Category Archives: Rio

Aldgate Providore & Café – Aldgate, SA

Shop 4-6, 220 Mt Barker Road, Aldgate, SA, 5154

I’ve always had a soft spot for Aldgate – seemingly the overlooked, and perhaps introverted fraternal twin of the more popular Stirling – yet I find the quaint, cute leafy green Aldgate so much more pleasant a place to spend time.  For one thing, there are less shops and they are all in one location – built around the concept of a village green – this means you can slowly meander from café to gift shop to chicken shop to to pharmacy to café while not actually travelling that far, nor loosing the glorious vista of so many english trees in their prime.

I happened upon the Aldgate Providore & Café almost by mistake.  Having not had the chance to get out and about in the coffee world for almost a month, my taste buds were itching, so I proposed to my wife and family an outing, which would include organic farmers markets, and playgrounds just as long as I got to sit in a cafe for half and hour, drink coffee and read.  Happily they agreed, so off we went to pretty much the only town within an hour of where I live that I hadn’t down a coffee crawl through – Aldgate.  A quick Google/Urbanspoon/Beanhunter/BestAussieCoffee/CremaBestCafes/DecafSucks search indicated that (a) not many people had ever gone to Aldgate in search of just coffee, and (b) those that had, had only gone to one of two places – and this one was the most popular.

It is a gorgeous setting – the photo taken towards the backdoor of the Providore which faces the carpark – fronting the main road is the food side of the business, specialising in much locally grown and processed produce, and in the back in the café, which is licenced with full menu. Plenty of seating both inside, outside and upstairs – this is a great place to stop if you find yourself in the hills and in need of a coffee. You can tell them that I sent you – but that will just be met with a blank stare of incomprehension – because they have no idea of who I am 😉
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Buying Coffee Beans Online…

[aka Whose Beans are your Beans]

I will lay my cards on the table – I am a ‘johnny come lately’ to the speciality coffee industry – only really becoming a coffee snob in the last 5 years – and it took until a call came from the coast, that I began to investigate purchasing coffee beans online.  I had purchased the occasional bag of beans from a café that served a really nice coffee – and I had purchased a few months supply of Rio Coffee whenever I was in the neighbourhood – but it was not until I discovered Coffeecraft on South Road (thanks to the major delays caused by the Tram overpass), sampled their wares instore, had an afternoons barista training on my own machine and then discovered their policy of free postage and next day delivery that I began to purchase beans online.

My first few purchases were great – and I ordered for safety, going with what I knew and liked – and then I purchased a coffee from The Greenroom on High Street – and asked the lady about the lovely coffee and in an almost evangelical fervour, she told me about the Coffeeworks in Queensland who supplied their Black Mountain blend – and then I began to get adventurous – bought that one, and many others from their range.  I have since ordered coffee a number of times from a number of places – with a few hits and misses – and have ordered beans from cafes with a known quality product – i.e. The Coffee Barun (loved the Ethiopian Sidamo Guji – not so much the Latte Blend – but struggled with the customer service).

Recently, one of my parishioners – in celebration of the birth of my second Son – gave him a onesey and me a bag of Mahalia Blend No.1 which has been divine to drink, but I have been reluctant to buy from them due to the high postage costs – and I have also noticed that Rio Coffee have opened their online shop.

In preparation for this quick reflection and post, I did a perfunctory Google Search on “buying coffee beans online” which returned 4.74 Million results in 0.23 seconds, with only one in the top ten I had heard of before.  The Australian results included:

  1. The Coffee Company
  2. Coffee Hit (I have heard of this one – they were rude to me when I asked about Fairtrade Coffee)
  3. Where Is My Coffee? – which is the self proclaimed “Australia’s Premier Coffee Portal.”
  4. Gigante Coffee
  5. The Coffee Bean Roasting House
  6. Coffee Beans Shop
  7. Coffee Lovers
  8. Bay Beans Caffeinated Aromatherapy (love the name)

My next purchase is going a sample pack from my home region – Barossa Coffee Roasters.

So…where and how do you get your beans?

Coffee Prizes Everywhere!!

Free Coffee for a Year from RIO Coffee

from their facebook fan page “ONE WEEK LEFT until we draw the winner of our FREE COFFEE FOR A YEAR promotion! Quick – tell your friends!! The lucky liker will be selected on 3/9/11.” Which I guess just means that if you want to be in the running for a year’s supply of RIO Coffee (not a bad thing at all my friends)  – 500g per month delivered to your door – then get on over to their Facebook page and simply click ‘like’.  For terms and conditions click the Facebook logo below and follow the links.  I’ve done it.  And as per the Genovese Otto Espresso machine competition below – if you win, I’d like at least an invite for a coffee….;) 

Win a Beanhunter Keep Cup!

From the Beanhunter website and twitter feed ” Hmm, still after a KeepCup? Well we have more! To go into the entry to win a KeepCup, simply

1. Write a review or submit a new cafe on (or via our iPhone Application) and,
2. Link up your Beanhunter account with your Facebook account to share your reviews with your friends. Easy!

We will randomly choose 25 very lucky winners. To enter you must complete both of the two tasks above. The more reviews you write the more chance you have to win.  Remember, you can now submit follow-up reviews of cafes you have already rated before. Competition closes on Sunday 28th August 11.55 PM AEST.  Good luck!”

Now I have been on at you for a while now to sign up to the Beanhunter so that we South Australians can prove that we at the very least have more quality (and quantity ) coffee places than the Gold Coast and Canberra – since my first post on this we have surpassed Auckland, New Zealand – and now there is even more motivation to sign up!!  Remember if you are one of those few individuals who have an iPhone – you can download the Beanhunter App to help you find the best coffee near your location!!

Unlike the Free Coffee for a year and the Otto Espresso Machine – should you win this prize, there is really no need to share it with me….unless you really, really want too 😉

No.58 Cellar Door & Gallery – Port Elliot, SA

58 Waterport Road, Port Elliot, SA, 5212

Now I may need to offer a foreword to this review because of two factors:

  1. This place has been recommended to me as ‘the best new place for coffee on the coast’ by so many people, which tends to influence a review; and
  2. Until now, every time I have made the effort to head there for a coffee, they have been closed.

On this rainy Monday, as I turned my thoughts towards my next preaching series after my return from paternity leave (my wife and I are expected our second child to be born any minute now – literally), I grabbed a new book that was delivered with first mail of the day and headed out for a coffee or two as I spent the Monday morning recovering from the Sunday before.  So with “Reclaiming the ImaginationThe Exodus as Paradigmatic Narrative for Preaching“under my arm, I ventured down to Port Elliot for stop one.

No.58 appears from a quick glance as you go roaring past on the Port Elliot by-pass as a new shed in paddock of vines – and in reality it is – however it is a funky shed, with a deck set next to a uniquely misshapen old pine tree, an almost mighty red gum and then surrounded by a field of vines.  No.58 is a Cellar Door and Gallery which opened sometime last summer and doubles as a coffee place for those stuck between Middleton and Victor Harbor.  This fully lined shed, is furnished with an eclectic bunch of furniture, ranging from leather lounges to rustic kitchen tables/chairs to wicker furniture with the walls covered by pieces of local art – and – the pièce de résistance – is the roaring nectare fire place.  When I arrived, the only person in earshot was on his way out – and despite protestations to the contrary, seemed reluctant to actually have a customer (I was the only one who was there for the entire hour) who desired a coffee and a place to work – but anyway….

Latte Quality – Good – it was a very strong coffee, and has a slightly burnt taste to it – perhaps over extracted?

Cost – $3.50 – which is spot on the money for a regular latte these days – although the glass was on the smaller side of the scale.

Coffee Supplier – Rio Coffee

Fairtrade – No indication that what I was drinking was Fairtrade – although Rio do do three distinctive Fairtrade Organic Blends.

Special Notes – this had confused me, because it was popular but seemed to never be open – but now we know.  Open in school holidays – 7 days 10am-5pm – and then Friday-Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday-Monday 10am-4pm

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – absolutely. As mentioned above I was the only person there for over an hour – the chairs were comfortable, the fire was lovely – if the coffee had been better I may still have been there now!  There is plenty of space inside, although I suspect that during school holidays and in the finer weather the place would quickly become crowded.

Jimmies Restaurant – Crafers, SA

6 Main Street, Crafers, SA, 5152

I know that I am now stepping outside my bounds as purely a coffee review (and occasional theological quote and/or musings) blog, but after my most recent eating/drinking experience I just felt the need to review.  How we ended up here, was that we met up with some old friends from college days in Stirling, and after enjoying a latte at Ruby’s Organic Café (review will follow as soon as I can remember who supplies their coffee – if you know, please share) we needed a place to eat – or make the long drive home and eat the first thing that fell out of the fridge.  After refuelling the car at the BP in Crafers, we noticed across the road this warm and inviting place (the sun had gone down and we could see the open fire) which said ‘Wood Fire Pizza’ – so over we went.  I will say hands down –  hand on my heart (doing a Zaphod here) – that we had the best pizza ever – and if you know me and my size, you’d be right in guessing I have eaten my fare share of pizzas – but KC and I shared a medium Seafood Pizza – and it was Awesome!  Better that the one at Cowes, Em – I swear!!  And then, after having such a positive eating experience – coupled with top notch customer service – I felt compelled to grab a latte and a piece of the ‘real’ Turkish delight’ for afters….It was so good we have booked to go back next week after Graetzie’s Engagement Party!!

Latte Quality – Excellent – easily the best coffee I had had all week.

Cost – $3.50 – which is about average.

Coffee SupplierRio Coffee – and despite all the rumours about a decline in quality, I though it was really good!!

Fair Trade – Yes – they also do their best to source all their produce from Adelaide Hills suppliers – where possible Organic – and they do Gluten Free Pizza!!

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful – only if you are doing it over a meal.  They are only open as a restaurant, not as a coffee serving Café – although they are open 9:30-9:30 on Sundays.

Jetty Food Store – Normanville, SA

48 Main Road, Normanville, SA, 5204

I was at our annual denominational (although we kid ourselves by saying almost creed like that we are a movement, not a denomination) convention last week and we heard, on the Saturday about the importance of Church planting – not just sending people from one church into a new location and replicating a model – but sending people into a location to contextualise a meaningful connection with God and developing a worshipping community (aka church) that is incarnational. Dibs on Normanville!

Now on Day 5 of my three weeks annual leave and due to an unfortunate run-in with the  LG ‘not in any way a’ customer service centre after my Blu-Ray player stopped playing Blu-Rays and just become a black box in the lounge room which led me to drop said black box at the Christie’s Beach TV place, who could teach LG a lot about customer service – we ending up in Normanville for lunch (of course while vaguely connected these events could be mutually exclusive, but I am in a rambling kind of mood – so shoot me).  I had only recently read about this place online after booking four days holiday in a not quite on the beach, beach house (they are cheaper that way) down that way – and I can confirm that their website in no way at all misrepresents them.

The Jetty Food Store is a great example of an incarnational cafe, proudly being evangelical about good quality, organic (where possible) food – and serving great coffee to boot!

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent – which was surprising consider the recent news and feedback that has been coming out about their bean supplier…I suspect this is a testament to the barrista!

Cost – $4.40 – for a regular – which is on the expensive side of things.

Coffee Supplier – Rio Coffee – who have finally completed their website.  I had been told that since Rio changed the person in change of their coffee roasting that their quality had dramatically gone down hill – but never having been a fan of their coffee – it tasted pretty good today.

Fair Trade – Yes – proudly displaying the logo and the name on their roadside blackboards, on the window and on the stand selling the bagged coffee direct to the public.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – Absolutely – Lunch time on a Friday was busy, but not loud – we sat road side and it was very pleasant.  It it wasn’t about an hours drive away, I would consider it a location for a days reading and reflection.

Market 190 – McLaren Vale, SA

190 Main Street, McLaren Vale, SA, 5171

McLaren Vale is becoming, more and more a place, the place to go to enjoy great food, pretty good wine (couldn’t praise it too highly – I am, after all, a Barossa boy) and a great coffee culture.  Market 190, located in at the bottom end (Victor Harbor Road) of the Main Street, is a Café come Providore which is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch and browsing.  Having always been partial to the other end of town, I discovered Market 190 via the good old ‘Google’ and am so glad I did.  I met with a colleague and friend for lunch and a coffee, and not did we enjoy a  generously hearty Café style beef burger, but also the ambiance of the place and the coffee (my friend is also a trained Barista – and while he thought his coffee is better, he still drank it all….) – so to the review:

Latte Quality – Good/Excellent – I had two, and while the first one was better than the second (a change in staff, may be the reason) both were very drinkable on a cold, drizzly day.

Cost – $3.30 – for a cup ($4.50 Mug, 50c for an extra shot) – which is about average.

Coffee Supplier – locally roasted, RIO Coffee

Fair Trade –  Yes – stickers on the windows, Fair Trade Coffee on the menu (Ethiopian Organic), and beans for sale on the counter.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Meeting – Quiet Chat – Study and Reflection – I am sure this place gets plenty busy on weekends and in the warmer months, but there is ample seating indoors – with a few nooks and crannies – if privacy is needed, and it seems as though there would also be tables outside on a nice day.  I’ll definitely be back.

You can also follow Market 190 via their Facebook Page.

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