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Home Sweet Home

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  • Home Sweet Home

    I have just got back from a nice long visit back home to Auckland and as I catch up on the CS news and sip my first coffee back I thought Id sum up some of the espresso experiences I had. I was limited for time as this was a holiday away from work, and the wife can only be dragged to so many cafes before getting bored.

    Brazil - First stop was my favorite cafe, closed for good. This unfortunately set the mood

    COG - The flagship store / training centre for my previous employer. I went in hoping to see the same great baristas there but all new faces. I introduced myself anyway and had an espresso. The best thing about this place is the massive Cimbali, nothing else.

    Ben - This small cafe is the project of Ben Boyle. First thing I spied walking in the door was the Diedrich IR3 and soon after the distinctive groups of the Synesso. Okay, my day was looking up. Ordered an espresso and sat down. Very rich and earthy, just a hint of caramalised spices and the slightest smokiness. 10 out of 10. At this point I remarked to my wife to grab a paper and settle in. I went and ordered a picollo and introduced myself. Had a good chat to Ben discussing everything from roasting on the Diedrich to serving SO espressos. Landed up having another espresso (not as good as the first) and taking some coffee with me. Definately the place to go.

    Espresso Workshop - This is David Waungs (sp?) new cafe. David is the current NZ barista champion. By this stage I had tasted my fair share of Allpress (Aucklands Merlo) and was not overly excited when I saw him advertising it. Ordered an espresso and picollo and an iced choc for the wife. Was told to sit down even when I tried to chat. There were no customers there and we were treated, although professionally, a bit rudely. Both my coffees had a distinct over-extracted taste, as did a mates double flat white. My friend who is a regular there (and a cafe owner) says it is usual after 2pm that this happens. I had one sip of each and left.

    Other than that I went to the usual roasteries, Altura - average espresso, Atomic - very drinkable double shot flat white, but nothing to get excited about.

    So by now Ive finished my first coffee made at Pioneer in 2 weeks, after my first holiday in 3 years, and have realised just how much all the hard work has paid off.

    I have to say that I was very dissapointed in Auckland coffee. By and large the quality was above average, and way above the Qld average. But very little excellent coffee. I have had far more exciting coffee at my own cafe, and a number of Brisbane cafes than at all but 1 cafe there.

    Oh well, better get another coffee in me and get started on the roasting.

  • #2
    Re: Home Sweet Home

    geez mate I can sympathize with you - I think I only drank two great coffees on the coast - one from your joint and one from Hot Pipi (?) which was well made (I had an espresso from there), even though I have issues with the product they use

    Popped into Caffeine Espresso in Tennereife (sp?) in Brissy and had some excellent freshly roasted coffee there, and a good chat to the onwer / roaster.

    Otherwise it was pretty much overpriced muck everywhere I went.

    I mean how do so many operators get away with charging $4 for a regular (strong) coffee, which is absolutely unpalatable?

    One place I went to on the coast charged $4.40 for a cup of swill that I threw away in disgust!

    We couldnt charge those kind of prices here in Melbourne even if we wanted to, and the coffee tends to be a darn site better here on average!

    Well, I suppose that creates opportunities in the market place - which I will keep in mind if we ever decide to expand North!




    • #3
      Re: Home Sweet Home

      the $4 cup is because rent is so dear here. Hot Pipis and that strip is $1200-$1800 a sq metre a year!!! Ouch.


      • #4
        Re: Home Sweet Home

        owe that hurts just thinking about it!


        • #5
          Re: Home Sweet Home

          Good to read about your experiences. Thanks for posting