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Taylor blend – Stoneyfell, SA

1/34 Hallett Road, Stoneyfell, SA, 5066

Taylor Blend was one of the very first speciality coffee places recommended to me to review when I started this blog – and after nearly three years and 99 other coffee reviews, I finally made it.  Yes – for those who are good at maths, this is my 100th coffee review – congratulations to me, and congratulations to Taylor Blend for making the 100th review such a [spoiler alert] positive experience.  Nestled in the leafy green, well to do suburb of Stonyfell, Taylor blend is exactly what you’d want and expect from a speciality coffee place.  It is inviting, comfortable, spacious – has a great outlook, friendly staff, skilled staff, coffee conscious staff – and other than it being out of the way – it is up there with my other favourite locations.

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Caffeteca Espresso and Panini Bar – North Adelaide, SA

53 Tynte Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006

I am not sure how happy I am with this place.  It has nothing to do with the coffee – which is great (see below) – it has more to do with their timing.  For four years, I worked in an office literally across the street from them – and back then, Caffetecca was a continental deli – if it has been this great little cafe back then – perhaps my coffee addiction would have started years earlier. Situated on the corner of Margaret Street – about half way down Tynte towards the hills – Caffetecca – is quickly building a good reputation for quality coffee and great panini – although I have only had the coffee.  Perched on a high stool, in the window seat I was able to enjoy my latte and ristretto while taking in views of my old red bricked office – and the people who were out and about enjoying the Adelaide Cup day sunshine. Read the rest of this entry

a mother’s milk – Unley, SA

105 Unley Road, Unley, SA, 5061

I have waited so long for this place to open – I even made an aborted attempt a few weeks back only to discover I had chosen the only day in seven that they are closed (Tuesday) – and today, with my friend and colleague David in tow – the threshold of a mother’s milk was crossed.  Now remembering that this place has only been opened now for about a month….The first thing you notice about this most recent addition to the Adelaide speciality coffee scene, is that it is warm and inviting – and that is not just a comment on how it appeared during the cold, wet and wintery final day of summer on which I first entered – because the aesthetic is trendy, yet comfortable – and then there is the customer service. We were greeted like long lost brothers – “Glad you could make it” was the greeting.  Now, while I have met the owner (Stef) on two occasions at his previous place of employ – the chances are that he wouldn’t know me if he tripped over me – but with such a simple, yet sincere greeting (rather than a person behind the counter looking up from their facebooking, inwardly groaning and then plastering on a fake smile) Dave and I were able to relax, shrug of the stresses of the morning and peruse the substantial menu before deciding just on some coffees (assuming that six constitutes ‘some’).  Like all the speciality coffee places across Adelaide, a mother’s milk had a number of coffee types on offer – and this was the first time – ever – I was asked which bean I’d like to try – and you’ll find out which if you read on.  Read the rest of this entry

Coffee Branch – Adelaide, SA

32 Leigh Street, Adelaide CBD, SA, 5000

 Not sure how long the Coffee Branch has been open for – but for quite awhile it has been the place of legend.  Even amongst the quality baristas that are popping up all around the city, they speak of the coffee experience at ‘the branch’ in hushed, awestruck tones…and finally – much like Bilbo on his way to Smaug’s Mountain – I made it to Coffee Branch.

Nestled in a ‘hole in the wall’ on the very trendy Leigh Street (complete with tree growing out of a Volkwagon Beetle – I kid you not) – this is one of Adelaide’s premium speciality coffee houses – it even has bicycles hanging on the wall – that is how premium it is!!  What you can’t see from the photo – just off to the left – is a ‘gate’ style architectural feature which will remind worldly travellers of a poor man’s ‘Nottinghill Gate’ – or similar, that you will find dotted all over London.

I arrived at 10:45am on a working Wednesday – and the line was still out the door.  I had been warned not to arrive in the peak hours of before work, lunch time, smoko, and after work – because the line is ridiculous – but I was surprised, and yet at the same time not – that the line was still out there. Once getting in the line, it took of all three minutes to get to the front and place my order – and I ventured out back into the tree lined street to commandeer one of the tables (there are only 2 of them) – there is some bench seating inside and a few tables at the back – but I suspect that most of their business is take away.

I thought to myself, based on previous experiences in 2012 – that this could take awhile – so I, checked into Foursquare, opened my book and before I got to the bottom of the first paragraph (about 3 minutes) my latte was being delivered – and soon after that, my ristretto… Read the rest of this entry

Red Berry Espresso – Glenside, SA

1A L’Estrange Street, Glenside,  SA, 5065

‘Twas the night before a few days before Christmas…and I was checking my Twitter account when I discovered I had a new follower (with only 40 or so – I notice every new one) from a mysterious (meaning I had never heard of them before) company called ‘Red Berry Espresso’ – and so – as we polite tweeters are known to do – I tweeted back ‘Thanks for the follow – and where are you?’  The following morning a reply came, with an address – and I added Red Berry Espresso to my ‘MUST VISIT’ List.

As luck would have it – my wife needed to go to Adelaide to conclude the Christmas Seafood Shopping that very day – and due to the heat and potential stress of the situation asked me to drive her and the two boys – after a quick consideration, I agreed on the proviso that I get to check out one coffee shop on the way home – they reluctantly agreed.

After purchasing big from Angelakis Brothers – I headed the few streets down Greenhill Road from BV Darling – to check out – Red Berry Espresso.

Red Berry Espresso is one back from Greenhill Road and is almost like a self contained hole in the wall – in the middle of a carpark – but it does, beyond the shaded outdoor seating, have a front door, and some comfortable chairs/tables inside.  Once inside I met Walter – owner, barista, cyclist and coffee afficianardo – who had only opened the place seven days previously.  I also met and admired his gorgeous assistant – a brand spanking new SanRemo Verona TS in Pearl White, which looked like it was convertible sports car lost in time from the 1950s, just waiting for Arthur Fonzerelli to snap his fingers and say “hehhhhhhhhh.” Walter roasts all his own beans, under the Red Berry Espresso label – and has plans afoot to include a roaster on the floor of his shop, so that customers can see the hypnotic action that brings them forth the espresso goodness.  And now, to the coffee review…

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A’ vila Coffee – Adelaide, SA

22 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, SA, 5000

This is one of those fortunate occurrences, that some would call luck, some would call an answer to prayer – while others, to quote Sheldon “who are unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would think this to be a coincidence.”  But on my most recent trip to the city for a day of coffee and reading (also in preparation for my next 21st birthday) I  decided that I wanted to check out The Espresso Room, Coffee Branch and if time allowed – another place.  Well as time and weather would have it, I made it to The Espresso Room, had to rush past Coffee Branch on my way to NOT BE LATE for lunch with my mother, and then after a quick search on The Beanhunter discovered this gem across the square from my Mother’s office.  On a side note, I had tweeted Campos Coffee a few weeks back trying to find out if anyone in Adelaide served their beans…and now I discover this place, who since their grand opening in early October, have become the ONLY place in Adelaide for Campos.

Nestled in a nice part of the city, you’ll find A’Vila coffee – named such, because the of the Spanish inspired colour scheme that was already in place when the current owner decided to turn it into a coffee place (the staff tell me it  has been toned down a bit…).  In what I like to call the ‘old Academy Cinema City’ part of Hindmarsh Square, A’Vila is pretty much adjacent to the new Crown Plaza hotel, with a nice view of the recently re-grassed landscaping of the square.  If you squint, you can also see the guy (there was only one the day I was there) who is the Occupy Adelaide protest….

With the possibility of outdoor seating, this place was a quiet spot for a coffee and a chance to recoup before the drive home. So, to the coffee review… Read the rest of this entry

Espresso Royale – Magill, SA

357 Magill Road, St Morris, ‎ SA,  5068

I have been wanting to visit Espresso Royale (don’t you just love the way they spell Espresso…??) since my very first ristretto at The Pantry – I know! – Not what you thought I’d write – but [wait for it] Espresso Royale is the home of speciality coffee roaster Trevor De Groot – whose company, along with Bernadette Stack, supplies the beans to The Pantry on Egmont – hence the connection.  On Tuesday, with my hospital visit over and my horrible experience of another coffee still littering my pallette – I thought “before my wife calls to come collect her – I’ll just duck out to St Morris for a quality coffee” 10 mins later – I was kind of there.

The first problem I had was finding the place – as there is literally nothing from the road that says “Espresso Royale” – there is the greenish blue a-frame sign which you see in the picture, but it gives little away.  The second problem which I had to solve before the first was parking our ‘recently returned from the crash repairers’ car – NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAR ON MAGILL ROAD – unless you are pro amateur car remodelling at 50km/hr. Car parked in a side street, and using my iPhone’s GPS – I eventually discovered that the place with the red verandah and greenish-blue sign was in fact the legendary place itself.

The inside is tiny, yet comfortable – succeeding to be funky and eclectic, yet still 1960s kitchenish (I wonder how many words I have invented in the life of this blog?) – in a way that the original Bar 9 completely missed.  You can purchase recently roasted De Groot coffee on the shelf – if you like what you tasted – and have brought cash – no plastic here my friend – except for the table tops – see below!

Now to the coffee itself….

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