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The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

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  • The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Its due out tomorrow...

    Congrats to Andrew and Mark on the 5 bean rating

    A few surprises, a few shocks and a few wtfs but overall a much better standard of reviews than you find in other publications.

  • #2
    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Looks like someones had a sneak preview.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

      I was asked to be part of this in a preliminary way. I felt that I had to say no because (a) I work for a coffee company and (b) I heard that they were not going to say who reviewed which cafe and I didnt want to run the risk of having my name associated with reviews that looked nonsensical.

      So did they end up attributing reviews to an author? Did they disclose how many coffees of which sort the review was based on? Do the reviewers that they ended up running with have any credibility?

      The Sydney publication wasnt bad, but it did have me scratching my head a lot. Mecca getting the same rating as some guys using stale coffee?

      Cheers,

      Luca

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      • #4
        Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

        They asked me too Luca and like you, I felt I had to say no because (a) I;m not a wanker, and (b) there is always a risk of being mis-quoted or not getting my name up in lights that are big enough!
        ;D ;D ;D

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        • #5
          Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

          No to your first question - same with any judging/review, you might question the calibration of reviewers after reading some reviews.

          Think I read they based the review on 2 coffees, milk and espresso with two different reviewers/visits per cafe.

          Dont know all of the reviewers but yes, some credible names in there.

          Still plenty of stale coffee doing the rounds, not sure what the coffee score is worth out of the total

          I think there were 6 cafes using Veneziano

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

            Originally posted by Dennis link=1188715488/0#3 date=1188733862
            They asked me too Luca and like you, I felt I had to say no because (a) I;m not a wanker, and (b) there is always a risk of being mis-quoted or not getting my name up in lights that are big enough!
            ;D ;D ;D
            They asked me and I said yes.

            I reviewed quite a few cafes and agreed to because I have faith in the integrity of process used. The reviews I wrote are as I wrote them- corrected only for grammar where required and for flow.

            Each cafe was visited multiple times by members of the team as well as the editors. As reviewers, our role was to rate both coffee and the cafe- including the food offer, ambience and a number of other factors. The coffee was sampled on multiple occasions and the rating given for coffee was averaged over the visits. What that means is that there are a number of ways to get four cups for example. I generally sampled an espresso and a strong flat white- enough in my opinion for a competent barista to display his/her skills.

            Bottom line is that if it makes a few more cafes pull their fingers out and do a better job in response to the reviews, we all win....

            You know what? If I get the invite again, Ill write again as well.

            Chris

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            • #7
              Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

              ill just add....im happy with my 4 beans

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              • #8
                Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                Just to clarify - my use of the term wanker was used sarcastically as I think it unnecessary to inform people of things I have been ivited to do but declined for whatever reason - it sounds like trumpet blowing to me.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                  Dennis, the reason why I dont like the idea of a book of reviews that doesnt attribute each review to an author is because invariably there will be some reviewers whose taste matches a given reader and others that are wankers. If the reader knows which reviews were written by which author they are more likely to be able to assess how useful the reviews themselves are. The whole problem with pretty much all communication about coffee is that it is very easy to make unsubstantiated assertions. I am sick to death of reading that this is the "best" blend/bean/machine/grinder/cup/tamper/roaster/cafe. Id rather read how these things compare against similar things. Thats what a book of cafe reviews attempts to do, but I think that it would help greatly to be able to know who reviewed each cafe to be able to work out how much the particular reviewers reviewing style dictated the score. In barista competitions, results arent handed out until the end because the spreadsheet needs all of the scores for the whole day to be able to adjust for judges who tend to be overly harsh or overly generous.

                  The interesting question, then, is "how do we go about expressing our opinions on coffee?" I have come to the point of view that its best to lay out your opinion and the supporting facts. I do this because I like people to be able to either accept my opinion, knowing that it has some basis, or reject it entirely and credibly by pointing out some flaw. In this instance, I am very happy to admit that I have uncritically gone about this post like many others and have set out the background to my questions for no good reason, making me sound like a wanker. Fortunately, Im still young enough to be able to learn from my mistakes and change my ways accordingly.

                  Getting back to the topic of the thread, I think that it is easy as anything to review cafes and coffees, but hard to do it well. Ill be very interested to flick through the book and find out who the other reviewers are and what it actually says about the review process.

                  Bottom line is that if it makes a few more cafes pull their fingers out and do a better job in response to the reviews, we all win....
                  Absolutely. A better way to get cafes to do well might be to encourage customers to talk to the baristas more about what they like and dont like. I love getting feedback from people when Im on the machine. A few weeks ago I had someone tell me that their coffee wasnt hot enough, so I got the thermometer out and made it again. Turns out that I had been letting my milk temperature slip a bit and it was nice to be able to correct the problem.

                  ill just add....im happy with my 4 beans Wink
                  Nice work! Ill presume that thats out of five, not ten

                  Cheers,

                  Luca

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                    Originally posted by takeaim link=1188715488/0#6 date=1188735171
                    ill just add....im happy with my 4 beans
                    Great work Andreas,

                    You dererve it!

                    bg&d got 4 as well. Something I did there when it was mine musta stuck...And no, I didnt review it :P

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                      Chris and Luca, thanks to you both for your responses. I mostly agree with what youve both said though not being a coffee officienado, wonder who mainly buys this mag? Is the main audience comprised of people in the coffee industry and so, this is essentially a peer review, or is it for the coffee punter that might like some help choosing a cafe?

                      In line with what Luca has said about comparative reviews - I think it would be very interesting to have an expert and a "Joe Blow" do a review on the same cafe. I imagine they might have different priorities?

                      BTW Luca, I believe there is plenty of evidence to support the fact that older people are very capable of learning and changing their ways - they achieve this partly through their ability to recall vivid memories of the follies of youth!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                        Originally posted by Dennis link=1188715488/0#10 date=1188775733
                        Chris and Luca, thanks to you both for your responses.  I mostly agree with what youve both said though not being a coffee officienado, wonder who mainly buys this mag?  Is the main audience comprised of people in the coffee industry and so, this is essentially a peer review, or is it for the coffee punter that might like some help choosing a cafe?......
                        No worries Dennis.

                        For those curious to know, the prime demographic is Joe- who wants help to choose a better cafe and will hopefully one day become a Coffeesnob (and purchase a machine from moi [smiley=evil.gif]).

                        Also, a number of people were approached to write. One potential writer had to say no to her offer...

                        Chris

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                          :-[ I bought the Sydney guide.

                          And lets just take a quick look at that word right there ----> Guide and seeing as its a book a definition of this is something that offers basic information or instruction.

                          So, I purchased it as I wanted to know where there were some places to go, other than the CBD! Even then they didnt really cover too many other spots and I have found a few myself through local knowledge. Its better than not knowing and as much as we share info pretty freely here, I sometimes like to get a second opinion too!

                          Good on them, I say for having a go at least. It is a pretty big task in all reality.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                            Hi Luca. I totally agree with you on that one.

                            Originally posted by luca link=1188715488/0#2 date=1188732762
                            The Sydney publication wasnt bad, but it did have me scratching my head a lot. Mecca getting the same rating as some guys using stale coffee?
                            I was just reading the older version of 2007, and I felt the same as you. But these books do help ppl who lives in other states (like me!) and wants to appreciate coffee in Sydney and Melbourne (like me!)

                            Cheers,

                            May

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

                              Andreas...well done on your 4 beans. Next time youre in can you bring in the guide so I can have a quick look?

                              Cheers,

                              David

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