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  • #61
    I'll throw up a recommendation for a new Place that has popped up out near my Place in Lake Macquarie (just south of Newcastle). The cafe is called Soto and is located at 1/45 Evans Street, Belmont (just off the pacific Highway). Great little vibe and very friendly staff. Coffee is top end, fairly certain they are using a locally roasted bean. Running a nice La Marzocco set up. Worth a try if out the Lake Mac area!

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    • #62
      Had a couple of beautiful flat whites last week at The Press (mentioned above) on Hunter St. Highly recommended.

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      • #63
        I got out to quite a few cafes in the Hunter in the last year while sales repping milk
        Bikesmith in Maitland, they use Sprocket Roasters, absolutely amazing coffee, friendly owner making the move to locally sourced ingredients and truly recyclable cups
        Peaberrys Coffee Roasters in Islington, their Mac Daddy is one of my favourite blends, very friendly staff
        Hunter Belle Cheese Cafe in Muswellbrook, I'm a little biased because I used to work for them, but their milk plus Peaberrys coffee makes my favourite flat white. Naomi the
        Double Picc in Muswellbrook, not quite sure what coffee they use, but the owners are fanatics for good coffee and I've never had a bad coffee from them
        Liquid Gold on Shortland Esplanade in Newy, using Crema Garage beans and they've just taken delivery of a new Rocket R9 (I think), super friendly staff and a great view
        Kicks Coffee in Singleton, they're using Glitch Roasters, very strong blend but I'm a fan, very friendly staff and the owners Ben and Erin are really nice people.

        Will add a few more when I get time

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        • #64
          Had the pleasure of catching up with a mate at Red Parrot Coffee at Islington (Newcastle) yesterday.
          They have been around for a few years but only in the current location since 2019. Heard about them through word of mouth as their reputation is quickly spreading.
          What a great place, coffee roasted on site, and a choice of "17 Artisan coffee choices to drink in café anytime".
          Was fortunate enough to have a chat with the owner and tour by the manager/roaster in between coffees.
          Very passionate, friendly and knowledgeable team, and I reckon they have raised the bar in this area by offering numerous choices of quality beans to sample. Others will surely have to follow.
          This one is definitely worth trying for any Novacastrians or those passing through.
          Cheers
          Mal

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          • #65
            Red Parrot Coffee sounded worth a visit so I ventured to Islington yesterday to see for myself. It was a 50 minute drive but I had to see for myself.
            Unusual setting......chatty and enthusiastic staff....big choice in coffees to savour. I told staff that I had seen a glowing report of Red Parrot Coffe on Coffeesnobs. I discussed machines and coffees briefly with one of the staff before ordering. They have a coffee menu listing their blends and single origin coffees set out a bit like a vineyard's wine tasting notes....with hints of blackberries etc. This looked really promising. Kindred spirits.

            I was surprised to see that in spite of having a beautiful Victorio Arduino espresso machine on the counter that faced customers, actual coffees were dispensed through an automatic machine. The Victorio Arduino machine seemed to be there just for show.

            My first coffee was ok, so I ordered a different one to follow. It had scant, milky white crema that told me that the beans were stale. Tasting confirmed this. I left it there.

            The bit that gets me is that the staff would have/should have known that this second coffee was not up to even an ok standard yet served it up anyway. Did they think that I wouldn't notice the difference? I truly MUST be a coffee snob!

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