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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

Drink Coffee, Live Long(er) and prosper….

There is an article in Melbourne’s “The Age” Newspaper, sharing the wonderfully exciting news that scientists (probably the same ones that can’t seem to agree on the issue of Climate Change) have suggested that if you drink coffee you will live longer, although the article then goes onto say that “The study doesn’t prove coffee makes people live longer, only that the two seem related.”  So I think what they are saying is that you will live longer if you drink coffee, but drinking coffee will not necessarily make you live longer….confused?  Me too – perhaps I need another coffee.

The article goes further by saying that “Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk [we assume the risk of death in general, not the death star, climate change or being hit by a bus – although that is not clear] a little: 6 per cent in men and 5 per cent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day – a 16 per cent lower risk of death.” Which then raises the question – if you drank nothing but coffee, 24/7 – would live forever?  Read the article here.

Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2012

Does anyone fancy a road trip? to the

Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2012

“In a major development for the Australian coffee industry, the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association has announced the Melbourne International Coffee Show, taking place at the city’s Showgrounds from 4 – 6 May next year.  The event will host over 100 international exhibitors, ranging from green bean traders, roasters, espresso equipment manufacturers to coffee franchises. Taking place on 8000 square metres of space in the Showgrounds’ Grand Pavilion, the show will be the largest coffee exhibition ever staged in Australia.”

To find out more click HERE


cafe NOVA – Fitzroy, VIC

307 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065

This was a great place to end our final day in Melbourne – after we had enjoyed the great food and hospitality at Joe’s Garage, we wandered and experienced the sights and sounds – and a great second hand book store – of Brunswick Street, before settling on cafe NOVA for coffee.  Being that the night was balmy, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the ambiance of bumper to bumper traffic, the noxious smells from cars in serious need of TLC [not the Truth and Liberation Concern], the traffic halting congestion that can only be caused by a tram on a narrow street, all the while be bathed in the warmth of brake light theatre – ahh, Melbourne – although all that fun could explain while staff seemed to want to be anywhere but at work…  Seriously, it looks like Brunswick Street could have any number of great cafés on it, and I am sure that they could all do with a trip to two to Adelaide to learn now to properly make the stuff 😉

Latte Quality – Excellent – the best of my time in Melbourne, with a subtle nutty flavour.

Cost – $3.50 – for a ‘regular’ sized latte – although I would describe it being smallish…

Coffee SupplierDimattina Coffee – from Melbourne’s northern suburbs

Fair Trade – No mention at NOVA – not any obvious mention on Dimattina’s website

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study and Reflection – possibly a venue for all of these purposes if you picked you time appropriately and were disciplined enough not keep  looking around at all the sites and sounds.

While we were there, we were sound witnesses [as in we heard the sound of her hitting the ground and surmised the rest] of a nasty accident between a female cyclist and the bitumen coating of Brunswick street.  Fully decked out in her cycling gear – down to the lock in shoes on the pedals, this cyclist decided she would move across the street running parallel with the tram tracks – rather than hitting them at 90 degrees – her front tyre got wedged in the tracks and over she went – head first into the street – luckily for her, there was no car close by to add to her woe, and as luck would have it there was am EMT Paramedic sitting in his car directly opposite where she hit the ground – he was by her side in less than one minute. We prayer for her as we walked back to the car, and pray that she is doing alright.

Gloria Jean’s @ Wavos – Mulgrave, VIC

Centro Waverley Garden’s – near Target – Police Road, Mulgrave, VIC, 3170

Now despite this store not even being recognised on the official Gloria Jean’s Coffees Australia website – this was my local store for many years – with friendly staff always making consistently good coffee – trained by barrista extraordinare Calvin – formerly of the GJs on The Kingsway, Glen Waverley – now a national trainer. This place had the advantage of being the only recognised coffee place within walking distance of the college – at least until Stadium opened.  It was great to return here on my recent trip and discover that nothing had changed [Hello, my name is Simon – and it has been three years since my last Wavos GJs coffee].

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  Pretty much what you would expect.

Cost – $4.45 – for a regular take away cup – which is on the expensive side compared to other cafés but is consistent with GJs (other than at airports…)

Coffee Supplier – Gloria Jeans Own Brand. 

Fair Trade – No – Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – I had used it for all of these purposes, being in a large open space at the quieter end of Waverley Gardens.

Mt Evelyn Bakery & Café – Mt Evelyn, VIC

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

Coffee Supplier – not indicated anywhere – which is never a good sign

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.

Stadium Café Bar & Lounge – Mulgrave, VIC

Shop 7, 2 Stadium Circuit, Waverley Park, Mulgrave, Vic 3170

In the later part of my Melbourne years (Jan 2003-Dec 2007) this place became as much my local as did GJ’s over the hill – and again, it was probably just as much about the friendly staff as it was about the coffee – and the awesome fries with this addictive mayo kind of dipping sauce this – do you remember Jarrod? Well the friendly staff that I knew have gone [Jo] as has the dipping sauce [although that did disappear while I was still there – which brought an end to weekly sessions and sent us looking elsewhere] but it is still the closest Café to the College (at least until the Tabor one is fully operational) and so while I was there for a week’s study – we had to get a ‘real’ coffee.

Latte Quality – Good – Excellent.  I had a couple of cups from here – all takeaway, so it largely depended upon the barrista.

Cost – $4.50 – for a large take away cup.

Coffee SupplierVittoria Coffee

Fair Trade – No mention in the café nor on the website – however Vittoria do have one variety which is Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – During the daylight hours definitely – I used to meet here weekly for peer mentoring, and there was generally a quiet table to be found somewhere – either inside or out.  It you are tragically a Hawthorn Fan [Peter] , this is the place to come to watch the boys run around on the training ground.  The Stadium Café Bar & Lounge is in the only remaining part of the old VFL Ground known as Waverley (aka Arctic) Park – for South Australia readers – just think Football Park, as they were almost identical in design and construction.
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