Category Archives: Cafe/Restaurant

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!!!!

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Agatha’s Food Store – Port Noarlunga, SA

1 Gawler Street, Port Noarlunga, SA, 5167

Located in the ever improving Port Noarlunga precinct, this groovy eatery is a busy place – I managed to secure the last table – the only one minus an umbrella mind you, so I am now sporting the first pink glow of the season – on a fairly unremarkable Friday afternoon.  As the name would suggest, their main thing is food – and their menu of the ‘usual suspect’ café food backs up this claim – but with the coffee styled convas bollarding around the place, I wondered whether they were also quite interested in their coffee.  I would suggest – not that much.  While it was by no means the worst coffee I had on that day (Gloria Jeans takes that honour – I know, I know – I hang my head in shame – but it was free!), had it been a more audacious cup, this review would have been vastly different.  Luckily the company saved the experience for me!! Read the rest of this entry

rubys organic cafe – Stirling, SA

29 Mt Barker Road, Stirling, SA, 5152

I have actually frequented Rubys on a number of occasions – when I first moved back to SA, I came here with friends – when I was having problems in a previous ministry, I came here with a mentor for sage advice – when a colleague of mine from Victoria was interviewing with a local Baptist church, this was the place that we came too for a coffee – so I have known about rubys for quite some time, and now finally have done a review.

According to the business card which you can grab as you walk past, ‘rubys organic cafe is a licensed and certified organic café specialising in gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and organic food’ and it also does coffee.  The café itself is pretty small – with about 6 tables inside, and the same number on the footpath – so you need to choose your time of day carefully.  After you have placed your order and sat down, you need to listen carefully – over the noise of the cars, buses, coffee grinder and espresso machine – as your name is brutalised, which indicates that your coffee is ready and you can come collect it from the window – kind of Cibos on Gouger Street.  If you choose to sit outside – the plastic café blinds make the experience kind of like having a coffee in a hothouse – but other than that….

Latte Quality – Excellent – easily the best coffee of my day spent reading and reflection upon the theological concept of the Wilderness and Exodus.

Cost – $3.80 – which is higher than average – and the glass was smaller that my previous coffees – but it easily tasted the best.

Coffee Supplier – Brasilia Coffee

Fair Trade – Again, Yes and No.  No mention of their coffee being Fair Trade – but their sugar was.

Special Notes – I also ordered a mini cheesecake (pictured) after a nasty sauce pie experience courtesy of the Lobethal Bakery franchise around the corner – and while it looked yummy, it was actually so dry it was hard to swallow. I needed the coffee to lubricate my throat in order to eat it – not sure if it was gluten, dairy or organic free – but it was certainly moisture free.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – It would really depend on your timing and your ability to do all this amidst distraction.  This was easily the busiest place in Stirling and for the middle of the afternoon, it was not unusual to have a line of 5 people waiting for take away coffee – let alone the numbers waiting for food inside.

The Loca·vore – Stirling, SA

49 Mt Barker Road, Stirling, SA, 5152

Not sure how long this place has been trading for, but to me it seems very much a Stirling kind of place (for those who live in Melbourne – think Olinda, or Sassafras – for those from Hobart, think Sandy Bay…).  In fact, when I ventured in at lunch time last week I was not even sure if I was allowed to be there – the door was wide open, the lights were on – but there didn’t seem to be anybody home – and then, wearing my jeans and a t-shirt, when I ordered just a latte…well I guess the best you can say, is that my patronage was tolerated.

The Loca·vore looks very trendy – and from a design perspective (a throw back to my life before ministry and coffee), I loved it – the blend of the bricks and timber and glass – it felt great.  There is plenty of comfortable looking seating inside, and a smattering of tables on the footpath (from where I took the above photo).  It was great place to sit and watch all the expensive cars go by.

One thing I like, and must give them credit for is their ethos – from their website:

Locavore (local-eater) lives by the principles of the 100-mile diet. That is wherever possible, all produce is sourced from within a 160 km radius. When in doubt we follow these principles:  If not local, family farmed; if not family farmed, organic; if not organic then fair-trade. A recent Choice Magazine survey found that the average basket of food in Australia has travelled 72 000 km. So we estimate we have saved 300 000 000 food kilometres, since we opened in October 2007.

Latte Quality – Good – there was an excess of foam on the glass (see picture) – but that just insulated a strong, deep and rich flavoured coffee with hints of caramel…

Cost – $3.80 – which is higher than average – but probably about right for Stirling.  In its defence, the glass was bigger than the previous latte in Stirling.

Coffee Supplier – Brasilia Coffee

Fair Trade – Again, Yes and No.  Their menu board said that all their coffee and tea was Fairtrade – but the Fairtrade logo was no where to be seen, and to the best of my knowledge (happy to be set straight) Brasilia don’t do a Fairtrade blend.

Special Notes – When not just serving coffee, The Loca·vore is a wine bar, a tappas bar and a live music friendly venue.  They also have  a website, which is just to be finished – just like the Brasilia Coffee one….

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – I would say yes – it was quiet enough for sure – but make sure you dress appropriately and perhaps order more than just a coffee.

Other blogs that smell like Coffee #2….

Since my passion and enthusiasm for this blog took on a new life – see the increase in latte reviews and subsequent posts circa Sunday July 11th and the registration of my new domain name and T-shirts…[pictures to come] – I have also been trawling the net looking for other people with similar passions, and while at first I thought I was the only one [think Shrek before he knew about Fiona’s night time activities], I am pleased and now a little daunted to know that there are heaps – amateurs like me, and wanna be professionals with their i-Phone Apps (hey Brenton…want to write me one??)

  • Chuggin McCoffee – seems to be an United States based coffee blog (judging by the references to Starbucks and Krispy Cremes) but I can’t tell if it is a professional or passionate blog.  I got onto it because they actually quoted a blog entry I had written and gave me my first ping-back.  Current articles include one about Healthy Coffee Scams and another about Café Bustelo coffee going mainstream after a corporate buyout. 
  • Wherespresso.com – is another coffee/café review website – similar to the Beanhunter and to the Urbanspoon.  Like the other two, Wherepresso is all about the individual consumer being able to share their coffee experiences with others – both good and bad – and then with the world, via a plethora of connection points with social networking – facebook, twitter, and feedburner.  Personally I found Wherespresso to be a tad ‘blog-like’ in appearance and not that user friendly – I tried a number of times to add a café and do a review, and each time….nada. I’m going to stick with the Beanhunter for now.
  • Backseat Baristas– is a wordpress blog with a similar raison d’être as mine, yet with a pure espresso focus.  From their own words: “his blog is a unique insight into Melbourne’s coffee scene by two ordinary blokes who are passionate about their espresso. We live in a city that is famous for its coffee and we aim to provide simple, straightforward views on the coffee we try. These are our personal opinions but hopefully give you, the consumer, honest and informed content. As such we write purely from a consumer’s point of view. We also encourage your comments and views.” Most recent reviews include: Keffa Han – Port Melbourne – but this is dated as November 2010 – so they may have stopped blogging (hopefully not stopped drinking coffee). Check it out!!
  • Melbourne – Caffeine City – similar to the above, and to this one – “Melbourne – Caffeine City” – is a coffee blog devoted to the cold and grey city by the bay.  In their own words, “Caffeine City is a simple attempt to provide another voice on the quality of coffee in Melbourne’s (Australia) cafe saturated laneways and suburbs.” Not quite as ‘professional’ in technique as the Backseat Baristas, but certainly user friendly (like I hope mine is) with great personal impressions listed, this is a quality coffee blog. Recent reviews include: Mister Close in Bourke Street dated 10th July 2011 – so the coffee is still being ground here!  Check them out.

Other blogs that smell like Coffee….

Last weekend I spent about 4 hours, and two cups of Coffee Barun latte blend [ordered whole beans – and prepared them myself] to upgrade all my tags and categories to try and align myself with other similar blogs.  The only problem was, that when I had finished – I could find hardly any similar blogs, despite the tags.  But today, with another latte in hand I discovered the following articles on other blogs – check them out, if you dare:

  • Odds and Em’s has a subsection of the blog devotted to coffee, and her (assuming it is a she, and she is called Emma, or Emily) more recent articles include:
  • Sharking for Chips and Drinks which is a cafe/restuarant review blog focussed upon Melbourne, also reviews and photographs some excellent coffee:
    • Liar Liar90 Kinkora Rd,Hawthorn VIC 3122
  • Arnoneumann – Thought Leadership has an interesting article about the 800 distinctive tastes and aromas that coffee gives off, in comparison to the workaday 200 or so from the wine industry – hinting at a future for coffee culture.

The Court House Café – Normanville, SA

52 Main Street, Normanville, SA 5204

After a disastrous start to my new coffee adventures on the south-south coast (Fleurieu Peninsula) I was really hoping that this would at the very least bring this region back to a par level, however I am always suspicious of any place that announces with all humility that it has ‘the best coffee in town.’  According to their promotional material, “The Court House Café is Normanville’s newest dining alternative offering the best of the Fleurieu region’s outstanding produce.  At the Court House Café, you’ll find rustic food prepared with love and bursting with flavour.  Occupying the 1860’s heritage court house, the Court House Café is open for brunch and lunch daily from 8:30, and evenings Wednesday through sunday for tapas and evening meals.”

Latte Quality – Good – again it was served exceedingly hot, and my first sip did not bode well – but after 20 minutes of sitting with it, the actual flavour of the coffee was excellent.

Cost – $3.80 for regular

Coffee Supplier – Adelaide Hills Coffee Roasting Company, 1 Hereford Avenue Hahndorf – after a Google search, no website found.

Fair Trade – Unknown – no indication instore, but I suspect not.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful and Study and Reflection  – there is plenty of seating, both inside and out – just make sure you are not there during one of their special ‘sing along’ times.  There is a Beatles Sing Along session coming up soon!!
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