Blog Archives

Most Popular Cafes of 2012

The guys over at Beanhunter have put together their “25 Most Popular Cafes in Australia” list, which features some very well known and respected coffee institutions.  I was disappointed to see that no Adelaidian Coffee Spot made the top ten (see below) when my experiences so far in Melbourne indicate that Adelaide Coffee (Barun, Bar 9, Mother’s Milk, Paddy’s Lantern, Pure Expresso, Red Berry etc)  is better and more consistent…How many of the top 25 have you visited?

The Top 10

  1. Dandelion & Driftwood (Brisbane)
  2. Proud Mary (Melbourne)
  3. Coffee Alchemy (Sydney)
  4. Canteen Coffee (Gold Coast)
  5. No Name Lane (Gold Coast)
  6. Cartel (Breakwater) (Geelong)
  7. The Good Bean Espresso Bar (Sunshine Coast)
  8. The Baron Coffee Shop and Small Bar (Sydney)
  9. Axil Coffee Roasters (Melbourne)
  10. The Birds & The Beans Espresso Bar (Sunshine Coast)

Click HERE for the full article

Urban Social Cafe – North Balwyn, VIC

6/321 Balwyn Road, North Balwyn, VIC, 3104

John “Hannibal” Smith was noted as often saying in the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together,” however it is often just as good when the plan goes totally and utterly pear shaped!” as I discovered in relation to Urban Social.  I had attended the Manningham Prayer Breakfast at the Manningham Club in Bulleen and being a complete nube when it comes to Melbourne – when leaving I did the Adelaidean thing and avoided the line up of traffic, that was obviously not going where I wanted to go and went around them, only to discover that they were lining up to get on the Eastern Freeway, which is where I needed to be.  Next thing I knew I was over the Eastern and into a leaving green hilly suburb that was completely unfamiliar. So I turned down the nearest street, grabbed my phone to find my bearings.  Once satisfied that I hadn’t fallen through the looking glass and could quite easily make it back to the office by another route, I grabbed Beanhunter to find the best coffee along my way – and that is how I found Urban Social in the back streets of leafy North Balwyn, but 10 minutes from my desk.

This is a very trendy place to hang out – perhaps skewed toward the upwardly mobile soccer Mums – with good parking and plenty of space between tables for pushers – its comfortable, clean, stylish – and I am sure, a mecca for the two wheeled lycra set on the weekends.  I liked this place!

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Coffee Hit – Doncaster, VIC

G217, Westfield Doncaster, 619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster 3108

As my first review in my new home town, I thought it best to start close to my new ‘patch’ and work outwards as time and opportunity allow. So that then raised the question about where do I go first?  So I did what any reasonable coffee snob would do and consulted the oracle that is “The Beanhunter” and searched for coffee near Doncaster.  After crunching the numbers, twiddling the dials and channelling the algorithms, it told me that Coffee Hit was the best place nearest me (location and highest average score of 7.4 in the area). So, on my first day on-site (two days before I actually started) I arrived an hour early and wandered down (about 2 minutes walk) to Shopping Town to secure a coffee hit.

Coffee Hit is located on the ground floor of the Westfield in a Kiosk type arrangement in the centre of a produce themed area (Fruit, Vegetables, Butcher, Fish Monger etc). When I arrived the place was comfortably busy for early on a Monday morning – with a few ‘coffee’ meetings taking place in the vicinity.  Coffee Hit also roast their own beans, having a ‘little red’ roaster (see left – the red thing) on hand, and sell beans to the public (and online).

So to the all important first coffee review in Melbourne….

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Make Coffee (Not War) in the City

Hold onto your Latte

Just in case you have not caught up on the news, Make Coffee Not War has moved!  Not the blog itself, but the man behind the keyboard (sorry about the fourth wall).  Yes, from July 12th or there abouts, the mind* behind Make Coffee Not War found itself living in Melbourne – so, as soon the bearings are found – and a sense of direction achieved, there will be coffee reviews from the city that is arguable the centre of the speciality coffee industry in Australia.  If you have any suggestions about where I should be going for a coffee – and in what order, please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Look out Melbourne – Make Coffee Not War – has landed.

* not just the mind, as after a quick check in the mirror it became apparent that the mind behind Make Coffee Not War was not some disembodied soul drifting through the ether (yet with the ability to blog), but also came complete with a body – but because he once went to a Dentist, we can’t show you his face….

Coffee Scene – Kinetic Typography

I have heard this conversation standing in line before – in those days when I thought franchise coffee was the way to go.  This is Kinetic Typography of the “coffee scene” in the movie Role Models (starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott) by SteveReevesArtist – pinched from coffee funk.

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 😉

The End of COFFEE is near?

According to a recent article by Zak Stone (Editor of ‘The Daily Good’) the days of good quality, relatively inexpensive coffee are all but over.  Due to the fastidious growing requirements of the coffee plant (altitude, combination of wet & dry spells, diseases & pests) and the effects of global warming in the coffee growing regions (which also happen to be developing countries) – weather anomalies – coffee supply is down, yet coffee demand (particularly in the burgeoning new market of China) is up.  Zak is predicting that we are rapidly approaching ‘peak coffee’.  To read more, click here.

News Media in Australia summarises the article here.

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