffic, that was obviously not going where I wanted to go and went around them, only to discover that they were lining up to get on the Eastern Freeway, which is where I needed to be.  Next thing I knew I was over the Eastern and into a leaving green hilly suburb that was completely unfamiliar. So I turned down the nearest street, grabbed my phone to find my bearings.  Once satisfied that I hadn’t fallen through the looking glass and could quite easily make it back to the office by another route, I grabbed Beanhunter to find the best coffee along my way – and that is how I found Urban Social in the back streets of leafy North Balwyn, but 10 minutes from my desk.

This is a very trendy place to hang out – perhaps skewed toward the upwardly mobile soccer Mums – with good parking and plenty of space between tables for pushers – its comfortable, clean, stylish – and I am sure, a mecca for the two wheeled lycra set on the weekends.  I liked this place!

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Coffee Hit – Doncaster, VIC

G217, Westfield Doncaster, 619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster 3108

As my first review in my new home town, I thought it best to start close to my new ‘patch’ and work outwards as time and opportunity allow. So that then raised the question about where do I go first?  So I did what any reasonable coffee snob would do and consulted the oracle that is “The Beanhunter” and searched for coffee near Doncaster.  After crunching the numbers, twiddling the dials and channelling the algorithms, it told me that Coffee Hit was the best place nearest me (location and highest average score of 7.4 in the area). So, on my first day on-site (two days before I actually started) I arrived an hour early and wandered down (about 2 minutes walk) to Shopping Town to secure a coffee hit.

Coffee Hit is located on the ground floor of the Westfield in a Kiosk type arrangement in the centre of a produce themed area (Fruit, Vegetables, Butcher, Fish Monger etc). When I arrived the place was comfortably busy for early on a Monday morning – with a few ‘coffee’ meetings taking place in the vicinity.  Coffee Hit also roast their own beans, having a ‘little red’ roaster (see left – the red thing) on hand, and sell beans to the public (and online).

So to the all important first coffee review in Melbourne….

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Make Coffee (Not War) in the City

Hold onto your Latte

Just in case you have not caught up on the news, Make Coffee Not War has moved!  Not the blog itself, but the man behind the keyboard (sorry about the fourth wall).  Yes, from July 12th or there abouts, the mind* behind Make Coffee Not War found itself living in Melbourne – so, as soon the bearings are found – and a sense of direction achieved, there will be coffee reviews from the city that is arguable the centre of the speciality coffee industry in Australia.  If you have any suggestions about where I should be going for a coffee – and in what order, please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Look out Melbourne – Make Coffee Not War – has landed.

* not just the mind, as after a quick check in the mirror it became apparent that the mind behind Make Coffee Not War was not some disembodied soul drifting through the ether (yet with the ability to blog), but also came complete with a body – but because he once went to a Dentist, we can’t show you his face….

Gingers Coffee Studio – Goodwood, SA

109a Goodwood Road, Goodwood, SA, 5034

Gingers Coffee Studio, will be for the inner Southern Suburbs set a welcome addition to the specialty coffee scene. When I heard about this place (which had only opening a week or so early), my brother from another mother and I set off – early on a Wednesday – for breakfast and coffee.  Both of us felt comfortable upon entering Gingers as it is a throw back to the 1970s – the era which birthed us both – but also, layered upon the comfort was the familiar, as the menu was also reminiscent of Ginger’s mother – The Pantry on Edgmont – a place which we have enjoyed through a number of staff changes.

A noticeable difference between The Pantry and Gingers is in their choice of coffee – with Gingers embracing The Coffee Barun, while (on my last visit at least) The Pantry used DeGroots. For me, however, Gingers lacked something – whereas The Pantry had – and to all reports still does –  a ‘wow’ factor – both of us left Gingers saying how nice it was – but not much more.  It is though, only very early days and with a linage of such quality, there is no way that Gingers will not be a success.

The questions that remains are – where will the  next incarnation of the Pantry be located, and will it be a tribute to 1980s glam rock?

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The Coffee Barun – new website

New Website

I may be coming very late to the party here – and if so – please ignore the fact, and just be glad that I showed up – but The Coffee Barun has a new website.  With clean crisp lines, this is a great improvement upon the old.  Highlights of the new site include the additional photographs featuring some of the awesome food that their cafe is producing (I can heartily recommend the Barun Burger – best burger I have ever had – hands down!); the bean locator – so you can find other locations  serving the Coffee Barun beans (this allows you the chance to compare how important the barista is in the the coffee making process); and an upgrade in the online shop.  Well worth checking out!

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