31 North Terrace, Port Elliot, SA, 5212
The Port Elliot Bakery is one of those South Australian iconic locations when it comes to baked goods – for me, it is like the Marysville Bakery – it is just that good. Being that good is probably why the customer service is just so BAD – because of their excellent chocolate donuts, whenever we have visitors staying with us, the Pt Elliot Bakery (like Ballast Stone Winery, and the Alexandrina Cheese Factory) is one those places you just have to stop – and so after dozens of visits, we are yet to strike a person who is pleased to be working there or pleased to see a customer….but this is not a customer service blog, now is it (now that is an idea that will fester…)?
Latte Quality – Excellent – which surprised everyone, because the girl making it hardly even looked at the machine – seemingly focussed upon the clock which was ticking down to knock off time (or so we mused).
Cost – $3.80 for a regular take away, which was on the small side of things
Coffee Supplier – Griffiths Coffee
Fair Trade – No indication in store – in actual fact we had to ask the girl what the coffee was – and at a great inconvenience to her, she says over her shoulder as she dismisses us “Griffiths”
Customer Service – – would have been less painful and awkward to make it myself
Venue Suitable for:
- Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – No – one of these – just way to busy (the baked goods as that great – it is not unusual to see a line up of people out the door and the down the street, despite there being about 15 staff working inside – they are efficient, just not friendly).
29 Mt Barker Road, Stirling, SA, 5152
I have actually frequented Rubys on a number of occasions – when I first moved back to SA, I came here with friends – when I was having problems in a previous ministry, I came here with a mentor for sage advice – when a colleague of mine from Victoria was interviewing with a local Baptist church, this was the place that we came too for a coffee – so I have known about rubys for quite some time, and now finally have done a review.
According to the business card which you can grab as you walk past, ‘rubys organic cafe is a licensed and certified organic café specialising in gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and organic food’ and it also does coffee. The café itself is pretty small – with about 6 tables inside, and the same number on the footpath – so you need to choose your time of day carefully. After you have placed your order and sat down, you need to listen carefully – over the noise of the cars, buses, coffee grinder and espresso machine – as your name is brutalised, which indicates that your coffee is ready and you can come collect it from the window – kind of Cibos on Gouger Street. If you choose to sit outside – the plastic café blinds make the experience kind of like having a coffee in a hothouse – but other than that….
Latte Quality – Excellent – easily the best coffee of my day spent reading and reflection upon the theological concept of the Wilderness and Exodus.
Cost – $3.80 – which is higher than average – and the glass was smaller that my previous coffees – but it easily tasted the best.
Coffee Supplier – Brasilia Coffee
Fair Trade – Again, Yes and No. No mention of their coffee being Fair Trade – but their sugar was.
Special Notes – I also ordered a mini cheesecake (pictured) after a nasty sauce pie experience courtesy of the Lobethal Bakery franchise around the corner – and while it looked yummy, it was actually so dry it was hard to swallow. I needed the coffee to lubricate my throat in order to eat it – not sure if it was gluten, dairy or organic free – but it was certainly moisture free.
Venue Suitable for:
- Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – It would really depend on your timing and your ability to do all this amidst distraction. This was easily the busiest place in Stirling and for the middle of the afternoon, it was not unusual to have a line of 5 people waiting for take away coffee – let alone the numbers waiting for food inside.
Cover Price: $6.95 inc GST
Editor: Libby Brooke
PO Box 402 Unley BC, Unley, SA, 5061
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!!
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 Supplier – Rio 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.
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.
16 York Road, Mount Evelyn, VIC, 3146
A coffee stop on our whirlwind tour of three distinct expressions of church. Let’s be honest – as the sign would indicate, this is a bakery that serves coffee – not a coffee shop – so that is an excuse. The Vanilla slice was great for the first three bites, and then became sickly sweet and the staff were…less than pleased that they had customers. But other than that….
Latte Quality – Passable.
Cost – $3.00 which is good value for money
Fair Trade – see above.
Venue Suitable for:
- Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – probably not – not sure if any of the staff from Careforce frequent this place – they may have a different perspective.