I’ve mentioned the uniqueness that is coffee culture and Jeremy has mentioned the potentially blow-hardness of impromptu coffee crawls but it seems that you cannot really go wrong if you immerse yourself in a coffee culture so rich, so passionate and so self-critical. Impromtuity will eventually lead to Kung-fu Panda Po-like awesomeness.
Possible “the best roaster in Australia, maybe the world” So I dragged a non-coffee drinker on this “coffee crawl” with me. It is in fact an uphill climb when that non-coffee drinker is your mom who disapproves of you having too much coffee in one day (too much is anything more than a cup a day). SNAP! We settle down and are greeted with table service (a rarity in Australian cafes). I see a clover and it being over 2 months since my last brew off the $15000 metal cube I couldn’t help myself. As I watched the barista drop the coffee in and stir (what seemed 20 seconds post-water stream) I started to regret my decision. [2 years ago I ordered a Clover and it was a bit weak sauce because I assume it was the only cup of the day and Clovers rarely if ever get dialed]. I was told that the Clover was a Tanzanian something. It came to my table and I poured some out, then a GIANT blueberry fist protruding from the coffee receptacle punched me in the face. As I continued to smell and sip this coffee I felt quite certain there was the essence of Aricha. The blueberry black-eye I received was followed up by smooth chocolate. Damn, amazing Tanzanian….. … if it was actually Tanzanian. Turns out it was an Ethiopian Guji (and due to limited coffee importers in Australia one of the very common coffees offered in this country). Tasty drink regardless of the mix-up. Can’t help but love the little thingymajiggy they serve their Clovers in. Continuing on with the limited coffees …importers….Australia train of thought, I had to push my cup a day limit and ordered a Single Origin Rwanda Musasa espresso because we pull this back in BNE. The coffee was described as coming through with apricot and that it did…with a handful of extra acidity too. Not surprisingly the liquid in the espresso cup was very liquid indeed and lacked the body (or as some of you like to call it, Jesse Ventura) that I’m used to off the Slayer. Decent ‘spro, balanced. Probably the most disappointing part of this cafe was their inability to recognize being in the presence of a coffee superstar. I tried to drop some key words to them like …Slayer…Synesso…Cup coffee…barista…”I thought I tasted Ethiopian in the cup”…etc. but no luck chuck. I’ll chalk this up to the noobness of the weekend staff and nothing against me personally. (Josh, I told you the store sign was too small!!)
A long way by foot from the CBD! Only for pure geeks! In fact, right when I went in I got rid of mom and sat her down then rocked up to the espresso machine. One barista muttered to the other “he’s geeking out [referring to me]” and then I looked up and introduced myself to Nolan…Mr Proud Mary apparently. I couldn’t help but oogle his enourmous, woody…..6-group Synesso. 🙂 We chatted, I dropped some names of where I worked, he accepted me as a person, I felt validation. Then we went behind the bar and he showed me the 6 groups, the 3 steam wands (the middle one is activated by foot pedal) and showed me his coffees. I ordered the Colombia Huila (smashing my communist overlord declared coffee limit) because Nolan said it was pulling the longest and would be best as espresso. I happily obeyed what Nolan suggested (man I’m passive/easily dominated…[Ben, don’t get any ideas]). Sweet like cane sugar, some fruit in it but really huge, good balance, would give Gwylim a run for his money. Pretty ill vibe though. I think I heard Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek on the sound system as I decided to be altruistic and change the roll of toilet paper even though I was only going #1. You’re welcome! Good to see Mr. Proud Mary all proud and merry, working behind the machine and slaving it away with his troops. Passionate and friendly dude and I’m glad I trekked out there. I would love to visit and love love to live here. I think that the sheer amount of passionate independent shindigs that Melbourne has to offer gives us coffeegeeks a coffeewood it blows my mind to know that locals still frequent Hudsons and Gloria Jeans. I reckon I’m a Melbourne-type bloke.