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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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a mother’s milk – Unley, SA

105 Unley Road, Unley, SA, 5061

I have waited so long for this place to open – I even made an aborted attempt a few weeks back only to discover I had chosen the only day in seven that they are closed (Tuesday) – and today, with my friend and colleague David in tow – the threshold of a mother’s milk was crossed.  Now remembering that this place has only been opened now for about a month….The first thing you notice about this most recent addition to the Adelaide speciality coffee scene, is that it is warm and inviting – and that is not just a comment on how it appeared during the cold, wet and wintery final day of summer on which I first entered – because the aesthetic is trendy, yet comfortable – and then there is the customer service. We were greeted like long lost brothers – “Glad you could make it” was the greeting.  Now, while I have met the owner (Stef) on two occasions at his previous place of employ – the chances are that he wouldn’t know me if he tripped over me – but with such a simple, yet sincere greeting (rather than a person behind the counter looking up from their facebooking, inwardly groaning and then plastering on a fake smile) Dave and I were able to relax, shrug of the stresses of the morning and peruse the substantial menu before deciding just on some coffees (assuming that six constitutes ‘some’).  Like all the speciality coffee places across Adelaide, a mother’s milk had a number of coffee types on offer – and this was the first time – ever – I was asked which bean I’d like to try – and you’ll find out which if you read on.  Read the rest of this entry

Coffee Branch – Adelaide, SA

32 Leigh Street, Adelaide CBD, SA, 5000

 Not sure how long the Coffee Branch has been open for – but for quite awhile it has been the place of legend.  Even amongst the quality baristas that are popping up all around the city, they speak of the coffee experience at ‘the branch’ in hushed, awestruck tones…and finally – much like Bilbo on his way to Smaug’s Mountain – I made it to Coffee Branch.

Nestled in a ‘hole in the wall’ on the very trendy Leigh Street (complete with tree growing out of a Volkwagon Beetle – I kid you not) – this is one of Adelaide’s premium speciality coffee houses – it even has bicycles hanging on the wall – that is how premium it is!!  What you can’t see from the photo – just off to the left – is a ‘gate’ style architectural feature which will remind worldly travellers of a poor man’s ‘Nottinghill Gate’ – or similar, that you will find dotted all over London.

I arrived at 10:45am on a working Wednesday – and the line was still out the door.  I had been warned not to arrive in the peak hours of before work, lunch time, smoko, and after work – because the line is ridiculous – but I was surprised, and yet at the same time not – that the line was still out there. Once getting in the line, it took of all three minutes to get to the front and place my order – and I ventured out back into the tree lined street to commandeer one of the tables (there are only 2 of them) – there is some bench seating inside and a few tables at the back – but I suspect that most of their business is take away.

I thought to myself, based on previous experiences in 2012 – that this could take awhile – so I, checked into Foursquare, opened my book and before I got to the bottom of the first paragraph (about 3 minutes) my latte was being delivered – and soon after that, my ristretto… Read the rest of this entry

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.

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A’ vila Coffee – Adelaide, SA

22 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, SA, 5000

This is one of those fortunate occurrences, that some would call luck, some would call an answer to prayer – while others, to quote Sheldon “who are unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would think this to be a coincidence.”  But on my most recent trip to the city for a day of coffee and reading (also in preparation for my next 21st birthday) I  decided that I wanted to check out The Espresso Room, Coffee Branch and if time allowed – another place.  Well as time and weather would have it, I made it to The Espresso Room, had to rush past Coffee Branch on my way to NOT BE LATE for lunch with my mother, and then after a quick search on The Beanhunter discovered this gem across the square from my Mother’s office.  On a side note, I had tweeted Campos Coffee a few weeks back trying to find out if anyone in Adelaide served their beans…and now I discover this place, who since their grand opening in early October, have become the ONLY place in Adelaide for Campos.

Nestled in a nice part of the city, you’ll find A’Vila coffee – named such, because the of the Spanish inspired colour scheme that was already in place when the current owner decided to turn it into a coffee place (the staff tell me it  has been toned down a bit…).  In what I like to call the ‘old Academy Cinema City’ part of Hindmarsh Square, A’Vila is pretty much adjacent to the new Crown Plaza hotel, with a nice view of the recently re-grassed landscaping of the square.  If you squint, you can also see the guy (there was only one the day I was there) who is the Occupy Adelaide protest….

With the possibility of outdoor seating, this place was a quiet spot for a coffee and a chance to recoup before the drive home. So, to the coffee review… Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

  1. Paddy’s Lantern – Adelaide, SA: This place launched not long after I signed up to Twitter – and there was some hullaballo when it opened – and on my first try, I was not disappointed. Hard to find with crap parking – but a great comfortable interior, serving 5 Senses coffee from a sexy Synesso machine – and awesome light lunches.
  2. The Pantry on Egmont – Hawthorn, SA: In this little out of the way cafe in the leafy greenness that is Hawthorn, lurks Stef and the team – with a great love of coffee, serving the excellent locally roasted Dr Groot – this place is just wonderful. Russell does a great breakfast too!
  3. The Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA:  Whenever I get the opportunity or have the need to travel the 22kms down the coast to Victor, this is the place where I MUST stop and grab a latte.  Serving fantastic Zentveld’s from Byron Bay, The Two Bees has super friendly staff, great food and in good weather a great view down towards the Island.
  4. Coffee By The Beans – Lockleys, SA: Another one of these great places in strange locations – this is a must stop if you are going too or coming from the airport.  Roasting their own beans off site, Vincent, Daniel and Richard are serious about coffee and are serious about you liking their product.  The only draw back in the location and the fact that they don’t do online shopping….
  5. A’Vila Coffee – Adelaide, SA: The nearly not yet review place serves the legendary Campos Coffee – so this MUST make the top 5. Located near the old Academy Cinema City in Hindmarsh Square, these guys love their coffee – and so did I.

The Top 5 – August 2011 Update

With a quick click HERE, you can find out why the following locations are in the MAKECOFFEENOTWAR Top 5 for August 2011.

  1. The Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA
  2. Sazo’n Espresso Bar – Mount Barker, SA
  3. The Coffee Barun – Sefton Park, SA
  4. La Terre Café and Jardinage – Willunga, SA
  5. AquaCaf – Goolwa, SA:
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