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Two Brothers – Mitcham, VIC

558 Mitcham Road, Mitcham, VIC, 3132

It has certainly been a long, long, long x 10time since my  last review – and basically, I have no other excuse other than to say that life has been busy. Life is busier in Melbourne, than it ever was in “heaps good SA.” But putting that aside, I had a day off, some reading to do and so I went in search of a good coffee.

As I have lamented to friends around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I have been missing Adelaide coffee – having been unable to find a good consistent coffee since crossing the border – at least in my neck of the woods.  So when the caffination urge hit me (not to mention the quantity of Masters reading I had to do) – I had to search for a coffee in my area (within 5kms) that came recommended.  I searched Facebook and Beanhunter and came up with the Two Brothers in Mitcham.

Only opening in July this year, the Two Brothers would fit very nicely into the excellent coffee culture of the Adelaide Eastern Suburbs – perhaps even in its South Australian suburban namesake. Decked out in traditional café garb (read: polished concrete floors – polished timber fittings and fixtures – exposed brickwork – a bright expresso machine – in this case a gorgeous blue WEGA – and an opening front window) the Two Brothers also comes equipped with a rear courtyard, a family friendly attitude and a substantial breakfast/lunch menu.  It may also be a mecca for the local Christian community – as the people two tables down from me were having a very vocal evangelical conversation. and were known by one of the two brothers behind the machine.   Read the rest of this entry

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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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UR Caffe’ – North Adelaide, SA

119 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006

UR Caffe’ is not just another ‘brick in the wall’ of the burgeoning speciality coffee strip that is Melbourne Street.  Bobby over at Adelaide Coffee said that the barista in residence here knew their place “and that’s behind a coffee machine” – which is high praise.  Located just two doors down from First Pour, and next door to 9Bar – this UR Caffe’ is a must stop on any coffee crawl.

Sporting a very funky, unique – yet comfortable interior – including some nice abstract art on the exposed brick walls – Ur Caffe’ is a nice place, on a nice street to stop and watch the world go by.

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First Pour – North Adelaide, SA

111 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006

This is another one of those reviews that comes at the end of a long period of anticipation.  Having been a subscriber to BeanScene Magazine for a while now, I read with interest the development and opening of First Pour in Melbourne and then Brisbane – and hoped upon hoped – that one would come to Adelaide.  Low and behold, the announcement was made – a location was sought – and an opening date semi announced of the first week in November.  Then it was December – and then because of those damnable ‘unforeseen  circumstances’ that always crop up when developing an older building it opened to raucous acclaim in the third week of March, adding another feather into the coffee cap(ucino) of  North Adelaide’s burgeoning speciality coffee scene.

The redevelopment of their building has been done well – with a clean, crisp interior that incorporates a subtle nod to the building’s past.  A central island, featuring all the coffee wizardry is the store focal point and beneath our feet (or bottoms if you found a seat), is a subterranean cupping room – or so the legend goes.  Greeted upon arrival by polite, friendly staff – the various blends and processes were explained – then you can select, purchase and enjoy.

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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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