Category Archives: Rainforest Alliance

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

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The Essence – Stirling, SA

Shop 7, 49 Mt Barker Road, Stirling, SA, 5152

Unless you are a regular or occasional parker of cars in the carpark behind the Stirling shops, then the chances are you have never seen The Essence.  Nestled quietly behind a dry cleaners, with unrivalled views of the car park, The Essence is a café and gourmet deli, all in one.

Nicely decorated, with plenty of inside seating – The Essence also has a series of tables that line a fairly narrow verandah on two sides, and a few tables under a glory vine lined pergola – which would be very nice in the warmer months.  However, be warned  – if you sit on the verandah – be prepared to have to constantly move your legs so as not to trip up the general public, and possibly be accosted by the carbon monoxide of delivery vehicles.

According to the ‘Yourrestaurant Guide’ – Hidden in the main shopping centre is a deli and a cafe in one, so you can buy a tasty lunch and special ingredients for dinner at the same time. While the deli favours Italian food, there are also some Asian items that any home gourmand cannot do without.  

Latte Quality – Good – a touch hot as my tongue still attests – but generally ok.

Cost – $3.50 – which is the average price, but the glass was on the small side of things.

Coffee Supplier – Griffiths Coffee

Fair Trade – Yes and No.  Their information board indicated that they served ‘Fairtrade Organic Coffee’ – but upon investigation via the Griffiths Coffee website, it appears as though Griffiths do not do a Fair Trade or an Organic Blend – they do however have a Rainforest Alliance from Panama. So….

Special Notes – Kid friendly venue – as long as you stay inside – where they provide story books and crayons.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Absolutely – as long as you take into consideration the thing I said about the legs and the CO above – or you could go inside…..

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.

COFFEE CRAFT – Glandore, SA

678 South Road, Glandore SA, 5037
If you are in any way at all enamored by God’s gift to her creation that is ‘coffee’ – then a visit to Coffee Craft is a pilgrimage you have to make.  Discovered by my wife, as we sat in a traffic jam caused by the tram line overpass (God bless it’s little cotton socks) this place proved to be a revelation. Thought to be nothing more than a distributor of coffee (with the Fair Trade logo prominently displayed in the window) it turnout out to be so much more. They purchase and roast their own beans under their own label, they sell pretty much all things coffee related – from high end machines for both personal and professional use, to single cup plungers, books about coffee, books about books about coffee – and the pièce de résistance is that it is also a fully functioning café.  While it is not going to score high on the “venue suitability for” scale – if you like – scratch that – if you LOVE coffee, than get along to this place and check it out!!

Latte Quality – Lattastic!  – the first cup was free, so hard to tell if I loved it because it was free – so I purchased a second cup and it was just as good!!  Even being paid out for having sugar in it, did not change the taste experience for me!! 😉

Cost – $3.00 for a regular cup.

Coffee SupplierLa Crema – which is their own brand, which is roasted in house – and have won medals for it!!

Fair Trade – Yes – they are proud suppliers of Fair Trade Coffee – and won a silver medal for their Fair Trade Blend.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – If the chat was about Coffee – then certainly, but otherwise…No.
  • Deep and Meaningful – No – the place is a fully functioning retail shop, and repair place for coffee machines.
  • Study and Reflection – No.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee – Glenelg, SA

63 Jetty Road, Glenelg, SA, 5045

Yes – I know – another Gloria Jean’s – but I tell you, the quality of the coffee in these franchise places is largely dependent on the skills of the barista. Anyway, I was in the area for a retreat day, and not knowing what else was around, I stuck with what I knew (or so I thought).

Latte Quality – Passable – very little foam to speak of, which meant no ‘hang time’ on the sugar.  The coffee was exceeding hot though, which overall made for a less than satisfactory experience.

Cost – average to high –  $3.75

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jean’s have their own brand.

Fair Trade – No although some variants have the ‘Rainforest Alliance’ tag on them.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – not really – a very busy store on a major thoroughfare.
  • Deep and Meaningful – not really – I was there at lunch time, so it may be better during the quieter times – if such a store has them.
  • Study and Reflection – Probably – if you are able to get a table, and tune out the noise probably not a bad place.  I do not think it has internet access – there was a guy there with his laptop, and he was using his mobile phone as a modem, so that would indicate a No.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee – Mount Barker, SA

Shop T1, Barker Plaza, Morphett Street, Mount Barker SA, 5251

Now I know that already, many of you coffee purist are thinking, “This guy obviously has no idea about coffee if the first thing he reviews is GJs” – but please hear me out.  My introduction to coffee; to real coffee; coffee that is other than NesCafé Blend 43 came through the Gloria Jean’s at Kingsways in Glen Waverley, Victoria.  If it wasn’t for the care and dedication of my ministry colleagues, and the skill of the resident Barista ‘Calvin’ (both is the making and in the presentation) – I would not be the coffee connoisseur that types away sipping on his Café Latte before you.  And also, they are my current local coffee shop and have been very supportive of a few ministry innovations we have been experimenting with.

To be honest, in the 6 months that this store has been open, and having been there at least three times each week, I have NEVER had a bad coffee.  In lots of GJ’s stores around the country, the quality of the coffee ranges with the skills of the barista – but at this store, all the baristas are of equal skill.  The staff are friendly – to the point of remembering the names of regular clients and their favourite beverages, the store is clean, parking is good – there is music, but you can still bury your head in a book for an hour and study.  So to my review: (see method above for review information)

Latte Quality – Excellent – about 10 seconds for the sugar to seep through the foam

Cost – average to high – a regular Café Latte will set you back $3.75

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jean’s have their own brand.

Fair Trade – No although some variants have the ‘Rainforest Alliance’ tag on them.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – not really – tables are a bit close together
  • Deep and Meaningful – Yes – a few couches, music is at good volumes
  • Study and Reflection – Yes – although there is NO internet access, but I use it regularly for sermon pre-reading.
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