Category Archives: News

Not quite Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, but still….

Not quite Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, but still….

This does not happen to me very much – so I was very excited when I tore open this month’s BeanScene Magazine and saw this ugly mug staring back at me! (make sure you click on the image to read the detail…)

Also to my surprise was the fact that they  edited down the less than 200 words  they asked me for – removing some theological reflection, and also a mention of my current favourite coffee beans – which for the record was Barossa Coffee Roasters – sorry!

While not on the massive media scale of some other colleagues and brothers (radio, newspapers, DVDs…) – I made the press!

For a small appearance fee, I would be happy to come past your café and sign copies for patrons 😉

New Page – The Locations

If you are at all like me and often can’t be bothered scrolling through the archives of a blog – just on the off chance that there may be something interesting there – which would of course make us completely useless as side kicks or assistants to the Indiana Jones type adventurers….I think I have veered slightly of course there, my apologies.

I have created a new page for those who like to see where I have been, without having to go on a quest to do so.  Click on ‘The Locations’ page above to be taken to a list of the 85 Coffee places that have been reviewed since May 2009.  In truth I was a bit disappointed to find that I had only reviewed 85, and not the magical 100 or more – especially considering that there are more than 150 posts on this blog – which just goes to show how much rubbish I write when not drinking enough coffee – case in point – the length of this entry which was just designed to highlight the new page, but has now degenerated into the ramblings of a sleep deprived 30 something who is hesitant to check the live score update on the NBL website, so as not to cause the 36er’s to loose – because my checking would cause this – it has nothing to do with the fact that….oh, never mind.

New pageThe Locations – lists all the coffee places by region – hope it is helpful – not completely unlike this entry….

Domestic Espresso Machines

This is not a phrase you hear that often among friends (unless you are a tradie, or a golfer, or a …) but let’s talk about your equipment.  What do you use to maintain the caffeine component to your blood stream when all the good coffee shops and cafes have closed (or you just can’t be bothered going out)?

My first coffee machine was purchased with a voucher that my wife and I received at our wedding.  After purchasing copious amounts of tupperware and knives, she graciously allowed me to get a ‘cheap’ machine from Target (I know, I know – I look back in shame) and so I came to have a semi-automatic DéLonghi with an inbuilt milk frother tub on top.  It served me very well for a few years while I learnt more about the wonders of coffee, but I knew that as I wondered from kitchen to kitchen, that my little old DéLonghi (a precursor to the current ECO310W) was only holding my coffee appreciation back.  So, when the milk frother packed it in – in the words of the Lion King’s Rafiki the monkey “It is time!” [As an aside, I sold my old espresso machine for $1 on the weekend at our Moving In Sale]

When not in a cafe, here I can be found

I consulted with Choice Magazine, and joined the forum over at Coffeesnobs.com and even consulted my  coffee guru for his sage advice and for the money that I had available (which wasn’t much) they all agreed that I couldn’t go past the Sunbeam Café Series® EM6910.  I did my research, and found the unit I wanted at nearly $100 less that the RRP that also came with a free  Café Series® Conical Burr Coffee Grinder EM0480. That was two years ago this month, and we couldn’t be happier.  What I like about my machine is that with the trademarked “TPTT™ System of twin pumps and twin thermoblocks” which ensures stable water temperature, it allows me to texture of milk and pour an espresso shot simultaneously – my only criticism of the machine is the lengthy amount of time it takes to texture the milk from fridge temperature into the lows 60s.  Read the rest of this entry

Café Marketing in the IT Age

Let me preface this by saying that I do not – in any, way, shape, or form consider myself to be an expert in anything that follows – however as a frequenter of café everywhere, there is very little written below that I do not endorse as the way to go.  I guess the only thing that goes unsaid in what follows is that (a-z) you need to have great staff who love coffee and in no way see a customer as an inconvenience.

I also do not kid myself that there are a plethora of café owners who log in to their email everyday just waiting to see what the latest news is from www.makecoffeenotwar.com is – but in case there is one, or two who are regular readers here, but are not yet regular fivesenses readers – then what follows I think is worth its weight in bandwidth.

Ashley Brian has written a great article on “Using the Internet to Market Your Café” and not only is what she has to say worth a read, but some of it – for those of the younger Gen X brand – will be surprising – for example the idea of creating a website for your café is only the third most important thing your should do – not the first, when it comes to the Internet.  She writes:

Read the rest of this entry

Coffee hike could grind you down

From the Herald Sun:

COFFEE lovers, prepare to cough up more for your favourite cuppa.

Major chains have confirmed they are bumping up prices to compensate for rising costs.  A hot caffeine fix will burn a recommended 20c deeper hole in your pocket at many Hudsons Coffee outlets nationwide from Tuesday.  The Coffee Club plans a 10c price rise for its Victorian outlets next month while Melbourne Nashi sandwich bars increased coffee prices by 20c this week.  McDonald’s confirmed a recent “small price increase” at a rate below inflation, but would not say by how much.

The Herald Sun revealed in May how some small cafes were lifting prices by up to 30c, citing costs for beans on the world market at their steepest in 30 years, higher power bills, and rising wages for quality baristas.  This year’s hikes have pushed the cost of a cappuccino or latte well past $3 at many locations.

But operators deny ripping off consumers.  To read more click HERE

We probably all knew it was coming, however what I found interesting was this comment from ace coffee reported Karen Collier when she said “This year’s hikes have pushed the cost of a cappuccino or latte well past $3 at many locations.”  Can anyone tell me of a coffee place that sells a regular coffee for less than $3.00?  I don’t think I have ever paid less that $3.40 for a regular.

What is the most you have paid for a coffee?

Café Owners/Baristas (I believe there are a couple who occasionally read this stuff) how do you feel about the price hike? Do you feel it to be needed/justifiable? (not being critical – I’ll happily pay $4 for a good coffee).

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