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Thread: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

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    The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    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.

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Looks like someones had a sneak preview.

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    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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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    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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    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

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote 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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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

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

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    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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    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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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote 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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    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! ;)

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote 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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    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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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

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

    Quote 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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    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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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1188715488/0#14 date=1188900609
    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
    Ill try to swing past tomorrow, I imagine youd get a copy sent to you from Mark soonish anyway???

    Had a good read of it last night...some of the 4 bean places had what sounded like excellent espresso, some sounded like it was underextracted, stale brownish stuff.

    So not sure how that rates me...

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Thanks Andreas

    We knew the book was coming out and we did lift up our game knowing reviewers were coming in. Reviewers of all nature are coming in. Especially the last 4 months.
    Its easy to make great coffee for a week, but to do it every day for the entire year is bloody hard. We have had bad weeks on coffee. I dont need people to tell me my coffee sucks with bad reviews online. I pretty much do that 40percent of the time. Im never happy. A lot of people dont realise the work you put behind your team. You need to plan your development and training. Knowing the coffee might drop down a level because your team needs the experience behind the machine. Im not a guy that buys baristi and has a team given to me like some cafes. Some cafes buy creditibility. Having baristi from interstate, or stealing staff and huge money behind them. Clueless owners with amazing staff really annoys me. I have had many cafes trying to steal my staff in the last month which is really weird to me. Asking my staff for phone numbers in front of me. "I usually kick them out and say a few words"

    Ive dissapeared from coffeesnobs for a while because were on hardcore training mode. Im pushing my staff extremely hard and trying to take the cafe to the next level. The coffee game is hard. We have just spent $7000 of upgrading equipment in the last 2 months. Just to make a 5 percent improvement and to make the rush hour better.
    Got a lot of hard work coming. My team are training every day at home and work. We have sent our baristi to do some training in roasting and learning the basics. A long way to go, but its the next level up.

    St Ali.... wow. if there was 6 beans they deserve it.

    A minor place... wow best latte in Melbourne. Old school lattes. No rosetta, just creamy, sweet and perfection.

    7 grams.... 4.5 beans. To the best barista team in Melbourne 5 beans from me.

    First pour. David that strong latte you & troy made for me was pretty damn good. Big improver and coffee has been taken to the next level.

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    rating melbournes cafes

    being new here and all, i wanted to report on my experience of some cafes thats i have been to (around melbourne), and in particular, cafes i would highly recommend.

    BUT I dont know how everyone will take this. (And no, I dont have any interest in plugging certain cafes - this idea came about after reading the title of a previous thread asking for recommendations of good cafes in brisbane).

    Perhaps if people ONLY report on positive experiences theyve had then that might circumvent discussion of the "cafes to avoid" discussion? *:-/

    what do people think?

    ronnie

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    Re: rating melbournes cafes

    Quote Originally Posted by roknee link=1188715488/15#17 date=1192771324
    being new here and all, i wanted to report on my experience of some cafes thats i have been to (around melbourne), and in particular, cafes i would highly recommend.

    BUT I dont know how everyone will take this. (And no, I dont have any interest in plugging certain cafes - this idea came about after reading the title of a previous thread asking for recommendations of good cafes in brisbane).

    Perhaps if people ONLY report on positive experiences theyve had then that might circumvent discussion of the "cafes to avoid" discussion? *:-/

    what do people think?

    ronnie
    I think its already been done Ronnie ;)

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    I think cafe owners have it hard already. Positive feed back is great and helps business. If you dont like the place dont go back. Just remember its a $3 dollar product. If something goes wrong its not the end of the world. The book review will cause people to compare place to place. Im sure people are saying I had a coffee at a 4 bean place and it was way better than that 5 bean place i went too.
    People need to read in between the lines when they read this book. My comment i made was "you are only as good as your customers" At the moment around 30percent of my customers have terrible palates and horrible attitude. They do ruin the experience for real coffee drinkers. Worst of all you educate some customers and they think they can teach you how to make coffee. I will be enforcing a new attitude in the cafe and a huge education push to the customers.

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    I think you have a valid point.

    As a rule, I wont buy coffee when Im out anymore unless I know theres a good chance itll be drinkable (yes, drinkable, thats all I ask!). Therefore, for me, itd be great to have a guide giving me some suggestions of where I could get a coffee that isnt going to burn my tongue or taste like Im licking the bottom of an ash-tray. Im quite happy to hand over my $3 to find the coffee doesnt suit my palate, afterall thats part of the journey for me, but to be served that brown liquid muck that majority of cafes serve up, I just cant do it. As for the number of beans a cafe has received, I dont need to know that, Im happy to rate it myself - I just want to know where I can get an ok coffee from when Im out as it used to be one of my favourite pastimes.....

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyL link=1188715488/15#19 date=1193133142
    I think cafe owners have it hard already. Positive feed back is great and helps business. If you dont like the place dont go back. Just remember its a $3 dollar product. If something goes wrong its not the end of the world. The book review will cause people to compare place to place. Im sure people are saying I had a coffee at a 4 bean place and it was way better than that 5 bean place i went too.
    People need to read in between the lines when they read this book. My comment i made was "you are only as good as your customers" At the moment around 30percent of my customers have terrible palates and horrible attitude. They do ruin the experience for real coffee drinkers. Worst of all you educate some customers and they think they can teach you how to make coffee. I will be enforcing a new attitude in the cafe and a huge education push to the customers.
    I am reading this thread now, because I was looking for a recommendation for the CBD, as Im going to be entertaining o/seas visitors who will only be here for a day.

    However, I have to both agree and disagree with you. I think if I had a cafe I would prefer a politely given constructive criticism, instead of the customer never coming back. Whether you would consider the criticism warranted, would be up to you to decide.

    As for peoples palates, I do agree with you. I went to the Home Show with an acquaintance. I dragged him to St Alis for breakfast, to give him a treat. He sent his coffee back that it was too cold. When he got the second one back, he still whinged about the amount of milk, and I dont know what else and sent it back again. I nearly died of embarrassment. He told me that this place will be closed in a few months, they have no idea how to make coffee and he will certainly never go back again. He bought himself a cup at the show later and told me that it was a lot better. ;D

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Quote Originally Posted by kohi link=1188715488/15#20 date=1193183875
    I think you have a valid point.

    As a rule, I wont buy coffee when Im out anymore unless I know theres a good chance itll be drinkable (yes, drinkable, thats all I ask!). Therefore, for me, itd be great to have a guide giving me some suggestions of where I could get a coffee that isnt going to burn my tongue or taste like Im licking the bottom of an ash-tray. Im quite happy to hand over my $3 to find the coffee doesnt suit my palate, afterall thats part of the journey for me, but to be served that brown liquid muck that majority of cafes serve up, I just cant do it. As for the number of beans a cafe has received, I dont need to know that, Im happy to rate it myself - I just want to know where I can get an ok coffee from when Im out as it used to be one of my favourite pastimes.....
    I agree with you 100%. I have walked out of places, without ordering, because of the rancid coffee smell of the place. But at least, I saved my money. But when you get dish water (even though, when I dont know what to expect, I make a point of asking for "strong" coffee) Just recently, I went to a Xmas function at a club that shall remain nameless. I asked for a strong coffee. It looked like light brown water, so I sent it back. The waitress was livid, told me it was VERY strong. The second try was stronger, but still undrinkable. I should have known better then to order it in the first place. I usually order tea (which is what I drink at friends place, when I know Id get instant)

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    I know this is an old thread but I had to get in here. :P

    I was in a bookshop and thought Id buy the Coffee Guide to Melbourne. I had a bit of a look in it while still in the shop. The first page I opened was Pellegrinis 3 1/2 stars! Who ever reviewed it, has got to be joking! Pellegrinis used to be my favourite haunt 20 odd years ago. I dont go into town much these days, but was in there a while back and dragged my son in on a nostalgia tour. The only things seemingly enjoying the coffee (or the food) in there were the flies.

    I just found a quote on a previous thread: "Pellegrinis is a must-see. They were the first place in Melb to have an espresso machine. Today, they proudly serve the worst coffee in the city" ;D So, Im not alone in my opinion. Do they get stars for being the worst?

    Anyway, after seeing that, I didnt buy the book. :o

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    Re: The Coffee Guide - Melbourne

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight

    Not being from Melbourne, my girlfriend bought me the book. We discovered St Alis. Have never opened it again. I reckon it was worth it ;D



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