Category Archives: Aroma Fresh

Boulevard Café on the Lake – Encounter Bay, SA

41 Bartel Boulevard, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

The unfortunate event of my wife and boys having a car accident (they are all Ok – Thank God!) turned into the fortunate event of me being able to relax lakeside, sip a latte and read a book doing sermon preparation, while waiting for them to pick me up (the crash repair place is within easy walking distance – not sure if this is a positive or a negative aspect in relation to the café itself – or whether I should include this stat as part of all future reviews…?? Let me know).

I have known about this place for quite a while, having driven past it on the way to other coffee places, church camps or just going to sit by the beach at Encounter Bay – and I can not really offer an excuse as to why I had never stopped before.  Even at the most recent CoC State Camp held down the road, people were commenting on their nice coffee – and yet I still never went.  But I am glad to say that I have rectified the situation.

While the Café itself is hardly “on the Lake” I assume they chose that name because the “Boulevard Cafe from which you can see the lake through some trees beyond the lawned area” doesn’t have the same ambience {see picture below} – but what it lacks in proximity to the man made fresh water lake, it more than makes up for in style and customer service.  Offering a full service menu from Breakfast through Dinner, the food comes highly recommended – and there is plenty of seating both inside and out.  Off street parking is available – which is a plus – and with a southerly wind blowing you can sometimes catch a whiff of the ocean.

If you are attending the Salvation Army ‘Encounters Conference Centre‘ then this place is across the road and away from the beach a bit….so to the review.

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Laratinga Café – Mount Barker, SA

Adelaide Hills Homemaker Centre, Shop K 6 Dutton Rd. Mt Barker SA 5251

This is a review which I could almost call ‘Sign’ – as in artist formerly known as Prince – because Laratinga, is the café formerly known as The Bean Bar (which after a cursory Internet search seems to have gone out of business everywhere….did anyone notice?  does anyone know why?).  Taking over the old Bean Bar premises – lock, stock and no smoking barrels – Laratinga just put their information over the old and kept on trading – so, like a couple of other cafes in the town – the Laratinga is bright orange (see also Our Little Café and Corso Café) but has the advantage of also being an internode internet hotspot – it has plenty of seating, and is blessed with like a 1000 car parks – just avoid trying to get in or out during the 3:15-3:45pm period – because the car park resembles the one at ‘The Dome’ (the venue formerly known as the Clipsal Powerhouse, and after that The Distinctive Home Dome….The Dome is the Home of the Brett Maher Court…if that helps) after the Sixers have lost another game.

Latte Quality – Excellent – great flavour, good foam percentage – pretty much as I remember the best of The Bean Bar.

Cost – average  – a regular Café Latte will set you back $3.50

Coffee Supplier – Aroma Fresh Coffee – just like the old Bean Bar

Fair Trade – no mention in store or on their website, so it would be safe to assume – No.

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

Special Notes – I also ordered a Raspberry Muffin – when when served was slightly heated and very nice!

Venue Suitable for:  Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – It used to be ok for all of these purposes, but if yesterdays traffic was anything to go on – perhaps not – I was in there in the late afternoon and the place was full (only one spare table) and while I was there enjoying my yummy Raspberry Muffin, there was a steady stream of customers coming and going.  Ye Olde Bean Bar used to do tables out the back near the bike path/creek – so if these return for warmer weather, that would make it more usable for pastoral matters.

The Coffee Palace – Victor Harbor, SA

35 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

Last week, I had made an effort to come and grab a coffee here at the recommendation of a congregation member – but when I walked past – the place was full and aesthetically it really did nothing for me – I commented that it seemed to be attached to the hardware store – so I went elsewhere, and discovered the Two Bees Café. However being back in the Harbor City once again, I thought that I would ‘suck it up princess’ and try out this other new place, so….let me begin my saying an emphatic

SORRY that I judged you on your appearance – serious hand slapping going on – because the experience was great!  While the place does look like it is an adjunct of the Victor Harbor Hardware Store – and for good reason – because it is, the customer service was fantastic and the coffee was great.  And once you are in there, the place is actually really nice and calming.  So, again, ‘Sorry.’  According to the website:

Nestled in one of Victor Harbor’s oldest buildings, originally opened as The Coffee Palace which was built in 1886, the aroma of freshly ground coffee and sumptuous treats await. Relax in our pleasant surroundings and reacquaint yourself with old friendships – or begin new friendships as Judy and the team pamper to your every whim.

Latte Quality – Excellent! – as I sat reading the aroma of the coffee actually lured me towards it – doesn’t happen very often, but it did here.

Cost – $3.50 – which is average for a regular sized latter – but this one came in an above average sized cup.  You may notice in the picture that it is a double lined insulated cup, which voids that occasional latte burnt finger syndrome.

Coffee Supplier – Aroma Fresh

Fairtrade – no indication instore that this is Fairtrade coffee, although Aroma Fresh to offer a Fairtrade blend.

Special Notes – You get a free coffee caramel with your cup; breakfast is served until 2:30pm and they also serve light meals and lunches and a wide variety of sweet things – including the all important gluten free options.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Depending on what time of the day it is. I drove past before having lunch and the place was packed, both inside and out on the footpath tables, yet when I went back at just after 2pm – I was the only person there for a large period of time….

Najjars Cafe – North Adelaide, SA

21 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide, 5006

Since 1992, Najjars has been a very popular café for Adelaideans – so it was about time, on my recent short break, that I road tested the famous place for it’s coffee and other attributes.

Latte Quality – Good – my first holiday coffee. Unfortunately the barista over poured on her first attempt, so then just poured it all into another cup – thus removing the crema – and resulting in a very, very hot first sip which rendered my tongue burnt for the next 24 hours….

Cost – $4.00 for a regular cup.

Coffee Supplier – South Australia’s own Aroma Fresh Coffee

Fair Trade – No mention of the coffee being Fair Trade at Najjars – Aroma Fresh do do a nice Fair Trade 3 Bean blend – click here

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful – Outside of the busy meal times, this place would certainly work – plenty of space, both inside and out – although outside can get a little noisy and a smelling depending on traffic.
  • Study and Reflection – As long as you are going there outside their peak periods – I do not see why not – and judging from the number of people using laptops when I was there, Najjars either have an interest hot spot, or there is one nearby.

Bean Bar – Mount Barker, SA

Adelaide Hills Homemaker Centre, Shop K 6 Dutton Rd. Mt Barker SA 5251

South Australia’s own “Bean Bar” made its first jump outside the Adelaide city square when it opened its Mount Barker location in mid 2008.  The first ‘franchise’ coffee shop to hit the hills, it quickly became a popular place, and being the only food and beverage provided in the Homemaker Centre, its future is secure.

My coffee history with this place has been hit and miss.  A customer on both its opening and second day, one coffee was great, the other one was burnt – thus I have not been quiet as regular.  But as I sit here now (meaning they ow have internet access available) enjoying a perfectly resonable Café Latte, I wonder whether I judged them too early.

Latte Quality – Excellent – a full 30 second before my single raw sugar disappeared beneath the foamy goodness.

Cost – average to high – a regular Café Latte will set you back $3.80 – and there is no minimum spend (anymore) on your credit card, which is a bonus (earlier on you had to spend $5 – which often meant a coffee and something sweet)

Coffee Supplier – Imported by Aroma Fresh Coffee, roasted in Adelaide and sold under the Bear Bar logo

Fair Trade – no mention in store or on their website, so it would be safe to assume – No.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – possibly, although the store can become quiet busy, especially on weekends.
  • Deep and Meaningful – Not really – the loud orange and brown decor, does not really lend itself to D&Ms and the music – which is quiet – contains many popular songs of the 80s and 90s and lends itself to the barista adding his voice in song – and I must admit to humming ‘The Piano Man’ myself.
  • Study and Reflection – On a weekday afternoon this is a great place for some study (not so much reflection), as it contains an Internode Internet Hotspot (although very slow), good sized tables and good coffee.
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