Blog Archives

South Australian Coffee???

Surely there are more than 58 places in Adelaide where you can buy a coffee?  Yet that is ‘all she wrote’ according to the latest updates on the Beanhunter.  According to their South Australian based users, we have less cafes worth drinking in and/or writing about then does the Gold Coast (61) and Canberra (68).  Yes you read right – according to the Beanhunter, there are more and better coffee vending establishments in our nations capital then there are in RADelaide – the coffee capital of the southern hemisphere (just don’t tell Melbourne).

Come on people – do your state a favour – do what Rann couldn’t (a bit of political commentary there – haha)  – do what Craig couldn’t (a bit of sport commentary there) – raise your state’s profile above the Gold Coast and Canberra – make us proud – list your favourite cafe on the Beanhunter (even list your least favourite cafe – at least then others will know to avoid it) and let us get Adelaide above Canberra.

First the Gold Coast, then Canberra…then the world!!!!

Coffee Apps for the dedicated addict

The more vigilant of you would have realised by now that it has been over a week since my last coffee review, and then it was week between the last one before that – so I feel I owe my avid reader(s) [let’s face it – the (s) is added in as a sign of hope for than anything else] an apology for leaving you in the lurch (you rang?) but the dearth has not been without reason.  I have been busy – with a seven week old baby at home, a busier than usual pastoral load, mentoring a bible college student and preparing a Spring Series called “The Exodus – Their Story/Our Story/THE STORY” – spare time to travel an hour to find a coffee shop and read has been hard to find – and if I am to be totally honest, I cannot see that changing any time in the foreseeable future.   That does not mean that MakeCoffeeNotWar will go into hiatus – oh – nosireebob!

Today I want to write about Coffee Apps for your phone (not iPads – because I really can’t see the point), with a particular focus upon Apps for the iPhone – because as an owner and user of the Apple iPhone for over seven days now, I feel that I can write with a certain amount of expertise on the subject [insert space for reader to laugh uncontrollably and then run off to the toilet….] Read the rest of this entry

McCoffee is the best? Really???

This from today’s Herald Sun via the Adelaide Advertiser….

A STORM is brewing in the nation’s coffee chains after McDonald’s top-scored in a battle of the baristas.

The fast food giant better known for fries and burgers beat specialty rivals to snatch best coffee house honours in a consumer survey.  McCafe trumped Gloria Jean’s, Hudsons, Muffin Break and The Coffee Club, according to the Canstar Blue poll.  The tick comes just three months after McDonald’s apologised for the sorry state of its coffee and promised to improve.  McCafe got top marks for overall satisfaction and price, tied with Michel’s on service, and came equal first with Perth-based Dome for taste.  The survey revealed 10 per cent of Australians find coffee withdrawal symptoms worse than going without cigarettes, and have tried unsuccessfully to give up their caffeine habit.  To read more, including some interesting comments click HERE

A couple of things on this article:

  1. I would hardly call any of those ‘speciality rivals’ a specialty coffee places – they are mass producing coffee franchises – who, as I am sure you have all experienced do not produce consistently great coffee – but perhaps we could call them passable. It is generic coffee.  Specialty coffee places are your smaller concerns who purchase their beans from origin – perhaps even attend the cup of excellence – roast locally and with consciousness and dedicated baristas serve you a coffee that they long for you to enjoy – see Coffee By The Beans or The Coffee Barun or the Coffee Branch.
  2. Really??  You expect us to believe that this was a genuine survey and not an attempt by the McDonalds Corporation to move past their national apology?

If there are no further posts on this blog, then perhaps I was right with point 2?  Have a great coffee and a great day!!

 

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.

Other blogs that smell like Coffee #2….

Since my passion and enthusiasm for this blog took on a new life – see the increase in latte reviews and subsequent posts circa Sunday July 11th and the registration of my new domain name and T-shirts…[pictures to come] – I have also been trawling the net looking for other people with similar passions, and while at first I thought I was the only one [think Shrek before he knew about Fiona’s night time activities], I am pleased and now a little daunted to know that there are heaps – amateurs like me, and wanna be professionals with their i-Phone Apps (hey Brenton…want to write me one??)

  • Chuggin McCoffee – seems to be an United States based coffee blog (judging by the references to Starbucks and Krispy Cremes) but I can’t tell if it is a professional or passionate blog.  I got onto it because they actually quoted a blog entry I had written and gave me my first ping-back.  Current articles include one about Healthy Coffee Scams and another about Café Bustelo coffee going mainstream after a corporate buyout. 
  • Wherespresso.com – is another coffee/café review website – similar to the Beanhunter and to the Urbanspoon.  Like the other two, Wherepresso is all about the individual consumer being able to share their coffee experiences with others – both good and bad – and then with the world, via a plethora of connection points with social networking – facebook, twitter, and feedburner.  Personally I found Wherespresso to be a tad ‘blog-like’ in appearance and not that user friendly – I tried a number of times to add a café and do a review, and each time….nada. I’m going to stick with the Beanhunter for now.
  • Backseat Baristas– is a wordpress blog with a similar raison d’être as mine, yet with a pure espresso focus.  From their own words: “his blog is a unique insight into Melbourne’s coffee scene by two ordinary blokes who are passionate about their espresso. We live in a city that is famous for its coffee and we aim to provide simple, straightforward views on the coffee we try. These are our personal opinions but hopefully give you, the consumer, honest and informed content. As such we write purely from a consumer’s point of view. We also encourage your comments and views.” Most recent reviews include: Keffa Han – Port Melbourne – but this is dated as November 2010 – so they may have stopped blogging (hopefully not stopped drinking coffee). Check it out!!
  • Melbourne – Caffeine City – similar to the above, and to this one – “Melbourne – Caffeine City” – is a coffee blog devoted to the cold and grey city by the bay.  In their own words, “Caffeine City is a simple attempt to provide another voice on the quality of coffee in Melbourne’s (Australia) cafe saturated laneways and suburbs.” Not quite as ‘professional’ in technique as the Backseat Baristas, but certainly user friendly (like I hope mine is) with great personal impressions listed, this is a quality coffee blog. Recent reviews include: Mister Close in Bourke Street dated 10th July 2011 – so the coffee is still being ground here!  Check them out.

Beanhunter – calling all South Australian Coffee Lovers!

Have you heard about the ‘Beanhunter’ yet?  Don’t think the Crocodile Hunter for coffee addicts – crikey – this is better!

The Beanhunter is kind of like my blog (this one – the one you are now reading) – but bigger, better and with more commercial potential to make money (I just love what I do!).  The Beanhunter is a coffee review website with global implications, that has an accompanying App for iPhone – which allows you to find and review the best coffee nearest to your current location – as their moto says “coffee worth travelling for.”

Why I added the “calling all South Australian Coffee Lovers!” tag line above – is that according to their continually being updated list of the best cafes around the place (specific to our region), Adelaide has a measly 38 Cafes reviewed.  We rank 9th – behind the usual suspects – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, London, – but we also trail Auckland, the Gold Coast and even Canberra!! (seriously?  Canberra has a better coffee culture than Adelaide??  I think not! [man I hope not]) – we are only 611 cafes behind Melbourne – so we have a little bit of ground to catch up – but surely we have enough quality coffee establishments to rank ourselves above anywhere in New Zealand, the Gold Coast (most retirees and schoolies aren’t that coffee conscious) and Canberra – where Nescafe is considered to be a delicacy!!!

So – go on over to the Beanhunter – sign up (it’s free) – and start adding your favourite coffee places and reviews – let’s make SA proud!  Remember – Radelaide – heaps good!

To date I have added:

    • La Terre – Willunga
    • Two Bees – Victor Harbor
    • Sazo’n Espresso – Mount Barker
    • The Store – North Adelaide

BeanScene vs. Crema

For me and mine, BeanScene is the way to go as it is nicer looking publication with a greater depth of information on coffee and associated paraphernalia.  If I had to use a coffee metaphor, I would say that BeanScene is a full, robust single origin coffee with a depth of flavour that is enhanced with each sip, and with a lingering aftertaste that beckons you to return, while Crema is a good quality swiss water decaf.

On the plus side for each of them, is their web presence – with Crema coming out on top here.  Crema puts forward a very professional looking website, with easy to navigate menu bars all situated within an attractive theme. Their site is also the genesis of the Best Cafes website, which allows you to review your favourite place and let everyone know where the best beans are to be found  – this is not to be confused with the Best Aussie Coffee website which is the same, but is more user friendly – both have a free iphone app for those who of that cult. BeanScene Magazine website looks like a blogspot or wordpress blog – but contains plenty of good information and links, just lacks the style of Crema. Interestingly enough though, BeanScene has a Facebook page with a dedicated following, while Crema seems to be mysteriously absent from the social networking phenomena.

Magazine Winner = BeanScene Magazine

Website Winner = Crema

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