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Nautigals Café – Apollo Bay, VIC

58 The Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC, 3233

Wanting to try someone else’s coffee in Apollo Bay, we just wandered in here to find the counter unattended (there were some people out the back having a chat in the kitchen, but you don’t want to disturb….).  After a young guy came in off the street, I was finally able to negotiate the vending of some caffeinated combustibles – I assume he worked there…    Not sure if this place was finished or not, but there were two rooms – one with the lights out – and plenty of inside seating (a few tables outside as well).  There were three PCs available for the weary traveller to check their stock portfolio or their myspace.  There was also some horrible music playing which precludes this place as a venue for study and/or reflection, and I would suggest that unless you had perfected the art of conversation in night clubs, then you would be hard pressed to carry on something meaningful here.  Best to get your coffee to go and sit by the ocean…

Latte Quality – Good.

Cost – $3.50 – for a regular take away.

Coffee Supplier – Bean Ground and Drunk.

Fair Trade –  Yes.

Venue Suitable for:

  • See above review.
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The Great Ocean Road Deli – Apollo Bay, VIC

141 The Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC, 3233

After a delicious lunch of Seafood Marinara, I just had to try the coffee in this very friendly Café (it calls itself The Great Ocean Road Deli – but is more Café come Restaurant).  With views of the Apollo Bay Main Street, the Ocean and the rolling green hills, this is a great place to come and relax over a fine meal, or a coffee and cake.  If you are missing your Facebook, then are three PCs that can be used as well as wireless internet for the shaky traveller.  During the winter months you can just rock up and enjoy the food, coffee and service – but in the warmer months, it would be best to book!

Latte Quality – Good.

Cost – $3.80 for regular, $4.50 for mug

Coffee Supplier – Amanti Coffee

Fair Trade – No

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – Yes – plenty of seating both indoors and out.  The music is easily spoken over (Michael Bublé/Robert Miles) and read into.  Although, best to avoid in the summer months if you need the privacy.

Pronto Fine Food Merchants – Warrnambool, VIC

Shop 12 ‘Norfolk Plaza’ 743 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool VIC 3280

This place was a great little discovery and salvaged my somewhat disappointing coffee experience of my return to Victoria.  Situated in an ‘old style’ plaza (bunch of shops which face a squeezy carpark) Pronto Fine Food Merchants is everything you’d expect from this kind of store – the walls were lined with so much interesting stuff that it would have made an old school apothecary blush – and whenever you find Maggie Beer’s jars it reminds me of home.  The service was friendly and attentive and while the shop is open 7 days per week until 6 pm if you want to get a seat, get there early!

Latte QualityExcellent!

Cost – $3.70 – for a large latte in a mug which is excellent value.

Coffee SupplierJasper Coffee

Fair Trade – Yes – Jasper’s Fair Trade Nicaragua Matagalpa

Venue Suitable for:

  • Study and Reflection – If you can get a table (2 tables inside, 2 outside).
  • Chat/D&M – again, only if you can get a table – but well worth a visit just for the coffee!

Brocky’s on Liebig – Warrnambool, VIC

174 Liebig Street, Warrnambool, VIC, 3280

This centrally located Cafe; in what I guess we must call Warrnambool’s ‘Central Business District’ (i.e. it is where we find the River’s store) would be equally at home for style in King William Road, The Parade, or The Kingsway.  Attempting to be a trendy place to eat, it gave me the impression of being unfinished and somewhat out of place – but having said that – it was a popular place to be on a Tuesday afternoon – with we holiday makers feeling decidedly under-dressed.  However, the ‘Continental Vanilla Slice’ was very nice!!

Latte Quality – Good – not bad, but neither was it fantastic.

Cost – $4.50 – for a regular size latte glass.

Coffee SupplierGiancarlo Coffee – part of the ‘Grinders’ family of coffees

Fair Trade – No.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful – not ideal, but a possibility – packed with trendy people on almost every mobile phone imaginable – there were some seating outside on the footpath which may have been suitable.

Shipwreck Bay Café – Warrnambool, VIC

Pertobe Road, Warrnambool, VIC, 3280

Located in the midst of holiday villages, bowling greens, broadwalks, Norfolk pines and 5 star hotel accommodation (a blight on the landscape) this little holiday kiosk come café was immediately across the road from where we were staying.  With very friendly service, I can imagine this place being 5 or 6 patrons thick in the summer time, but on the day I ventured in, my family were the only customers.

Latte Quality – Bad – not a good start for sampling Victorian coffee.  It was way too milky and the beans were under extracted.

Cost – $3.00 – which is good.

Coffee SupplierBeraldo Coffee

Fair Trade – No.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat – if the weather was fine – there were a few outside seats.
  • Study and Reflection – Yes – under the same conditions as above – but I would give it a wide berth in the warmer months.
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