Category Archives: Mulgrave

When you do what you do, how do you do it? Drinking or Tasting Coffee

Cupping - not spooning!

When I was first introduced to the world’s second most traded commodity (i.e. coffee – just in case I had already lost you) I was simply  – like most people – a coffee drinker.  I loved the flavour, I loved the atmosphere of the coffee place, I loved the social and communal aspects of coffee – but I could down a latte pretty quickly, and tell you it was nice.  When I become more serious about coffee and purchased a half decent home espresso machine I was still an avid coffee drinker for all of the above reasons (well other than atmosphere – because I was making coffee in my family room – most likely with Octonauts on in the background…not quite Paddy’s Lantern or Bar9) but then a number of things happened which  encouraged me to consider more than just drinking coffee, but to also appreciate coffee for what, where and how it is what it is.

Firstly – I read the  book “God in a Cup: the obsessive quest for the perfect coffee” – which introduced me, on a far deeper level, to the world of speciality coffee – and the 400 or so taste variants that the experts can detect when they ‘taste’ their coffee – I took this as a challenge.

Then – I was introduced to the ristretto – a wonderful little coffee drink – the first 15mls of a single shot to be precise – which is super sweet, low on the caffeine, minus any bitterness  and highlights so much more of the unique bean qualities than does your average latte or cappuccino.

Ristretto from the Coffee Branch

Then I purchased some beans from Barossa Coffee Roasters, which came with tasting notes – including bean origin, and likely flavour profiles etc. and all of a sudden I was drinking my coffee in a more mindful way.  I began savouring the experience and seeing if I could detect the individual flavour nuances on the front of the tongue verses the back of the tongue – the dominant after taste etc with the result that my coffee drinking experience became much deeper and fulfilling.

If you are interested in developing your pallete from that of a coffee drinking to a coffee taster – check out this excellent post on the James Hoffman blog by clicking the link.  Also, for those in Adelaide – if you want to go that next step, Ian Callahan over at Bar 9 is conducting a Cupping Night next week – for more information, click HERE – so wish I could make it!!

If you need to see how it is done, this You Tube clip is pretty good.  Life is too short for instant coffee!

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Gloria Jean’s @ Wavos – Mulgrave, VIC

Centro Waverley Garden’s – near Target – Police Road, Mulgrave, VIC, 3170

Now despite this store not even being recognised on the official Gloria Jean’s Coffees Australia website – this was my local store for many years – with friendly staff always making consistently good coffee – trained by barrista extraordinare Calvin – formerly of the GJs on The Kingsway, Glen Waverley – now a national trainer. This place had the advantage of being the only recognised coffee place within walking distance of the college – at least until Stadium opened.  It was great to return here on my recent trip and discover that nothing had changed [Hello, my name is Simon – and it has been three years since my last Wavos GJs coffee].

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  Pretty much what you would expect.

Cost – $4.45 – for a regular take away cup – which is on the expensive side compared to other cafés but is consistent with GJs (other than at airports…)

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jeans Own Brand. 

Fair Trade – No – Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – I had used it for all of these purposes, being in a large open space at the quieter end of Waverley Gardens.

Stadium Café Bar & Lounge – Mulgrave, VIC

Shop 7, 2 Stadium Circuit, Waverley Park, Mulgrave, Vic 3170

In the later part of my Melbourne years (Jan 2003-Dec 2007) this place became as much my local as did GJ’s over the hill – and again, it was probably just as much about the friendly staff as it was about the coffee – and the awesome fries with this addictive mayo kind of dipping sauce this – do you remember Jarrod? Well the friendly staff that I knew have gone [Jo] as has the dipping sauce [although that did disappear while I was still there – which brought an end to weekly sessions and sent us looking elsewhere] but it is still the closest Café to the College (at least until the Tabor one is fully operational) and so while I was there for a week’s study – we had to get a ‘real’ coffee.

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  I had a couple of cups from here – all takeaway, so it largely depended upon the barrista.

Cost – $4.50 – for a large take away cup.

Coffee SupplierVittoria Coffee

Fair Trade – No mention in the café nor on the website – however Vittoria do have one variety which is Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – During the daylight hours definitely – I used to meet here weekly for peer mentoring, and there was generally a quiet table to be found somewhere – either inside or out.  It you are tragically a Hawthorn Fan [Peter] , this is the place to come to watch the boys run around on the training ground.  The Stadium Café Bar & Lounge is in the only remaining part of the old VFL Ground known as Waverley (aka Arctic) Park – for South Australia readers – just think Football Park, as they were almost identical in design and construction.
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