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Thread: Going to a coffee shop/cafe. Coffeesnob behaviour

  1. #1
    Member kexkez's Avatar
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    Going to a coffee shop/cafe. Coffeesnob behaviour

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hmm one of the odd sides to buying your own coffee machine. I view/eye baristas and coffee makers in cafes more closely. If I can I check out what they are doing. Eye off the machinery being used and how they are using it. Think about my first sip of flat white too hot/ just right/ a bit ashy/sour/ sweet/ etc. oh dear.. what a rabbit hole. Bonus of holidays. enjoying multiple cofees at home and soon to go to our fav spots for someone else to make a good coffee yippee
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  2. #2
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexkez View Post
    hmm one of the odd sides to buying your own coffee machine. I view/eye baristas and coffee makers in cafes more closely. If I can I check out what they are doing. Eye off the machinery being used and how they are using it. Think about my first sip of flat white too hot/ just right/ a bit ashy/sour/ sweet/ etc. oh dear.. what a rabbit hole. Bonus of holidays. enjoying multiple cofees at home and soon to go to our fav spots for someone else to make a good coffee yippee

    haha... I remember when I first started I was also keen to watch how the barista makes my coffee... then became critical of their techniques (of course I kept it to myself) but after awhile I managed to slap some senses back into my self and just try to enjoy the coffee too

    oh, and getting all excited when I found a shop near my work had the Slayer was a highlight too (West Perth)
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    haha... I remember when I first started I was also keen to watch how the barista makes my coffee... then became critical of their techniques (of course I kept it to myself) but after awhile I managed to slap some senses back into my self and just try to enjoy the coffee too

    oh, and getting all excited when I found a shop near my work had the Slayer was a highlight too (West Perth)
    G'day okitoki

    Which West Perth coffee shop has a Slayer?

    Enjoy your cuppa


    TampIt

  4. #4
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day okitoki

    Which West Perth coffee shop has a Slayer?

    Enjoy your cuppa


    TampIt

    Oh that was about 6 years ago, I think it was The Pony Express O.... but not sure if they are still there since I havent worked at West Perth for 3 years....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Local leading cafe here in Rockhampton sports a Slayer.
    I drooled over it when the cafe opened as I had not seen one in the flesh.
    They do pretty damn good coffee too.
    I bought a bag of their bean out of idle curiosity, but couldn't reproduce the quality at home.
    Most cafes it's pretty well impossible to see what they are doing at the machine - at least without looking like a bit of a groupie - so I just worry about what's in the cup.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    I gave up chatting with the coffee makers years ago....when to my disappointment I discovered they weren't baristas, but programmed automatons who had no idea what they were doing. Their boss set the machines and the coffee makers just pushed the preset buttons.

    I'd ask about the extraction volume, pressure setting ...The usual stuff, and they'd plead ignorance.

    It's s not their fault. It's just the way the industry is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    I gave up chatting with the coffee makers years ago....when to my disappointment I discovered they weren't baristas, but programmed automatons who had no idea what they were doing. Their boss set the machines and the coffee makers just pushed the preset buttons.

    I'd ask about the extraction volume, pressure setting ..

    “What are you hassling me for, this is just a gig, it’s not my life”

    https://youtu.be/BLXtHU_HGXs

  8. #8
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Or maybe we could give up making silly generalisations about every cafe we might visit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    I gave up chatting with the coffee makers years ago....when to my disappointment I discovered they weren't baristas, but programmed automatons who had no idea what they were doing. Their boss set the machines and the coffee makers just pushed the preset buttons.

    I'd ask about the extraction volume, pressure setting ...The usual stuff, and they'd plead ignorance.

    It's s not their fault. It's just the way the industry is.

    Depends on where you go, not all of us are transient.
    Some of us have career in coffee.

    Also consider that the ‘coffee makers’ are being paid to do a job, & it’s not always to be teaching their own IP to someone who just spent $5 on a coffee.

    To put it in prospective, when I bought roasted beans from Andy I didn’t ask for the roast profile

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    Depends on where you go, not all of us are transient.
    Some of us have career in coffee.

    Also consider that the ‘coffee makers’ are being paid to do a job, & it’s not always to be teaching their own IP to someone who just spent $5 on a coffee.

    To put it in prospective, when I bought roasted beans from Andy I didn’t ask for the roast profile
    Well said.

    And even within the one cafe you'll have various levels of passion/interest between the different people who work there.

    I know that if someone ever asks me about the coffee I'm serving or how I'm brewing it I get VERY excited and am more than happy to share, as I take it seriously, and it's a joy to talk about it (without scaring them off). Especially when someone finally orders a double espresso, that excites me greatly!

    The others I work with don't really care all that much about coffee, nor treat it in the same regard or passion.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Barry O'Speedwagon, my insincere apology for speaking about ---surprise surprise --- my own experiences based on the cafes I go to. I think I did it without a direct barb or offence aimed at fellow Coffeesnobs, their views or their experience --- but you feel the need to be discourteous.

    Did I say ALL cafes were like that? Don't think I did.

    Ronin: If you equate "chatting" while as a latte is being prepared ("Oh, I see you have pressure set at 1.1 bar") to asking Andy about his roast profiles during a sale you are drawing a very long bow.

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    I completely disagree mate.
    Just different parts of the industry.

    Also consider ‘chatting’ to a busy barista may just get them in trouble at work.
    Just trying to point out that, these are jobs and unless you are in a course for learning it’s not their job to teach anyone how to make a better coffee.

    Intellectual property is not free in any industry.

  13. #13
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Lest there be any doubt, my comments are NOT about real baristas. I seldom encounter them.

    I'm talking about untrained staff who happen to work in a cafe and whose only "training" is usually by the equally untrained owner who tells them which button to press.

    I'm talking about the staffers at that Coolangatta cafe who rest the portafilters on the drip tray in between brews, and when I asked why replied because to put them on the groups would burn the coffee.

    Talking about the staffer who made me a latte which burned my tongue and when I asked to what temperature she steamed, replied she was told by her boss to steam to 90°.

    Talking about the right to know how many grams of extracted coffee was in my dish-water dull latte and the person who made it said he didn't know -- he just presses the volumetric pad.

    Anyway...intellectual property? Trade secrets? Hardly asking for the Goldman Sachs' algorithm for robot trading on the New York Stock Exchange...or the depth of knowledge to turn me into a barista....

    I'm talking about "chatting", about freely available information, and the one or two baristas I have come across, like Simonsk8r said, really enjoyed sharing their passion.
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    I guess from the comments you have posted here.........it speaks more about your inability to identify a well-run cafe that you seem to be regularly finding yourself in a spot of trouble when purchasing a cafe beverage - which is indeed surprising give the numerous blowhard opinions you have shared across a variety of topics on this forum. Spend enough time around cafes and you can easily pick the subtle signs of a winner versus a struggler.

    It's no secret that cafes are not a commercially viable model in our current domestic economy.......90% of them don't make a decent living without having to cut corners and every one of them is up for sale either officially or unofficially.

    The last decade of systemic price deflation and serving a generally unreasonable and fickle customer base often taking delight in sniping and slamming owners and staff (mostly behind their backs) - a cultural blight of our current times.

    It's hard enough already to find staff that want to work in hospitality - heck, why would they.......getting abused because it takes too long to make a "toasted wrap"......my goodness, the laws of physics means it has to toast, but the customer wants it now, or the truly horrid, awful, twisted, bitch-faces customers pull when a coffee takes a second longer than the magic 7 minutes wait time customers barely tolerate. Oh, that's right, there's some tosser up the front of the queue wanting to show off his not-really-that-smart coffee knowledge and is disrupting the workflow.

    Yep, these days it's all about treating cafe owners and their staff like your personal slaves and peasants. You pay your four bucks fifty and expect to have an academic debate about whether the TDS levels in this morning's brew is within the approved range or whether the machine does pressure profiling, or not.

    People should be grateful that someone is preparing their order, it's not easy to run a cafe, particularly when food is involved........the alternative is don't even bother patronizing cafes if your going to always find something to whinge about (for some people, that's a given) and act with some entitled sense of superiority by constantly judging the staff and owner's skills levels against some mythical artificial benchmark that exists in fantasy-land.

    I'm with Barry & Ronin - a question about the technical specification of a coffee shot is nobody's business, every environment is different and hence so does the situation change on an hourly basis in a busy cafe anyway. It just does not matter in the slightest and bravo to the barista that chooses to ignore superfluous nonsense that does nothing but distract attention from the workflow.

    It would be nice to see something positive and uplifting posted about cafes and their good coffees, instead of nasty trolling by keyboard warriors that have never owned a cafe, but I guess the snipes wouldn't be feeling good about themselves if they weren't putting somebody else down.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Welcome 'medalbandit' - you're clearly going to be a real asset on here.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Medalbandit I really should ignore you. Nine years here and on your 26th post you dish out abuse.

    Anyway, the hospitality industry as the name implies, is to serve the customer, not for the customer to serve it.

    "People should be grateful that someone is preparing their order "?? Are you serious? Is that why we go to a cafe?
    Not this "blowhard".

    I know it's tough out there. But the hospitality industry is about knowing what the customer wants and serving it up...not about the customer having to appreciate why he's having to pay for the privilege of sub par product and service.
    It's not Fawlty Towers.

    One of the reasons we have restaurant (and cafe) reviews.
    Including in this forum.
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    I have to agree, in part, with Medalbandit (minus the personal attacks). Hospitality is really hard. As a former Barista I can tell you, the amount of customers who want to talk pressure profiling, extraction etc are minimal. We used to serve 400 odd customers a day in a hole in the wall and I would rarely have those sorts of chats. Also, hospo is full of young people who are doing the job while waiting to be something else. The amount of professional Barista's out there is tiny. This becomes evident when you lose a staff member and you try to hire another. Good luck if, like me, you are in a regional town.
    Australians are well educated on coffee and everyone is an expert. It's really easy to craft an exceptional coffee at home with good tools, time and no customers giving you dirty looks because they had to wait. It's a lot harder to make 200, all fast and all perfect with 5 different milks and all your regulars particular details in your head. Yes, it's your job. Some do it well and some don't. Just like any industry.
    If someone is really educated on coffee they should be able to pick a decent cafe to go to. So many things to look out for, and then it's still a risk. A lot of owners don't give a shit and that filters down to staff. Thought they would open a cafe and make lots of money, then found out it's not that easy. Have to make a lot of coffees just to pay the astronomical commercial rents in this country. I always said to the people I worked with " You've never been under so much pressure for $5"
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    Been around here just as long as you Busto.......choose not to post every random thought that drifts through my head and certainly don't need to blow any trumpets.....hard.

    And thank god for fake reviews.

    How else would the the naive, insecure and indecisive get through their indolent days with negative cafe and restaurant reviews by competitors aiming to damage reputations....of course, posted anonymously and the rest are probably from sourpusses that caught a glimpse of their grumpy faces in a mirror.

    Still waiting for some nice posts about cafes on this forum, thankfully I've fitted my oxygen mask first before helping others.
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post
    Still waiting for some nice posts about cafes on this forum, thankfully I've fitted my oxygen mask first before helping others.
    You have a whole section of them to choose from containing over 600 threads and over 4,600 posts.


    Java "What are you waiting for?" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post
    ...Still waiting for some nice posts about cafes on this forum...
    Thank goodness we've got you (niceness personified) to show us how it's done.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Medalbandit I really should ignore you. Nine years here and on your 26th post you dish out abuse.

    Anyway, the hospitality industry as the name implies, is to serve the customer, not for the customer to serve it.

    "People should be grateful that someone is preparing their order "?? Are you serious? Is that why we go to a cafe?
    Not this "blowhard".

    I know it's tough out there. But the hospitality industry is about knowing what the customer wants and serving it up...not about the customer having to appreciate why he's having to pay for the privilege of sub par product and service.
    It's not Fawlty Towers.

    One of the reasons we have restaurant (and cafe) reviews.
    Including in this forum.

    since your attitude, content and style is the same for almost every post, and says to me at least, “I know more than you and I’m not listening” perhaps we might ignore you? I saying this with as much respect as I can muster, it’s not a sideways swipe.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post
    ......... and certainly don't need to blow any trumpets.....hard.
    Seriously???
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Nevermind the 'Royal We' flashpixx - speak for yourself.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    You have a whole section of them to choose from containing over 600 threads and over 4,600 posts.


    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post
    Still waiting for some nice posts about cafes on this forum
    ...and that section linked by Javaphile has a minimum post count to keep the trolls out and negative reviews are removed leaving just positive reviews from our community (rare to get any fake ones too).

    It's been a trusted resource for 11 years.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    since your attitude, content and style is the same for almost every post, and says to me at least, “I know more than you and I’m not listening” perhaps we might ignore you? I saying this with as much respect as I can muster, it’s not a sideways swipe.
    Flashpixx was that addressed to me or Medalbandit?

  26. #26
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Barry O'Speedwagon, my insincere apology for speaking about ---surprise surprise --- my own experiences based on the cafes I go to. I think I did it without a direct barb or offence aimed at fellow Coffeesnobs, their views or their experience --- but you feel the need to be discourteous.

    Did I say ALL cafes were like that? Don't think I did.

    Ronin: If you equate "chatting" while as a latte is being prepared ("Oh, I see you have pressure set at 1.1 bar") to asking Andy about his roast profiles during a sale you are drawing a very long bow.
    Did I quote you? I was referring to the thread in general (otherwise I would have quoted your post), but yes, yours was the one that made the most unqualified generalisations. When you finish it off with a comment about the industry, that is making a pretty broad generalisation...and is not just about the cafes that you attend.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post

    I'm with Barry & Ronin - a question about the technical specification of a coffee shot is nobody's business, every environment is different and hence so does the situation change on an hourly basis in a busy cafe anyway. It just does not matter in the slightest and bravo to the barista that chooses to ignore superfluous nonsense that does nothing but distract attention from the workflow.

    .
    To clear things up...I said nothing of the sort. I simply made a comment regarding the desirability of tarring every cafe with the same brush.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by medalbandit View Post
    Been around here just as long as you Busto.......
    Had a smile at this, three posts a year over a 9 year period, quite the little contributor ain't we, guess your just the strong silent type.
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  29. #29
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    After 5 years away from coffeesnobs... its good to see things didnt change much

    giphy.gif
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  30. #30
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    Geeze What did I start... . This time.. hehehe. We have been in Fremantle for a few days and visited a few of our favourite coffee places. Was amusing to hear hubby mention that he noticed at one they were wiping the milk wand between heatings. He’s becoming more observant as well. We also had a first visit to one that uses our current , preferred beans. Hubby says I do a better job. It was pretty busy though and staff seemed nice. Would still happily go there again for coffee. I have a work friend who is an ex barista and coffee bar owner. She told me she learnt to look away, not watch when out for coffee. I don’t make a point of trying to see when the machinery is tucked away, but if I’m right there, I will watch. Still fascinated and learning.
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  31. #31
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexkez View Post
    Geeze What did I start... . This time.. hehehe. We have been in Fremantle for a few days and visited a few of our favourite coffee places. Was amusing to hear hubby mention that he noticed at one they were wiping the milk wand between heatings. He’s becoming more observant as well. We also had a first visit to one that uses our current , preferred beans. Hubby says I do a better job. It was pretty busy though and staff seemed nice. Would still happily go there again for coffee. I have a work friend who is an ex barista and coffee bar owner. She told me she learnt to look away, not watch when out for coffee. I don’t make a point of trying to see when the machinery is tucked away, but if I’m right there, I will watch. Still fascinated and learning.
    Same! I don't watch to judge and criticise but to learn and to see how other people do things. I try to be discreet and not a creepy weirdo haha, and try not to stare and make the barista uncomfortable, but I do like seeing how other baristas do their thaaang.

    I've had people stare while in a busy period and it of course got me thinking "ah have they been waiting long for their coffee, did I miss one of them...", and afterwards some have said they're just mesmerised by baristas and how fluid, fast and coordinated they can work. Have had it often said by many customers they could never do what I do haha.
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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexkez View Post
    Geeze What did I start
    You didn't start anything, sometimes a thread will just "blow up". It's okay to ignore the kiddies and continue with the original discussion.

    amusing to hear hubby mention that he noticed at one they were wiping the milk wand between heatings. He’s becoming more observant as well.
    One of my kids was little more than a toddler when they stopped on the footpath, turned sideways and looked across the road at a cafe and exclaimed "what are they doing to the milk" as the jug screamed out in agony.

    Being a Coffeesnob is often as simple as being observant but it's certainly also contagious and that has to be good thing if it improves the chance of getting a better coffee when out.
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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    recently I went to a cafe at Belmont area (F5 Coffee); nice little local coffee... good breakfast too; what took my interest was the number of small little containers they had in front of their grinder...
    Turns out they were doing single dosing each cup, by pre-measured beans in sealed little containers... TBH, I have never seen any other cafe doing this method, but the coffee is pretty good. (closest I have seen is one using a digital scale to a cup)

    Other place I pick up on at Guildford was during our work Xmas breakfast.... the place was packed and everyone was waiting for their coffee... turns out There was only one person manning the machine doing both shots and milk.... in situation like that I would have thought it would be wiser to have 2 person task with shots and milk each... but otherwise, the coffee were pretty good too... just a little late

    just small little observation now, but I keep it to myself at the shop

    But I do have a chat with our new coffee van lady... previous lady quit the business so we have a new one now.... we discuss different coffee beans , and how they tasted as she is still trying to adjust the profile to suit everyone's tastes

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Being a Coffeesnob is often as simple as being observant but it's certainly also contagious and that has to be good thing if it improves the chance of getting a better coffee when out.
    Although this can be a pain when you get so used to the sights and sounds of espresso equipment that you walk past a cafe and can't help noticing the distinctive sound of a grinder that desperately needs new burrs, or the sound of a pump struggling to pull water through a half-clogged filter. Although a related hobby I have is pointing out the make and model of a machine glimpsed for a millisecond in the background of a movie or TV show - my wife is so used to me doing this she doesn't even bother to get annoyed anymore!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    recently I went to a cafe at Belmont area (F5 Coffee); nice little local coffee... good breakfast too; what took my interest was the number of small little containers they had in front of their grinder...
    Turns out they were doing single dosing each cup, by pre-measured beans in sealed little containers... TBH, I have never seen any other cafe doing this method, but the coffee is pretty good. (closest I have seen is one using a digital scale to a cup)
    Would be interested in checking this place out if you want to message the name of it to me. We tried 3 different places doing our fav FS compton beans over the weekend.( had a list of 4 places to try from F5) One was so badly done we walked out after a few sips. The guy asked us how it was. so i told him.. scalding, very little flavour. I said, please don't waste those beans. Go and do the F5 training. The other two were ok. ( one we went back to twice as they'd been very busy the first time and I thought it was fair to give them a second chance) Home after 3 days and hubby said this afternoons coffee was the best he'd had in 3 days. We went to a couple of other favourite places too and went to a kichenwares place in Osb pk last thing and picked up another milk jug. Win!
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  36. #36
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi all

    I'm at the Linux Conference at the Gold Coast at the moment. There is a coffee cart. I took a look at the two Barista's and said to the wife (also a Linux user) "Nah, they won't know what a ristretto is". "But they might be good; you never know", she suggested.
    Okies. I relented.

    Me "Could I have a double ristretto please?"
    They: "Will that be in two cups?"
    Me: "Don't worry, I'll just have a short black thanks." (and wondering if even that could be drinkable)

    Mike
    Andy likes this.



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