Category Archives: Café/Market

South Australian Coffee???

Surely there are more than 58 places in Adelaide where you can buy a coffee?  Yet that is ‘all she wrote’ according to the latest updates on the Beanhunter.  According to their South Australian based users, we have less cafes worth drinking in and/or writing about then does the Gold Coast (61) and Canberra (68).  Yes you read right – according to the Beanhunter, there are more and better coffee vending establishments in our nations capital then there are in RADelaide – the coffee capital of the southern hemisphere (just don’t tell Melbourne).

Come on people – do your state a favour – do what Rann couldn’t (a bit of political commentary there – haha)  – do what Craig couldn’t (a bit of sport commentary there) – raise your state’s profile above the Gold Coast and Canberra – make us proud – list your favourite cafe on the Beanhunter (even list your least favourite cafe – at least then others will know to avoid it) and let us get Adelaide above Canberra.

First the Gold Coast, then Canberra…then the world!!!!

The Organic Market and Café – Stirling, SA

5 Druids Avenue, Stirling, SA, 5251

This is a follow up review to one of the very first I completed back in June 2009, as I had the opportunity and the desire to visit The Organic Market and Cafe on August 5th, because they were one of only four cafes in South Australia to signup to the CaféSmart promotion.

The Organic Market and Café is still a very comfortable, very trendy little Cafe – attached to an Organic Market nestled in a side street, off the main tree lined street of the picturesque and pricey, Stirling.  Parking is still a problem, but that is typical of Stirling at most times of the year. A good thing to do is park up near the steam engine playground, and enjoy the short walk to the Café.

As you do the rounds of the food/coffee review websites, this place seems to get many comments which align with my experience – in that, customer service is not a priority.  After ordering my coffee, I was ignored – do I stand and wait? do I sit down and wait ? – they didn’t ask for a name, so I assumed to should hang around close to the front – because we are all crammed in tight, I was required to move to my left by an assertively sighing waitress whose flow towards the counter was interrupted by annoying customers just wanting to be served. Seriously folks – if you want to see how good customer service is done – visit The Two Bees in Victor Harbor, The Coffee Barun in Sefton Park, or La Terre in Willunga….

Latte Quality – Good – good temperature, good flavour and $1 of my cost went to a good cause.

Cost – $3.50 for a regular (pretty small) take away coffee – in one of the BIO Cups (fully compostable)

Coffee Supplier – Even after two years they still do not promote whose coffee they sell – so, while waiting I ask the barista who then dived under the table and came up with a bag of Vittoria Nero Blend – which is their standard coffee (not organic in any way, shape or form – it is standard ‘food service blend’ by Vittoria – however, they also have an organic bean which you must ask for – however this doesn’t happen very often I was told, and she didn’t know where the beans came from – although the bag and the hand writing on it look suspiciously like it came from ‘The Coffee Barun….

Fair Trade – No – Vittoria do not do a Fairtrade blend, although you can purchase a Rainforest Alliance Ground Coffee from supermarkets (although why, know one knows….)

Customer Service –   – acknowledged my presence and value as a carbon based entity – but not much more;

Special Notes – Their standard coffee is NOT organic – which seems to fly in the face of their name, and beliefs from their website – when you order a coffee, make sure you explicitly ask for their organic blend coffee – however, it may cost you a few cents more (not sure, but I do wonder….)

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – No – a very busy place, with people coming and going regularly.
  • Deep and Meaningful – probably a good place for it – enough background noise to allow for safety in conversation topic, but quiet enough so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself.
  • Study and Reflection – being a really busy place, and with there sometimes being a wait on tables – it is probably not the best place for that.

Jetty Food Store – Normanville, SA

48 Main Road, Normanville, SA, 5204

I was at our annual denominational (although we kid ourselves by saying almost creed like that we are a movement, not a denomination) convention last week and we heard, on the Saturday about the importance of Church planting – not just sending people from one church into a new location and replicating a model – but sending people into a location to contextualise a meaningful connection with God and developing a worshipping community (aka church) that is incarnational. Dibs on Normanville!

Now on Day 5 of my three weeks annual leave and due to an unfortunate run-in with the  LG ‘not in any way a’ customer service centre after my Blu-Ray player stopped playing Blu-Rays and just become a black box in the lounge room which led me to drop said black box at the Christie’s Beach TV place, who could teach LG a lot about customer service – we ending up in Normanville for lunch (of course while vaguely connected these events could be mutually exclusive, but I am in a rambling kind of mood – so shoot me).  I had only recently read about this place online after booking four days holiday in a not quite on the beach, beach house (they are cheaper that way) down that way – and I can confirm that their website in no way at all misrepresents them.

The Jetty Food Store is a great example of an incarnational cafe, proudly being evangelical about good quality, organic (where possible) food – and serving great coffee to boot!

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent – which was surprising consider the recent news and feedback that has been coming out about their bean supplier…I suspect this is a testament to the barrista!

Cost – $4.40 – for a regular – which is on the expensive side of things.

Coffee Supplier – Rio Coffee – who have finally completed their website.  I had been told that since Rio changed the person in change of their coffee roasting that their quality had dramatically gone down hill – but never having been a fan of their coffee – it tasted pretty good today.

Fair Trade – Yes – proudly displaying the logo and the name on their roadside blackboards, on the window and on the stand selling the bagged coffee direct to the public.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – Absolutely – Lunch time on a Friday was busy, but not loud – we sat road side and it was very pleasant.  It it wasn’t about an hours drive away, I would consider it a location for a days reading and reflection.

Yilki Store – Yilki, SA

60 Franklin Parade, Encounter Bay, SA, 5211

I rediscovered this series of three shops/cafés on the foreshore at Victor Harbor/Yilki/Encounter Bay last Sunday – when I attempted to go and worship with the Uniting Church congregation at Yilki, but was defeated by a change in their service start time, which meant I arrived as Rev. Steve was concluding…but I found these shops.  During this week – aka. Christmas Preparation Retreat Week – I ventured one morning down to Franklin Parade, to discover that only one of the three café has a life in the daylight hours of the work-a-day week – which, if I was about 15 years younger would have led me to the conclusion that the other two places are hangouts for vampires…but anyway…

Latte Quality – Good – and it came with small biscotti.

Cost – $4.40 for a large mug.

Coffee Supplier – Vito Coffee – at least that is what all their umbrellas and hoarding said, although after a thorough (3 mins) Google search, I am unable to find anything about Vito Coffee

Fair Trade – No indication – so I would assume not.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful – Definitely – for quite a while I was the only person sitting outside.  There is plenty of seating – either under cover, or under the umbrellas.
  • Study and Reflection – As long as you can work and not just stare at the bluff, or the ocean, or seal island, or granite island, or small yet un-named island (according to the font of all knowledge – Google Maps)

The Store – North Adelaide, SA

157 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006 (Cnr Melbourne & Jerningham Streets).

The third coffee stop of my 36 hours of leave in the city was a breakfast latte at The Store.  As I waited for it to arrive, my wife and I reminisced about the time when we met here with our friend and pastor, who was going to conduct our wedding the following year – we ate breakfast, drank coffee, and completed the ‘notice of intended marriage [aka Form 13 – regulation 38 – marriage act 1961]’…ahh those were the days.  The Store is located across the road from Café Bocca, on the south side of Melbourne Street – on, what I have deigned to call, ‘coffee corner’ and as the name would suggest, ‘The Store’ is much more than just a Café.   It is also a Grocery Store for those who can afford to live in North Adelaide, and who love to dine on locally produced food.

Latte Quality – Excellent – just the right temperature to enjoy as we made our way home from our short break.

Cost – $4.70 grande take-away

Coffee SupplierBrasilia Coffee

Fair Trade – No indication in store about it – and the website is ‘under-construction’ so who knows?

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.
  • Study and Reflection – As long as you are going there outside their peak periods should be fine.  This part of North Adelaide is also handy for grabbing a take away coffee and walking the streets, if that works well for conversation.  The Cibo across the road also has an Internode hotspot – so you can sit in either Bocca or The Store – enjoy a good coffee, and use their internet!

Website thumbnails provided by BitPixels

the green room on high street – Willunga, SA

2 High Street, Willunga, SA, 5172

In my part of the world, Willunga is the place to go for good quality locally produced organic food, live music and quality coffee – so it should not come as a surprise to anyone to find such a positive review for another of Willunga’s top notch cafés. ‘the green room on high street [lower case by their design] eco-emporium & tea-fé’ is, as you would expect situated near the start of High Street, Willunga – or from my end “at the bottom of the hill.” It seems, from the outside, to be an eclectic mix of  café come studio come haberdashery come interesting nic-nac come alternative hang out come, come, come….it is hard to put in one box.  We ventured in after another successful outing to the Willunga Farmer’s Market and based on coffee alone – it was well worth the effort.  You can also get light lunches, snacks, sweets and all sorts – and on another visit, I will take one for the team and sample their food – but now to the all important coffee and locale review….

Latte Quality – Excellent – aroma, flavour, colour – brilliant!  It would have gone in straight as a ‘Lattastic’ but with my change in policy, it will need a follow-up to confirm such a high rating.

Cost – $3.50 – for a cup which is around the mark.

Coffee SupplierThe Coffee Works – Black Mountain

Fair Trade –  The store itself is very Pro-Fairtrade, however the coffee itself – being organic Australian grown and roasted is not Fairtrade (it does not need to be)

Venue Suitable for:

  • Meeting – Quiet Chat – Study and Reflection – As I ventured in on a Farmer’s Market day – you could barely move, let alone think and reflect – however there are plenty of tables both inside and out and I am sure it would be a great place for such pastoral activities during the week.  I hope to return there in the near future.

Market 190 – McLaren Vale, SA

190 Main Street, McLaren Vale, SA, 5171

McLaren Vale is becoming, more and more a place, the place to go to enjoy great food, pretty good wine (couldn’t praise it too highly – I am, after all, a Barossa boy) and a great coffee culture.  Market 190, located in at the bottom end (Victor Harbor Road) of the Main Street, is a Café come Providore which is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch and browsing.  Having always been partial to the other end of town, I discovered Market 190 via the good old ‘Google’ and am so glad I did.  I met with a colleague and friend for lunch and a coffee, and not did we enjoy a  generously hearty Café style beef burger, but also the ambiance of the place and the coffee (my friend is also a trained Barista – and while he thought his coffee is better, he still drank it all….) – so to the review:

Latte Quality – Good/Excellent – I had two, and while the first one was better than the second (a change in staff, may be the reason) both were very drinkable on a cold, drizzly day.

Cost – $3.30 – for a cup ($4.50 Mug, 50c for an extra shot) – which is about average.

Coffee Supplier – locally roasted, RIO Coffee

Fair Trade –  Yes – stickers on the windows, Fair Trade Coffee on the menu (Ethiopian Organic), and beans for sale on the counter.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Meeting – Quiet Chat – Study and Reflection – I am sure this place gets plenty busy on weekends and in the warmer months, but there is ample seating indoors – with a few nooks and crannies – if privacy is needed, and it seems as though there would also be tables outside on a nice day.  I’ll definitely be back.

You can also follow Market 190 via their Facebook Page.

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