Category Archives: Zentveld’s

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!

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.

Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA

1A Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

Having ventured down to Victor on a Monday during school holidays to collect my suit from the dry cleaners – it was never my intention to venture into the busiest part of town, and negotiate my way past families on vacation, to purchase a coffee.  I thought I’d grab one from ‘No. 58’ at Port Elliot as I have been waiting to try this place, after a glowing recommendation from one of my congregation, but generally finding it closed.  However, as I paid for my freshly cleaned suit and shirt, a conversation I had with another friend within our church community came to mind, when I was asked whether I had tried the new café which is down near the cinema…without wanting to leave you in suspense, my answer to the aforementioned question was ‘No’ hence the conversation popping into my mind and hence me writing about it here….are you still with me?  Anyway, I parked the car and walked to this new place – which on first impressions, did nothing for me – and they served ‘Aroma Fresh’ coffee – and it appeared to be an annex to the hardware store….so, I turned around and went back the way I came, because this little yellow place on the corner, with the magical word ‘café’ had caught my eye.

The Two Bees Café – named in honour of dual ‘B’s which commence the surnames of the owners of ‘2Bs’ – has only been in operation now for about three months – which is gusty, consider this is not the busy period for Victor, and three local food/coffee stalwarts have recently bitten the dust – but as I was told upon enquiry from the very friendly staff (I assume to be one of the owners actually) business has been good – and judging by the number of people in there, I would say she is right.  The Two Bees is on the corner of Ocean Street (the one way shopping strip) and Albert Place and for those who know the area – adjacent to Subway (sharing a wall) and across the road from Ninos. Decorated in the fairly obvious ‘honey-bee yellow’ the Two Bees Café is funky, without being pretentious, and is comfortable without being tired – the staff (or at least the one that I met) are friendly and highly competent baristas – and sweet sticky display case contains gluten free goods.

Latte Quality – Excellent! – I suspect that this will get a Lattastic upgrade upon a second try – but it was really great – and as a bonus, if you are a local they give you a loyalty card with every sixth coffee being a ‘free bee’

Cost – $3.50 – which is above average for a regular size – but between you and me, I think it is worth it!!  $4.00 for a large take-away, which is not too bad – although the large is not really that large.

Coffee Supplier – Zentveld’s – which was another new one – but comes out of Byron Bay in NSW, which promotes itself as being 100% Australian grown and real fair trade.  Zentveld’s website is also very informative including some great tips for making great espresso, which some cafes could do with reading [click on ‘Bad‘ or ‘Passable‘ in the Tags option to the left]

Fair Trade – Not really. They indicate that their coffee is ‘real fair trade’ – but that just means that their coffee is Australian grown and roasted, so in essence it is – but not in the way the Fair Trade association means it.

Special Notes – You get a free chocolate coated coffee bean with every coffee purchase – Yum!!

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Not really any of these – it was the middle of the afternoon when I was there, and there were six other people in the café – and with the tiled floor and brick walls, I could pretty much hear every word said.  But if you want to grab a coffee and watch traffic, or grab one and walk through the adjacent reserve – then make this place your first stop!!
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