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Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

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  • Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

    When you are considering going to a cafe.
    What clues do you look for the may suggest thats the cafe of choice might be ok?

    Personally I look for:
    • Coffico or Grinders coffee.
    • clean equipment (Rancilio is good)
    • Beans in the grinder not to dark.
    • Sign saying "Bowl of Latte" (Always worth a try)

    Short list but its a start i guess.

  • #2
    Re: Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

    Ill add a few to the list:

    1)little or no ground coffee in the doser - a good barista should be grinding per shot. Yes they will whinge that they dont have time when they are busy, but quality is more important than convenience; maybe its time they got a second barista if they havent got time to make a decent shot

    2)clean milk steaming wand - If they cant be bothered cleaning this after each use, or at least before the milk dries on the wand then you can be sure those little hard bit of crud in your latte are indeed roasted milk bits.

    3)clean benchtops and coffee machine.

    4) The coffee IMO is quite often not as important as some of the other rules. A good barista can make ordinary coffee shine, where a bad barista (barista isnt the right word for them - coffee seller is better) can make the best coffee taste like crud. I have had quite good coffee from Lavazza & Vittoria branded cafes on occasion. Ive never had a good coffee from a Mokador branded cafe Hmmm.

    Thats enough, since im sure most of you know these tips, and there must be some more advanced knowledge lurking out there..



    • #3
      Re: Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

      Cafes in the Melb CBD are usually pretty busy at lunch time and during the day so I let the amount of coffee in the doser slide as it gets turned over pretty quick.

      I guess thats antoerh thing to look at is the cue at lunchtime of people waiting for coffee. Interesting to note that *$$$$ is usually fairly empty



      • #4
        Re: Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

        I have found the safest is cappacino. Even if it is still not good, then there is the hot milk, and most of all the froth (often quite cold), there is always the froth. If the cappacino is cold, dont complain if they are Sicilians! There is nothing wrong with leaving it unconsumed.


        • #5
          Re: Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

          In Melbourne I find that Genovese vendors are generally of a higher standard than most, and almost all my "best" cafes use it.
          This may be because Genovese, being local, actually put more effort in to something that most coffee vendors (surprisingly) dont seem to do at all: try to ensure that the cafe selling their wares has a vague clue about how to pull a shot!
          Given the huge amount of branding that coffee companies undertake - umbrellas etc etc - youd imagine theyd want the coffee that patrons drink not to be awful as a result of untrained baristas. But thats another topic...



          • #6
            Re: Clues to a good coffee at a cafe?

            Good observation Dennis. I have always thought the same thing about Genovese coffee and have been surprised it did not get mentioned in here.