Friday, December 19, 2008

Coffee Number 16

***Getting through the backlog***

Tea Leaves

380 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road
Sassafras VIC

Cinnamon Frangelico coffee beans (ground for plunger) - $9.35 for 200g

Whilst in Germany, one thing I fell in love with (apart from giant supermarkets, kuchen, Christmas Markets, barbecues…) was SheepWorld. He’s so frikkin cute! I love his motto: "Ohne dich ist alles doof". (Without you, everything is stupid). Adorable! I got a Sheepworld Espressoset for a gift, containing 2 Tassen und 2 Unterteller, and these baby-cups were perfect for sampling some new Cinnamon Frangelico flavoured coffee beans from Tea Leaves in Sassafrass we’d bought. Fabulous. The flavour was subtle, yet present, and without the sweetness you’d get from flavour syrups. A slightly more refined Christmas treat than a gingerbread frappucino.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coffee Number 15

***Getting through the backlog***

Skinny latte - $3 (?)

Jasper Coffee
Stall 105, Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road
(03) 9827 8509

A hectic morning of market shopping requires caffeinated assistance. I used to spend a lot of time at Prahran Market, and would always get skinny lattes from Jasper Coffee (I’d go for super-expensive Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee when they had it). Last Saturday was just a quick visit, ordering my Christmas goose and picking up other supplies. I enjoyed visiting my old faves – Jasper’s, Lee’s Asian Grocery, and the amazing felafel stand. Have you had his hummus? Incredible. No Jamaican Blue available this time, but the normal blend is great too. Man, I miss having a Jasper’s near my work!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coffee Number 14

***Getting through the backlog***

Shop 8
Midtown Plaza
194 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Gingerbread frappucino, half coffee base, half cream base

Cold frappucinos (or frappucini?) on hot days always remind me of holidays in Malaysia. Aah, memories. It was hot on 26th of October, and I had an hour between work and meeting some lovely bloggers for dinner.

Me: A small decaf gingerbread frappucino please.
Starbucks girl: No worries… well it won’t really be decaf, we’ll do half coffee base, half cream base, ok?
Me: …blank look… Sure.

Oh man it was good! Loved the gingerbread flavour, not too sweet and super refreshing.
And for someone who officially hates Starbucks, I seem to be drinking quite a bit of it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coffee Number 13

Krispy Kreme
607 Collins Street,
cnr Collins and Spencer Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9629 4902

Latte ($2.75) and Original Glazed Donut

In honour of Barack Obama’s election win, I was in the mood to celebrate all things American with a classic donut from Krispy Kreme. With my donut I ordered a plain ol’ latte. (I’d normally get skinny but that just seemed pointless). You can upsize to a coffee and 2 donut combo for 70c extra, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re not scared of getting diabetes. The coffee was frikkin awesome! Strong and smooth, without any harsh bitterness. The milk was the perfect temperature. Who knew Krispy Kreme would make better coffee than the trendy cafes on the block?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coffee Number 12

Instant Coffee, with Milk and Sugar

I love instant coffee. My secret shame. I had one 2 months ago when I was falling asleep during an awful accounting course. Out of pure desperation I made a coffee with the instant coffee and full-fat UHT milk they provided. To my surprise, it tasted just like the coffee-in-a-can that I enjoyed so much in Japan! This discovery couldn’t have been more timely. Café coffee is expensive, and inconsistent in quality. Now my Monday-morning treat is my homespun coffee-in-a-can (or should that be “workspun”?). 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¾ water, ¼ full-fat milk. Stir and enjoy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Coffee Number 11

City Wine Shop
159 Spring St
Melbourne 3000
(03) 9654 6657


I just spent a lovely afternoon at the City Wine Shop with some fellow Melbourne food bloggers and associated people from the ieatidrinkiwork website, enjoying relaxed nibbles, beer, and general food related conversation. Mid-arvo I found myself hankering for a coffee and ordered a cappuccino, (served in the same funky romcaffé cups that they use at D.O.C.s!) The cappuccino was smooth and strong, totally drinkable. The weather was warm and the coffee was lovely. I can’t remember the last time I had coffee just to enjoy it, rather than to shock myself into consciousness in the cold mornings before work.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Looking for your Starbucks fix?

If the sudden closure of so many Starbucks stores has got you longing for your Venti-Oreo-Frappuccino or your Grande-Skim-White-Mocha, or you're an American tourist who just wants "my double-tall-latte, people!", here are the 5 locations that will remain in Melbourne.

295 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000 (Yup, the big one full of Asian students between Lonsdale and Latrobe St)
674 Glenferrie Centre Shop 1 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, 3122 (Yup, the small one full of Asian students near Swinburne University, and full of rich kids from the high concentration of nearby private schools)
Melbourne Airport (No points for guessing why that one remains)
207 Collins St, Melbourne 3000 (It's not in a particularly student-y location, but I'm gonna guess that the tourists around this hotel/theatre area keep it going).
Shop 8, Midtown Plaza, 194 Swanston St, Melbourne (Again, in the heart of Asian-student town)

And for interest, here's a great article from a Singaporean living in Melbourne up on Melbourne Metblogs.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Melbourne's falling newspaper standards leave me feeling "depresso"

**Not strictly a "Coffee of the Week", but definitely coffee-related**

That's a pic of me, back in wintry Germany, drinking a nice warm white mocha at Starbucks Viernheim.

In yesterday's Age newspaper there were a few articles about Starbucks. If you haven't yet heard, they're closing 70% of their Australian stores. For all affected Starbucks' employees, this must seriously suck. However, what caught my eye about one of the articles wasn't the big economic news, or even the insight into Melbourne's coffee culture. It was the hilariously bad title and captions:

Bean and gone, espresso turns to depresso (Get it, get it??) by Michael Shmith (sic)

The accompanying photo is of a young person drinking a Starbucks coffee, with the caption:
"A long black day at Starbucks".


Get it? Because a long black is a type of coffee, but "a long black day" also means that Starbucks is having a tough time. Clever huh??? Not!

We were cracking up yesterday reading the papers over breakfast. It seems that people are paid to write what is essentially the journalistic equivalent of a dad joke.

More Starbucks-related articles available here.

Coffee Number 10

Sette Bello
Corner Hardware Lane & Lt Bourke St
Melbourne 3000
(03) 9670 7070

This morning, I was early for a high-powered business meeting (no, really), so I wandered down Hardware lane and stopped in at sette bello. I’d read about it on Claire’s and Mellie’s blogs, and it looked right up my alley, so to speak.

They had a divine array of pasticcini, biscotti and savouries (pizzette, bread etc.) I loved the presentation of the food, and the retro-cool décor. I settled in with a short macchiato (usually I drink lattes, but I felt that my new suit deserved a corresponding upgrade in coffee-chic) and a fantabulous cannoli, filled with chocolate-studded ricotta. Amazing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Work, study, home. I’ve settled into a set routine. Here are some of the more interesting coffees of recent times.

Top Row L-R:
Custom-made Skinny Latte (S for S-arah)
2 white mochas at South Melbourne Pier
Attempt at coffee art on the home espresso machine

2nd Row L-R:
Home latte with my homemade choc & almond biscotti
Large latte at Babble Cafe on Greville St
Expensive-restaurant style latte at Conservatory in Crown

Bottom Row L-R:
Latte with choc cupcake @ Mario's on Glenferrie Rd
Latte w awesome chocolate profiterole at Jones the Grocer in Doncaster Shoppingtown
Ooh - coffee art!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On Hiatus

On Hiatus until after Mum's birthday.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coffee number 9

Bistro Guillaume
Crown Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteman St
Southbank Victoria 3006
(03) 9693-3888

Cafe Latte - $5

Restaurant coffees are always expensive. Economically speaking, the high price is a result of the low price elasticity of demand for restaurant coffees. With there being few close substitutes for the coffee, (none, in fact, if you wish to stay in the restaurant, rather than searching for a still-open café), restaurants can charge higher prices than a cafés could. Not that I’m complaining. I love finishing off a good meal with a good coffee, and find myself looking forward to it as soon as they clear the plates away. I daresay I prefer it to wine! (How uncool am I?)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Coffee number 8

I actually haven’t bought a coffee for over a week. You’ll know that I’m trying hard to limit my coffee intake to one every other day, and that I’m still breaking in my new KitchenAid espresso machine. (Just typing those words makes me deliriously happy). I’ve also just started a new job where I can get free coffees all day. Are you teasing me, God? Just kidding.

So, this week, I don’t have a new coffee hot-spot to share, just a picture of a flat white I made at home. Too many bubbles in the foam, but I’m getting there!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Coffee Number 7

Caffe Romeo
319 Doncaster Road, Balwyn North, Vic
(03) 9857-6444

$7.50 - 250g Premium Blend Coffee

I love my new KitchenAid Espresso maker. Thank-you Dad! It has been easy to set up and use. As soon it was ready, I bought a small packet of freshly ground coffee from suburban coffee heaven, Caffe Romeo. It smells so good! What I like most about the machine, apart from its jaunty colour, is that it has 2 separate boilers: one for espresso, one for milk. You can prepare both simultaneously, without the milk getting cold, or the crema dissolving into feral-ness. I’m working on getting the milk right, but we’re already enjoying cappuccini and lattés all day long.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coffee number 6

City Square
Corner Swanston Street and Flinders Lane

Cafe Latte - $3.30

I’m meeting my cousin at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Lane. We’re supposed to go to some rocking newspaper party and mingle, but I know we’ll end up in the corner laughing our heads off. I’m trying to have coffee only every other day (today being a non-coffee day), but it’s cold and windy, and for once, Cuz is running late. I walk across the street to Brunetti, order a latté and park myself under one of their gigantic heaters. As with most Italian coffees, the first sip seems too strong, but after that, it’s exactly what I want.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Coffee number 5

El Churro
Shop KK04, Northland Shopping Centre, 2-50 Murray Road, East Preston 3072 VIC
(03) 9471-3244

When you have a busy-yet-boring day running errands, there comes a time when you can go no further without caffeinated refreshment. I received my refreshment, in the middle of suburbia, at a chain store called El Churro. They call it a “Spanish Latté”, but it is actually a bon-bon, (i.e. a long black with sweetened condensed milk). That’ll put hairs on your chest! The coffee itself wasn’t that great, but condensed milk can make anything delicious.

Hilariously, when I ordered, the guy asked me if I knew what condensed milk was. Please! I eat that stuff straight from the can!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Coffee number 4

Flavours of Lakhoum
175 Swan Street, Richmond 3121 Vic
(03) 9425 9805

Cafe Latté - $3.20

Dontcha just love that coffee art?

Flavours of Lakhoum’s Barista, Chris Phillips, draws the cutest little faces in his coffees. I think his regular picture is a curly-haired female face, but we got a special one – a face with a hat, just like my lovely friend Markii who was also wearing a hat. You should have heard the excited squeals we gave when it arrived. What dorks! It tasted good too – very important. I’ve heard that during busier periods, not every coffee comes decorated. We’re lucky it was quiet when we went. One of the benefits of not working 9-to-5!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coffee number 3

A Minor Place
103 Albion St, Brunswick 3056 VIC
(03) 9384 3131

Cafe Latté - $3

Brunswick is quite far, but after seeing this gorgeous photo on Where’s the Beef?, I just had to go. We made an expedition down to A Minor Place this week and enjoyed lunch in the sun, seated on surprisingly comfortable milk crates. Very boho chic.

Our lunch included scrambled eggs with caramelized onions and feta, and a wonderful meatball sub that tasted like lasagne. The coffees were delicious but not quite as dreamily creamy as Michael’s photo had led me to expect. Perhaps next time?

And because it was nearby, we stopped by El-Faiha for baklava on the way home.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Coffee number 2

Castro's Kiosk
University of Melbourne

Small Skinny Latté - $3

A good friend of mine is down in Melbourne for a conference this week, so we meet up at our old haunt for coffee. Castro’s Kiosk at Melbourne Uni was our Central Perk, our Café Nervosa, our Monk’s Café. I’m not sure exactly how many coffees I’ve bought here over the years, but I know it’s a lot.

My standard uni drink was a skinny latté, and I have dabbled with their hot chocolates (notably their yummy mint flavour), mochas, and a surprisingly tasty caffeine and dairy free concoction called “LSD” – latté with soy and dandelion.

Best coffee on campus.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Coffee number 1

Sweet Source
288 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
(03) 9348 2998

Café Latte - $3
Flourless Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake - $5.50

With limited funds and an ongoing desire to kick my caffeine addiction, going out for coffee has become an occasional treat, not an everyday fix. Keeping this in mind, we headed down to cuter-than-cute Sweet Source to get a coffee and look at the gorgeous cakes. Whoops. I didn’t mean “look at”, I meant “inhale”.

The foam on my latte had a disappointingly burnt taste, rather like cigarette ash. The rest of the coffee, bizarrely, tasted fine. The flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake was very rich, dense and dark. A bit too much for one person, but lovely to share.