Category Archives: Five Senses

Delish Espresso – Adelaide, SA

195 Victoria Square, Adelaide CBD, SA 5000

Located in the centre of the city, facing the generally beautiful Victoria Square (at this time of year it resembles a fancy smancy caravan park – with all the tents and temporary buildings of the Tour Down Under) Delish Espresso is the last in a line of cafés that begin at the Franklin Street end and create a wall of caffeinated opportunities heading south. What sets Delish apart is also what drew me to them in my search for quality coffee, is that they are the only one NOT sporting some kind of large coffee roasting company paraphernalia on their store, umbrellas and bollards.

A fairly small establishment, with plenty of outdoor seating (6 tables outside, 2 inside) – Delish is run by Barista Marcus Clarke (I assume NOT of the State Bank) and when I was there – his Mum – serving ’boutique coffee’ and light lunches to the many suits (lawyers, bankers, journalists and politicians) that frequent the area.  My order was quickly received – after the possibility of a ristretto was confirmed with Marcus –  the ultimate of espresso beverages does not appear on the menu board – and I took my seat amidst the ambience of the poplar shaded alfresco area to wait.  In less than 2 minutes, Marcus had brought my coffees to the table and when asked about his coffee blend, he told me that he blends his own beans, sourced from 5 Senses.

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Coffee Branch – Adelaide, SA

32 Leigh Street, Adelaide CBD, SA, 5000

 Not sure how long the Coffee Branch has been open for – but for quite awhile it has been the place of legend.  Even amongst the quality baristas that are popping up all around the city, they speak of the coffee experience at ‘the branch’ in hushed, awestruck tones…and finally – much like Bilbo on his way to Smaug’s Mountain – I made it to Coffee Branch.

Nestled in a ‘hole in the wall’ on the very trendy Leigh Street (complete with tree growing out of a Volkwagon Beetle – I kid you not) – this is one of Adelaide’s premium speciality coffee houses – it even has bicycles hanging on the wall – that is how premium it is!!  What you can’t see from the photo – just off to the left – is a ‘gate’ style architectural feature which will remind worldly travellers of a poor man’s ‘Nottinghill Gate’ – or similar, that you will find dotted all over London.

I arrived at 10:45am on a working Wednesday – and the line was still out the door.  I had been warned not to arrive in the peak hours of before work, lunch time, smoko, and after work – because the line is ridiculous – but I was surprised, and yet at the same time not – that the line was still out there. Once getting in the line, it took of all three minutes to get to the front and place my order – and I ventured out back into the tree lined street to commandeer one of the tables (there are only 2 of them) – there is some bench seating inside and a few tables at the back – but I suspect that most of their business is take away.

I thought to myself, based on previous experiences in 2012 – that this could take awhile – so I, checked into Foursquare, opened my book and before I got to the bottom of the first paragraph (about 3 minutes) my latte was being delivered – and soon after that, my ristretto… Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

  1. Paddy’s Lantern – Adelaide, SA: This place launched not long after I signed up to Twitter – and there was some hullaballo when it opened – and on my first try, I was not disappointed. Hard to find with crap parking – but a great comfortable interior, serving 5 Senses coffee from a sexy Synesso machine – and awesome light lunches.
  2. The Pantry on Egmont – Hawthorn, SA: In this little out of the way cafe in the leafy greenness that is Hawthorn, lurks Stef and the team – with a great love of coffee, serving the excellent locally roasted Dr Groot – this place is just wonderful. Russell does a great breakfast too!
  3. The Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA:  Whenever I get the opportunity or have the need to travel the 22kms down the coast to Victor, this is the place where I MUST stop and grab a latte.  Serving fantastic Zentveld’s from Byron Bay, The Two Bees has super friendly staff, great food and in good weather a great view down towards the Island.
  4. Coffee By The Beans – Lockleys, SA: Another one of these great places in strange locations – this is a must stop if you are going too or coming from the airport.  Roasting their own beans off site, Vincent, Daniel and Richard are serious about coffee and are serious about you liking their product.  The only draw back in the location and the fact that they don’t do online shopping….
  5. A’Vila Coffee – Adelaide, SA: The nearly not yet review place serves the legendary Campos Coffee – so this MUST make the top 5. Located near the old Academy Cinema City in Hindmarsh Square, these guys love their coffee – and so did I.

Paddy’s Lantern – Adelaide, SA

219 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000

In a quarter of the Adelaide City that many people may have never ventured through, sits this fresh new expression of the burgeoning South Australian speciality coffee scene. Opening in the first week of October 2011 Paddy’s Lantern is, according to owner, chef and barista Sam Carey – what he thinks would have happened if “Bar 9 and Coffee Branch had a baby”[1] and it finds itself nestled amongst a fairly standard Adelaideian mid 1980s row of shops – a child’s stone throw from the Dukes of Brunswick Hotel – however, make sure you are looking for it – blink and you’ll miss it.

Walking in – you just know this place is serious about the coffee – as the menu board is 90% about the beverage and 10% food – yet the food is superb!  Serving single origin 5 Senses coffee, blended on site, through a gorgeous looking Synesso machine,  a Sam made ristretto is heaven in a cup [see below.]  The interior is minimalist – having stripped back what was once perhaps a computer shop, it is now part single story – part spacious warehouse – yet will probably only seat perhaps 20 people, and is my no means clinical.  If you are cyclist, you are catered for – with three bike racks adorning the walls just inside the front door.  Together with my brother from another mother, friend and colleague we consumed three ristrettos, three lattes, and 2 Barossa Ham & French gruyere on Mylor Bakery Sourdough – in our 90 minutes of bliss, with occasional dedicated attention from Sam – who understands that customer service produces loyalty.   Parking is potentially a problem – but if you can find one nearby, they are free for 2 hours – just be persistent and the rewards of Paddy’s Lantern can be yours.   Read the rest of this entry

What’s your coffee base?

Over on the Five Senses website, Jennifer Murray – winner of the 2008 Western Australian Barista Competition and now Five Senses’ beloved buyer of the world’s best green beans – writes about the genesis of every cup of coffee – no matter how you drink it (real coffee – none of this instant stuff that dissolves in water…)  She writes:
“Sure, perfectly steamed, silky milk enhances the coffee experience and yes, some milk brands taste better than others. However, let us not forget the real player here — the often neglected espresso base that has evolved for better or worse as the industry has grown. Here’s a look at some of the current trends and ‘faux pas’ that exist in cafés today, and what you can expect in the cup as a result…”

She then goes on to explore the three bases, with their pros and cons:

  1. Single Shot Espresso (25-30ml)
  2. Double Shot Espresso (50-60ml)
  3. Double Ristretto (25-30ml)
She concludes by saying “So, as you can see, these different methods definitely create three different results in the cup. None of which are incorrect, it all comes down to personal preference. Just keep the cup size in mind, and remember that a larger size doesn’t always mean a bigger coffee, it may just mean a milkier one.”
To read the details of each base, click HERE
What is your experience?  Have you had the large coffee which was over extracted, watery and milky?  I have – you’d be better off with a Macona (joke).  Tell me about your experiences – good and bad.

Bar 9 Specialist Coffee Boutique – Eastwood, SA

91 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood, SA, 5001

This is one of those reviews which has been coming for a long time, as this place as been regarded in most circles as THE place to get coffee in Adelaide – after all, they call themselves a ‘specialist coffee boutique.’  Well, firstly – this place is hard to find.  I have driven past it probably over 50 times since it opened, and never saw it once – it took a specific invite from a colleague and friend (some would say brother, when you consider our biologically influenced common hairstyles and lack of discernible bone structures…) for me to park the car and walk around till I eventually found it.  When you walk inside, you’d never expect this to be the Mecca for Adelaide Coffee – frankly, it could do with a good clean!  As you would expect – they sport a plethora of ways to brew coffee – traditional espresso machines – siphon – pour-over – ice drip – plus specialists when in town – with a multitude of coffee beans (although I was never asked what I wanted when I had my two coffees there on Tuesday…) according to their website and facebook – so the question you are asking is…was it worth it?

Yes. But I wouldn’t make a major effort to go there from where I live….

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent – although I detected a slight detergenty after taste in my first cup, which was strange.  They used special locally produced un-homogenized milk from Tweedvale Dairy – which is really cool, and suits my ethics. And you can notice the creamy quality – although if you want a strong coffee, you need to really ask them for it.

Cost – $3.30 – for a regular (although small by most standards) sized latte

Coffee SupplierFive Senses Coffee – from Western Australia.

Fair Trade – No mention of Fairtrade in store – but Five Senses do do a Fairtrade Organic

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was there from 2-3pm on a Tuesday afternoon – and there was one other person in the shop the entire time – some quiet funky music in the background – the only trick is parking.  On Glen Osmond road you do it at your own risk – prepare to have you life flash before your eyes – or you park in a side street and hope your car is still there when you return.  There is no point using Google Earth to find it – as the pictures they have are of something else….
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