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coffee by the beans – Lockleys, SA

Shop 3, 394 Henley Beach Road, Lockleys, SA 5032

I never thought I’d say (or write) this, and I will probably never say it again, but “I want to move to Lockleys!”

I’m going out on a limb here folks – and I am asking you to join me here – because I am declaring that my ristretto, latte and chat with Daniel and Richard at coffee by the beans yesterday provided me the best coffee experience I have had – anywhere – period.  And while coffee by the beans is in a strange place – just off Henley Beach Road, facing Rowells Road so you can’t actually see it if you are coming down Henley Beach Road from the city – it is so worthy of the search and discovery.

Situated in a fairly tired looking group of shops, coffee by the beans is a funky yet classy, aesthetically pleasing yet conformable espresso bar (not café – as for these guys, it is coffee first – so there is no food menu to speak of, other than a few HUGE muffins and cookies in jars on the counter) whose singular desire is that YOU the customer will have a great coffee experience and come back – even my nearly three year old son who was with me, enjoyed the experience – and kept reminding me half the way home that ‘the man from the shop brought Daddies coffee and put it in the car’ – those who have toddlers know that getting everyone and everything back to the car in one trip can be an adventure in itself.

They also service Saeco and Delonghi coffee machines – but not my Sunbeam Café Series – I asked.

Latte Quality – Lattastic!! – I know I said I would never make this declaration without a few visits – but in fairness to me (a) this is my blog, so it is my opinion we are going with; (b) I live in Goolwa, they are in Lockleys – how often am I going to get the chance; (c) I did have a Ristretto and a latte and (d) this is my blog.  Daniel prepared for me a single origin costa rican – which was truly a wonderful coffee

Cost – $3.50 for a regular drink in, which is average – $3.00 for a Ristretto. $4.00 for a take away latte.

Coffee Supplier – coffee by the beans – sourced and roasted off site – you can also purchase their beans for your own home usage.

Fair Trade – No indication in store – No indication on their website.

Customer Service –   –  freaking awesome – I’m going to nominate them all for Australian of the Year – I would keep coming back, even if they switched to International Rust and an ern (not really, but you get the drift) – if it weren’t for their calling into the coffee industry, they should be teacher customer service…

As an aside to this, often when I am out and about drinking coffee and let slip that I also review coffee (after I have paid and received my beverage – always – no cash for comments scandal here, let me tell you) I get asked where else I have been and I say a few places and generally the person asking will say something negative towards the other place and their coffee or service or both – not here – I mentioned in particular my other out of the way coffee place – The Coffee Barun – and the guys had nothing but good things to say about them and their coffee – that is class.  That alone encourages me to encourage you to check out coffee by the beans.  I also said that I was a Christian Minister and they didn’t freak out – always a positive sign 😉

Special Notes – While not providing anything for them, the place – by its design and its staff – is kid friendly.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – Absolutely – I was there at around 2pm and for the most part, my little dude and I were the only two there – Daniel and Richard indicated that their busiest times of the day are the ‘on the way to work caffeine fix’ and ‘the after school crowd’ – so if you can avoid those times it is the perfect place – also if you need some quiet prayer space, there is quite an impressive Anglican Church across the road. There is plenty of seating inside, in a variety of forms and two tables outside should you enjoy the sun….
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Beanscene and CaféSmart – everyone wins!

Beanscene and CaféSmart – everyone wins!

By now you will have all heard about the CaféSmart initiative and about Friday August 5th being the day to buy a coffee from a Café with a conscience?  Yes – if not, check the archives for the articles in November – or click HERE.

In support of CaféSmart, my favourite coffee magazine – Beanscene – are offering a great subscription deal. BeanScene magazine will also be donating the funds from the first 100 subscriptions sold on the day. If you know someone who doesn’t yet subscribe to BeanScene, encourage them to sign up that day at www.beanscenemag.com.au

I’m going to subscribe on Friday, anyone with me?

Crema – The Café Lifestyle Magazine

Cover Price: $6.95 inc GST

Editor: Libby Brooke
Crema[TM] Magazine
PO Box 402 Unley BC, Unley, SA, 5061
http://www.cremamagazine.com.au/

This review is based upon the Autumn 2011 Issue of this seasonal coffee magazine. Crema is a light easy to read magazine, with 47 pages from inside cover to inside cover, with this month featuring a rich looking rosetta on the cover, while plugging ‘Brisbane’s best cafes.’ Other special features from this edition include:

  • Latte art – a five page article (three pages of photographs) featuring the work and passion of Habib Maarbani, a former NSW Barista Champion and now NSW Sales Manager for Mocopan Coffee.  Some great shots of a ghost, a sea dragon, a land dragon, and an Angel fish.  What this article lacked is some step by step instructions on how to attempt these creative pours, although it does point you towards ‘Crema TV’ on their website (not reviewed).
  • Ken gargett on wine – an article about the wine and food of New Zealand’s Marlborough region
  • Car Review of the Mini Countryman ALL4

Regular features of the magazine include:

  • Book reviews – this edition looks at three cook  books which do not seem to be connected to coffee in anyway;
  • Crema Kitchen – with a recipe for Ricotta Pancakes and a sidebar article on matching coffee and food from Adelaide’s own Ian Callahan from Bar 9;
  • Roast & Ground – which is a roundup of coffee related news from around Australia, and a chance to throw in more advertising [there is plenty in this small magazine];
  • Coffee profile – which I found to be the most interesting article in the entire magazine, in that it profiles a coffee growing region of the world – in this case Chiapas, Mexico – and gives you a sense of what to expect from beans grown here – for example – they would have the fragrance and aroma of hazelnuts, honey and vanilla, yet have the flavour characteristics of stone fruits, with an aftertaste that is sweet and short;
  • Industry Comment – highlights something from within the coffee industry – this edition they highlighted the Coffee Common, which was part of TED [Technology, Entertainment, Design] 2011.  From what I have read here and elsewhere, this would have been coffee heaven!!

Overall, my impression of Crema is that it is a good try – but is not what I am looking for in a coffee magazine.  For example, I would suggest that approximately 50% of the magazine was directly about coffee, while the remainder is wine, travel, food – and if I had wanted to read about them, I would have purchased a magazine in that field.  I was also disappointed by the distinct lack of anything South Australian in the magazine (with the exception of the publication location and the sidebar from Bar9) which also extends to the website. I wonder if this is a conscious thing to gain acceptance in the eastern states who still firmly believes that there is nothing past Ballarat but desert. If you want an easy to read, light coffee table (or smallhouse) magazine – then Crema is fine – and despite what it says above – it is made in South Australia, so go local!!

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