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Thread: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

  1. #1
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    Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive seen this topic on another forum and wondered what coffeesnobs think.

    Does it really matter if a restaurant with 2-3 hats serves Vittoria or some other large scale coffee company? Is it something overlooked by reviewers, who dictate that the entire dining experience must be of heavenly status to be graced with 3 hats? Are the reviewers themselves to blame because of their apparent lack of coffee knowledge?

  2. #2
    JR
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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Nunu

    Its funny you should bring up this topic. I spent last weekend dining at The Lake House Daylesford which I believe is very well rated (2 hats I think) and serve Vittoria.

    When we arrived I straight away noticed a Vittoria coffee label and didnt hold much hope. After 3 hours of gastronomic delight, I was inevitably asked would you like a coffee sir. I had been watching the Barista during the evening and witnessed some sink pours and grinder adjustment so I was hopeful an espresso wouldnt sour the evening.

    When it arrived it was in fact 30mlsish with thick crema (a little light but acceptable) and the taste was good. It had quite a smooth non-bitter taste but rather bland not an exciting taste sensation a CoffeeSnob is accustomed to, but quite acceptable. At that point I was a very happy man.

    Breakfast I quickly ordered another shot which proved to be visually very similar but extracted by the wait staff rather than the Barista and proved to be swill.

    Personally I eat regularly at highly recommended restaurants and essentially I am there for the food, service, experience etc that a restaurant provides not for the coffee. As long as an experienced Barista is behind the machine 99.9% of the population couldn’t discern the quality of espresso served and probably doesn’t care either. I think the reviewers lack of apparent coffee knowledge is consistent with its audience, the dining public not the sipping public.

    For the record I though $7 for an espresso was a little step.

    Cheers.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    One of the biggest things to worry about when having coffee at a restaurant is how fresh the coffee is.

    In the case of our restaurant (which is not hatted btw), the policy is to simply keep the hopper/doser filled. Sometimes week old coffee is mixed with the days top up, its a nasty mix of old and new stock. Im not sure exactly how much coffee we go through, but the people making the coffee arent very skillful.

    At $7 bucks a cup, Id expect bliss, or nearly a kilo of green beans to roast myself. 8-)

    Its good to see a barista adjusting the grind size for atmospheric conditions (temperature/humidity). But I think in a controlled environment, suitable A/C or course, negates the change for much adjustment.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    At most of the hatted/well reviewed establishments Ive dined at my coffee experience has not been very memorable, probably due to stale coffee beans or over extraction as opposed to a dirty machine or reheated milk. Also not due to a lack of trying by the person making the coffee, I try to ask nicely :)

    Nowadays, Ill get my pre-bed coffee hit once home and instead of an espresso at the restaurant Ill get either an affogato or whack in some alchyhol (brandy or kahlua helps take the edge of a bad brew).

    nunu, I share your view, the quality of coffee is something overlooked by reviewers not just for restaurants but even when they review a cafe - coffee gets a small mention, whilst things such as decor, magazines stocked, the fashion sense of fellow patrons etc... get a much larger portion of the write up.
    It puzzles me slightly as winelists seem to be scrutinised with far more gusto, but I suppose the general diner wants decent wine and is not too worried about coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan link=1126660174/0#1 date=1126664419
    For the record I though $7 for an espresso was a little step
    Holy crap! That is pricey, Id want it to be served in a gold plated demitasse :o

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Quote Originally Posted by rice link=1126660174/0#3 date=1126668892

    nunu, I share your view, the quality of coffee is something overlooked by reviewers not just for restaurants but even when they review a cafe - coffee gets a small mention, whilst things such as decor, magazines stocked, the fashion sense of fellow patrons etc... get a much larger portion of the write up.
    This is an interesting topic. *I think most of us agree that if we get coffee after our evening restaurant meal it is wise to do it when we get home. *Restaurants tend to have "arrangements" (or contracts) with major label coffee suppliers whereby the restaurant is set up with a machine and grinder/s cups, signage, umbrellas (if its a cafe) etc for "free" but must buy a certain number of kilos of beans per week. *Hence, a non coffee snob goes to a hatted restaurant and thinks "My goodness, this is one of the best restaurants in the country and they only serve *brand x. *It must be the best coffee available, as no expense is spared eslwhere. *Ill buy it from Woolies from now on"

    You may have noticed the number of ads in the SMH this week - "Such and such a restaurant ONLY serves XXXXX coffee" *Just as well, or theyd lose their free equipment. *We know that 90% of the punters cant tell the difference - and the reviewers might well be the same, but for them to tread on the toes of Vittoria and Illy and Mokador or whatever, might be risky for them.

    Try drinking tea at restaurants who are contracted thus *::)

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Holy crap! That is pricey, Id want it to be served in a gold plated demitasse
    ...and keep the cup!

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    After two sugars and hot, sometimes overheated milk, most coffee will taste very similar. Most people have this idea that coffee is simply some dark bitter drink. A lot of my relatives would fit into this category (on my wifes side). I made them some cups of my home roasted stuff on a consumer machine, one actually liked the espresso I made him. I said without the milk makes a big difference because you can actually taste the sometimes subtle flavours in the coffee. The rest of them all had flat whites (they asked for weak, so I just added more milk in a taller glass), and they all enjoyed the coffee without sugar. Come the next day I had brought in another batch, but different coffee. The one having the espresso actually noticed the difference between batches.

    Since most restaurants are locked into contracts, they really cant experiment to find which coffees the customers prefer. They focus so much time, money, and energy on innovating with food, to create signature dishes that represent the alchemy of gastronomy, all coupled with the perfect match of a wine. Where is the alchemy with food and coffee? The first and last impressions of an establishment are the ones best remembered. If that holds true, then quite a few restaurants can be doing even better than they are now.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    If youve got about half an hour spare, there is an interesting thread from another forum that relates to restaurants and the quality of their coffee.

    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=61653


    -Stephen-

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    About 5 minutes reading if you chop out all the useless banter, as well as the unnessesary quoting.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    nunu

    What did you think of the $1000 bet?

    Fair?

    Crazy?

    Spot on?


    -Stephen-

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    I think that just like a restaurant, a cafe should be rated with the whole experience. You can have the best coffee in the universe, but if Jaktar from planet Dooboo (the barista) has the worst attitude in the galaxy, and customers see that, theyre often discouraged from coming back.

    If the service is shocking in a restaurant it speaks volumes. The food could be top notch, but the waiter incompetent or just plain lazy, and oft times first-time customers will blacklist you. The worst thing you can have as a restauranteur is to have dissatisfied customers telling their friends/relatives about their bad experience. It takes at least 20 good words to make up for one bad experience. Places that have some great reputation often get good press on name alone, by the general public, even if everything is average.

    I think it was a clever ploy by Murky to get some attention on his/her coffee establishments. But it has to be said that making perfect coffee for 100 people is significantly less of a challenge than serving up 3 courses for 20 people a la carte. At least one person (T.Trasher) put Murky to the question with his own restaurant that served excellent quality coffee as well (not to mention he had a variety of coffee on offer, including some Panama Esmeralda). Murkys only reply was that their roaster gives them their coffee, its never stale (or so he thinks, he cant vouch for the freshness of the coffee), and that theyre the best roaster in the region. I think he would garner a little more points in the argument if he roasted his own.

    In this case its also a clever marketing ploy to gain Vittoria some more points against its competition. I reckon all of the hatted restaurants chefs should be put to a blind taste test with Vittori and its major competitors, several great roasters in Sydney, as well as a few home-roasters. Maybe a coffee revelation/revolution in the making...

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    There was a series on SBS not long ago about the trials and tribulations of a few restauranters as they sweated on hat ratings. It was interesting to see the interaction between Matt Moran (Aria) and his meat supplier. If there was the slightest thing wrong with the meat it was sent back. Very close inspection, weighing etc.
    I think it would be much much harder to prepare and serve a la carte meals than to prepare great coffee, but having said that I dont think it is a fair comparison. I suppose when you see owner/chefs hand select produce for the kitchen and maintain super high standards, it is odd that they will use coffees that are famous, but at the same time infamous for their short comings.

    -Stephen-

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Interesting read on the eGullet forums, but not alot of substance in the discussion. It seemed top have turned into a pissing match on both sides. IMHO, partly due to murkycoffees attitude when he first posted there and also that the locals havent tasted really fresh coffee and feel that since the big boys are making money, their coffee must be good. T.Thrasher impressed me with the selection that he offers diners in his restaurants.

    There was one really good post which outlined the abcs so to speak , of doing coffee the right way.

    1) Sources coffee from a roaster who gets it to them within 2 - 3 days of roast date
    2) Stores their coffee at room temp in light-proof air-tight containers
    3) Weighs the beans per brew batch and uses the appropriate amount of beans for the amount of water
    4) Grinds the beans for each brew batch just before brewing
    5) Brews with a drip/extraction system that consistently brews at 203 to 205 degrees F
    6) Offers single origin estate type varietal coffee (at least one varietal in addition to their house blend)
    7) Brews into airpots or offers press pots



    Quote Originally Posted by sharkboy link=1126660174/0#11 date=1126887108
    There was a series on SBS

    It was interesting to see the interaction between Matt Moran (Aria) and his meat supplier. If there was the slightest thing wrong with the meat it was sent back. Very close inspection, weighing etc.
    I think it would be much much harder to prepare and serve a la carte meals than to prepare great coffee, but having said that I dont think it is a fair comparison. I suppose when you see owner/chefs hand select produce for the kitchen and maintain super high standards, it is odd that they will use coffees that are famous, but at the same time infamous for their short comings.

    -Stephen-
    "Heat in the kitchen" on SBS
    http://www20.sbs.com.au/heatinthekitchen/index.php?id=1

    I really enjoyed watching the series.
    The meat supplier was Vics Meats, they not only supply the restaurant industry but also domestics. Ive used them in the past - top produce & service.
    http://www.vicsmeat.com.au/page/wagyu_beef.htmls

    I think the son of the founder runs around in a Porsche (or similar sportscar), the owner/chef from Balzac made a comment about how he runs around in a beat up car whilst his meat supplier gets about in something far superior.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    I saw one episode, but that night was usually tied up at work and I forgot to record them.

    There is usually some sort of constant battle going on between suppliers and restaurants. The supplier is always trying to probe and see if they can pass stuff under the nose of the restaurant (i.e. less than top quality produce, less quantity than ordered), and the restaurant returning anything it sees as being less than top quality. Often times restaurants will have many suppliers for the same items, to negotiate for the best price/quality/service.

    Wheres this sort of idea when it comes to coffee? It doesnt exist because coffee suppliers want to lock you into some sort of contract. That way theyre guaranteed business. If they had to compete with other suppliers over a restaurant/cafe with "fussy" standards, they might want to change the way they do business.

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Quote Originally Posted by sharkboy link=1126660174/0#11 date=1126887108
    There was a series on SBS not long ago about the trials and tribulations of a few restauranters as they sweated on hat ratings. It was interesting to see the interaction between Matt Moran (Aria) and his meat supplier. If there was the slightest thing wrong with the meat it was sent back. Very close inspection, weighing etc.
    I think it would be much much harder to prepare and serve a la carte meals than to prepare great coffee, but having said that I dont think it is a fair comparison. I suppose when you see owner/chefs hand select produce for the kitchen and maintain super high standards, it is odd that they will use coffees that are famous, but at the same time infamous for their short comings.

    -Stephen-
    you are so correct i know for a fact that Matt Moran also [i know the bar manager] hand picked his coffee suplier a small specialist roaster and he is very keen on serving the best at his restaurant he does not use a big brand coffee and they are all trained in the art of coffee making [barista] wish others would do what he did. ;D

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    Re: Hatted restaurants serving Vittoria...

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Matt Moran is a real life rags to riches sort of story. Its good to see someone with a dream elevate themselves through hard work and attention to detail. In todays "close is good enough" society, Matt certainly stands out in the crowd.

    Its nice to see a place separate itself from the rest of the pack by going with a smaller local roaster, who will probably put out the extra effort to satisfy customers, and supply a fresher product than the big coffee chains. Given that restaurants often have a low profit margin, it shows that the restauranteur really cares about the entire dining experience, not just the food, decor, and service. If only my boss cared the same way...



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