Went for a walk today in the city to try some other coffees that are out there . Went to Patricia witch was brilliant also bought beans to try at home.
Then went to the Melbourne market and stumbled on a coffee roaster called Merlo coffee and was quite shocked at how my restreto was made and served also tasted very bland. They use the plastic tamper on the side of the grinder tamp was very uneven end result not very good and u walked out empty handed . The staff seem to have no coffee experience at all .
Has anyone else been to one of there franchises?
Merlo is Brisbane based and is one of the pack leaders up here.
We have been buying their beans for over 15 years, they have plenty of choices, we've been through most and but found their Espresso and Private blends work for us.
Merlo is good but some of their outlets here in Brisbane are operated by kids whereas their 2 inner city outlets (1 being hq and roasts) have more mature staff and the quality is like day / night!
Appears they need to look are quality control across the board. Over the years I've bought 1kg beans at a times and at times the beans have been very close to being past their best at time of purchase. It used to take us 10-14 days to go through them. But since the Alex Leva entered our lives 12 months ago and an 18 year old daughter who's caught the bean bug plus visitors (we work from a home office) we go through 1kg in just under a week
Having said that....we've only just recently tried a brand from Melb now available in Brisbane, Genovese. Very happy with it.
If Merlo struggles with quality in Brisbane, I don't think you're going to see the best of them in Melb.
Until their quality improves you are best to walk away and try something else. I can thoroughly recommend Geneovese, after 15 years with Merlo it feels stange writing that!
There used to be a Merlo in Hobart; back in the day it wasn't a bad option but went sharply downhill and was well and truly eclipsed by other options. Not sure if it's even still there...
Always disappointing to get a cup that doesn't quite deliver.
Used to live up the road from Di Bella and Merlo roasting locations in Brisbane and have enjoyed many good cups and coffee direct. They have certainly both done very VERY well for themselves. When you see sports cars being driven around, you know there is a healthy margin somewhere. I'm guessing if RichardC stuck with them for 15 years too they were consistently doing well to his taste buds. A friend up in Brisbane has been buying from Merlo for at least that long even though I didn't particularly like some of their stronger flavoured roasts.
Like anything in life when taste is involved it is going to vary person to person as to what people prefer.
Not here to knock any particular brand, but to recognise this could potentially occur to any large chains/suppliers/roasters. I'm sure end to end control is of concern to them because at the end of the day they want people to keep buying their product :-) Hopefully in most cases, the baristas would want you to have a delicious cup of coffee. (tastes/blends/perceptions factoring in to the equation)
It really is a buyers market though, so a couple of less than expected experiences means it's super easy to get freshly roasted beans from someone else in no time at all or head up the road to someone else's cafe.
With hundreds of good roasters in AUS at the moment and I thought I read somewhere the other day roasters in the thousands (I'm sure that's true particularly if you're counting home roasters and small shop roasters) it would seem to be a buyers market to be able to try and try some more.
Between that roasting frenzy and home roasting there's probably never been a better time to continue expanding your tasting horizons. :-)
With all that said I try to remind myself now and again to not always be too snobby, incase the world coffee production leads to some shortage or war (over coffee) and we have to go back to drinking muddy waters again. (shudder)