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PURE Boutique Coffee-Bar – Glenelg, SA

Cnr Jetty Road & Durham Street, Glenelg, SA, 5045

This place has the potential to one day be printing money for its owner.  It is the ultimate expression of the burgeoning speciality coffee industry in South Australia, located in what is arguably the city’s premiere tourist strip, one street back from Moseley Square and the beach, in partnership with three of the best coffee roasters in the land – yet, on my first visit I was left with a nasty taste in my mouth (literally).

I ventured in on my wife’s birthday (with her blessing) and I said to her , “I would be – no longer than 30 minutes MAX” – and then would catch up with her.  I went in, and there was one couple ahead of me waiting for service.  We waited (there was four people behind the counter – one of whom was the barista – although it was not 100% clear who that was either) – and looked around at the dark decor, and read all the wonderful coffee ideals on the wall – and we waited – I checked in to Foursquare.  Eventually the couple in front of me were served – while a couple who were already seated approached the counter, and embarrassingly asked whether their order had been forgotten…I had a sinking feeling.  Finally it was my turn for service and I ordered my standard – a Latte and a Ristretto (always interesting to see what order they come in) – and waited to be asked what beans I would like (assuming that this would happen as they promote their various suppliers on their wall) – but nothing. Hmmmm.

Took a seat – and waited.  According to my check in, it was 20 mins until my Ristretto and Latte arrived – together.  I proceeded to ask what the beans were and where they from – and I was told they were 5 Senses from Perth.  I clarified my question, and was told that he thought they were from Costa Rica.  My sinking feeling continued…but now to the review.

Read the rest of this entry

Blu C Cafe – Christies Beach, SA

1/13 Beach Road, Christies Beach, SA, 5165

Location, location, location – potential, potential, potenial – I mean check out the view from the café – uninterrupted ocean views of Spencer Gulf, a beautiful park with playground – the inside of the Blu C Cafe was nice – but that is about all the good things I can say.  And I don’t like to be negative – do a search on ‘Bad’ from the TAGS – and see what I mean.

Latte Quality – Bad – it was just…bad. My wife made me throw it away because of how much I complained about it.  For starters – the milk was already in the jug from who knows how long ago – being that I waited f0r 10 minutes and the customers already served had cool drinks…then the frothing wand on the machine was dirty – covered in dry milk from previous use – the milk was frothed then sat aside while the shot was poured – again, coffee was already ground in the hopper.  Check out the bubbles on the latte – photo before first sip.

Cost – $4.00 for regular

Coffee Supplier – Monjava Coffee

Fairtrade – No indication

Customer Service –    – acknowledged my presence and value as a carbon based entity – but not much more;  there was an employee at the counter when I walk in – she looked at me coming and left to go on a break – she came back twice to see if I was still waiting and then returned to her break. The other employee who also saw me enter, but went out the back on the other side of the shop, only came back in after I had rang the bell on the counter, twice.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat,  Deep and Meaningful, and/or Study and Reflection – As I said – the location and the potential of this place is just awesome – but bring your own coffee – or (dare I say it) go to Jamaica Blue or Gloria Jeans at Colonnades first.

Xpress-O on Flinders – Adelaide, SA

281 Flinders Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000

I haven’t been getting out much recently – and with Advent/Christmas rapidly approaching the opportunities to get out and get caffeinated are going to be few and far between.  However, earlier this week after making a hospital visit at the Wakefield, I decided it was time to grab a coffee and read a book.  I considered, for all of half a second, just grabbing a coffee at Hudsons which is in the hospital building – but then decided to venture further a field – but for some reason went to Flinder’s Street and not to Hutt. Xpress-O on Flinders – with signs showing where it is from Hutt Street, is a comfortable looking little cafe, snack and take away bar which I am sure services a few of the local businesses – and indeed at around 2pm was around half full.  However, after my experience – I will not be going back – in fact, if I find myself in the area again – I’ll go to Hudsons! Read the rest of this entry

Duthy Street Deli Café – Unley, SA

23-31 Duthy Street, Unley, SA, 5061

I used to live not far from this place – back in the day – and I am not sure what it used to be then, but I am also glad this wasn’t here – because it may have affected my coffee habits.  Big and Black is the best way to describe the Duthy Street Deli Café – seemingly to stick out of its  leafy green surrounds which glazed black tiles both inside and out.  It was really hard to gauge what this place is really like because lighting was pretty dim inside, and despite it being pretty quite we had to wait a while to get service – and then wait even longer until they brought out the coffee – calling my colleague’s large cappu a large latte – at least they recognised my beverage – it just took about 10 minutes.  It seems that getting the right thing to the right people constitutes a problem because we were asked another two times if we had ordered such and such – but alas she never did return – as my colleague suggested – with the same item for free.

Latte Quality – Good – not great, but just a little better that passable.  Wasn’t that keen on seconds. Read the rest of this entry

Tango Turtle Retro Art Café – Willunga, SA

30 High Street, Willunga, SA, 5172

Willunga is quickly becoming the place to go for a ‘café crawl’ – with the Tango Turtle joining the ranks of my reviewed cafés in Willunga, with still as least three more to go.  Situated in a reborn Petrol Station, the Tango Turtle is decked out to reflect the third and fourth words in its over long full name, replete with an eclectic assortment of linoleum topped kitchen tables and chairs from the 50s, 60s and 70s of last century.  The walls of the Turtle are used to display the works of local artists, while the former drive through area features plenty of outdoor seating and umbrellas.

I ventured in mid-morning on a Willunga Farmer’s Market Saturday – when the town of Willunga is full to bursting with people – to find that other than a full table outside, and a woman sitting guard at the door – I was the only person in the place – and still, most of the waiting staff were too busy to offer me service – leaving it to the barista to eventually take my order.  Then while I was waiting (not really any space in which to do so) I was asked to move so that an old lounge chair could be moved back into a 45 degree angle relevant to the table by a staff member who appeared out of nowhere – this despite the blackboard at street level saying ‘great coffee and great service’ – this is actually my third time here (first intentional review) and this was my best customer service experience – but to the coffee review. Read the rest of this entry

Port Elliot Bakery – Port Elliot, SA

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 SupplierGriffiths 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).
But – and probably the most important but – is that their Chocolate Donuts are arguably the best in the world!!

Corso Café – Mount Barker, SA

46 Gawler Street, Mount Barker, SA, 5251

If you have managed to survive taking your own life into your hands by either walking down, or carefully negotiating the congested traffic of the one-way Main Street of Mount Barker – otherwise known as Gawler street – and having bypassed Millies, Ground for Coffee, Sazo’n Espresso, Our Little Café, then the last chance you have for a coffee before you hit the organic cafés, the shopping centre cafés and the Home decorator centre coffee shop is The Corso Café – on the right hand side, just before the bank (Which Bank? – I hear you ask….not that one).

The first thing you notice about the Corso Café, is that it is orange – not sure what this implies – but the huge sign out the front is orange, and so are their business cards.  Beyond making coffee – which they do – hence the review – according to the business card, they are also into ‘Fine food – Wood oven – Catering’ – which is all very nice.  However, based on my brief – one off experience I wouldn’t be exploring the extent of their fine food (they have menus on the wall above the kitchen – but even with my glasses on I was unable to read them – and they had a selection of sweets and savories on display, which I assume you were allow to negotiate the purchase and consumption thereof) – as my presence was treated as an imposition.  Is customer service too much to ask for?  Do cafés want return patrons?  Anyway, before I get back onto my soapbox, here is the review:

Latte Quality – Excellent – a touch hot – I do not understand how this happens, as most baristas I see have the thermometer in the jug – yet it comes well above the ideal drinking temperature.

Cost – $3.80 – which is above the average price – but ok for a take-away – $3.00 for a regular if you drink in.

Coffee Supplier – La Crema – but I had to ask as there was no promotional material to indicate – however, this question seemed to be another imposition. La Crema coffee is also served across the road at Our Little Café – so this gives you the chance to see how a different barista can change the flavour of the coffee, and how customer service can influence your coffee experience.

Fair Trade – Big Fairtrade Logo up on the side of the fridge – but no information to say what it meant, or what how it related to the coffee – but La Crema do an award winning Fairtrade Blend so we assume this is what I consumed.

Customer Service –   – acknowledged my presence and value as a carbon based entity – but not much more.

Special Notes – Plenty of seating indoors, and a couple of tables on the footpath.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Not a problem for any of these activities – I was in at lunch time, and it was comfortably full – but not packed.
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