Sunday, November 30, 2008

Latte, Bean Pod Cafe, Barwon Heads

This street in Barwon Heads seemed fairly caffeine-rich, so it was a bit of a gamble only choosing one of them to go to, but we did okay. It seems like a fairly surfy yet foody town with lots of antiques and second hand books. Foodiness and books tend to require coffee, which explains the vast choice in this one street. Bean Pod gets the thumbs up. It took about twenty minutes to come out (I'm glad I got that mineral water to tide me over) but well worth it. That red saucer just makes it look even more satisfying too.

Short Mac, McKenzie and Ebbels Foodstore, Queenscliff

Yeah! That's a relief.

Instant, Queenscliff Music Festival

Damn. The artists area had a plunger and a jar of ground something yesterday afternoon. But this morning it's just a jar of Blend 43. Hmm. If I'd been organising the hot beverage area I probably would have saved the good shit for the morning, when people need it most. But it was to be only instant. I needed something to cut through the bacon and eggs, and to motivate me to get out there and find more coffee. One scoop, a bit of milk and about two centimetres of hot water first, then lots of stirring, then finally water it down and add a bit more milk to taste. I've heard that up to ten minutes of stirring makes instant coffee a hell of a lot better. I'm not sure if it was worth all the effort. It tasted okay, but it didn't taste like coffee.
Instant coffee stirring times could make an interesting mythbust on the blog later in the week. Hmm.. I'll have to remember that.
Also, I have to point out the interesting choice of breakfast availablity time: 8:30am to 10:00am. On a Sunday morning. How many musicians are going to get up that early? Maybe they chose that time for a reason: based on that kitchen's theoretical eggs and bacon throughput limit, they couldn't serve the amount of musicians who would turn up at, say midday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Strong Latte, Coffee and Vegetarian Food, Queenscliff Music Festival

It's always hard to figure out which coffee van is the best bet at outdoor folksy music festivals. I chose immediacy over everything else; the hair-wrapped, quesadilla-squishing folk at the bus (which I assume they all live in) with the "Coffee and Vegetarian Food" sign had a very short queue. The other choice was around the corner towards the Lighthouse Stage, where a very small van with about four people inside, and a queue of at least ten, seemed to be the crowd's favourite. I figured I'd rather spend less time waiting for a potentially disappointing coffee, as pessimistic as that sounds.
It wasn't bad. Kudos, hippies! The shot itself might have been a bit over-extracted, but at least the milk was in good shape. I'll have to deduct a few points for the flimsy cups though. They were so flimsy that when I grasped the cup, it squished in and overflowed. They gave me a second cup, but that was equally flimsy. Two flimsies is still less than sturdy.

Flat White, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

We just went and voted. On the way out, I noticed the Greens pamphlet guy fishing all the discarded Greens pamphlets out of the bin. He was going to hand them back out to other people. Recycling. If that's not practising what you preach, I don't know what is. Respect.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Espresso, Kamel, Albert Park


I just realised amid the traffic this evening that Richie 1250 is the closest thing I have to somebody on the radio that I actually want to hear. He plays rad rad rad stuff from all over the musical spectrum every Friday on PBS 106.7 from 5pm until 7pm. It's one of those shows on PBS where every time you tune in you hear something rad, and it gets backannounced, and you think to yourself, "I really should remember that," but you seldom do. Well, the playlist history on the PBS website ensures that you will once again hear 21st Creation's Tailgate from 1976; a cautionary tale about "dirty lowriders" trying to "slip up from the rear" and "tailgate another man's woman" on the "highway of love".

It's worth hearing the whole thing just for the lyrics ("woman can I tow you home" - even Prince wouldn't go near that with a ten-foot euphemism pole) and the decent slab of instrumental discosex from 2:54 onwards.

Espresso, Brunetti, Carlton

Carlton Espresso seemed to be packing up the tables. At twenty-five minutes to four on a Friday. Odd. Brunetti was pat to the rafters.

Latte, North, Carlton North

Have you got today's Age? Flip to the weather page. Go to the water storage bit. It says the level of water in each of the reservoirs. Add up all the percentages. Divide that number of reservoirs, multiplied by 100. That number should be, you would assume, the total water storage level.
Was your result waaaay different to the number on the front of the Age? Confused yet?
Also, one of the dams is listed as 100% full. That's not very conservatively rated; does that mean you couldn't fit another glass of water in there?

Halftte, home

This one went cold while I was playing Guitar Hero World Tour. Woah. Serious. This game must be addictive if it makes me forget about coffee.
I got to the finale where you're playing Hot For Teacher with Ozzy Osbourne and Sting and the drummer from Blink-182. Unfortunately, after all that, the credits roll and you are "rewarded" with an unlocked Dream Theater song. A bit of a let down. But on the positive side, this is pretty much the only situation where I would listen to an entire song by Dream Theater. If I have to listen to it, I guess I'd rather do it with a Guitar Hero controller in my hands.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Espresso, home

World of Goo gets pretty hard about halfway through level three. Even if you watch someone solve the level on YouTube, it's still hard to do it yourself. It's amazing how many people are doing screencasts of themselves playing the game, just so they can post it online, mainly showing off their scores: either using fewer moves, fewer balls, or most scarily, doing it really fast.

Like I said, it looks easy, but that's a lot of precise pointing and clicking.
Ah, blogging about procrastination. It's the highest form of procrastination.

Latte, Jasper, Fitzroy

It was Training Day at Alimentari. I think that French tagline in the image above roughly translates to "when only fools would order a latte". When I walked in I noticed that some of the staff were being taken through the method and apparatus of making a meatball wrap. Let's hope toasting the completed wrap doesn't constitute "simultaneous heating of a bread component and the sandwich filling"; they might get sued by McDonald's. My spidey senses were tingling. I figured it wasn't the best day to get a takeaway latte from Alimentari. As I waited for my wrap to come out (it took a while because they seemed to process each order in series rather than get five wraps on the grill, five plates ready, etc. I guess that's a sign that they're not infringing any copyright) I noticed everyone else's coffees were coming out. They looked amazing. Oh well, it's better to exercise caution, especially when I know Jasper is only a few doors down.

Latte, home

Read the previous post.
Read the comments.
I'm glad I made a difference.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Espresso, home

Wow, I thought this kind of thing didn't happen anymore. A random message from someone I don't know on Messenger:

icahyxsxanDo you want to get a Bachelors, Masters, MBA or PhD degree
from a prestiguous University within weeks?
Call 0044-207-692-7821 NOW!! (UK Phone Number)

Retro.

This espresso turned out similarly amazing, like the one I had this morning. Let's hope this trend continues.

Latte, home

Some more info on the Mr Miles blend:
"A thick body with sweet, strong characteristics."
I got that thick slurpy crema thing to happen this morning, where about 1/3 of the volume of the finished shot is crema the colour of somewhere between the inside and the outside of a Crunchie, and it stays there.
I'm still figuring out what phone to get next. I've narrowed it down to an iPhone or a Nokia N95i. My main priority is a phone that is usable as a phone (surprisingly, not all phones turn out like that anymore), that I can take photos from and send them to Blogger straight away (this blog will be updated far more punctually as a result), and maybe with a GPS tacked on too.
It turns out I can get an iPhone for slightly cheaper than the N95i. The iPhone is slimmer. The N95i has a better camera than my camera does. The iPhone is an iPod. The N95i is one of the few phones with a normal-ass headphone jack. The iPhone's interface is rad, I'm familiar with that from my iPod Touch. The N95i is a Nokia, whose interfaces I've been pretty happy with in the past. The N95i has 8GB internal storage, plus whatever memory card you want to plug in. The iPhone has 8GB or 16GB. You can drag anything from your computer onto the N95i. The iPhone is a bit more closed; everything has to go in via iTunes. That's a pain in the ass. But as a music player, the iPhone is an iPod.
Okay, most of those pros and cons kind of cancel each other out: I can put up with the fatness of the N95i because it's a better camera; I can put up with the not-quite-as-good camera on the iPhone because it fits in my wallet. What it REALLY comes down to is how blog-friendly they are. I'm messing around with the iPhone Wordpress app right now on my iPod Touch. It is rad. You write your post, add a picture from the library or the camera, and publish it. That's exactly what I'm looking for. I haven't yet figured out if there is a similarly useful iPhone app for Blogger.
The N95i seems capable of blogging. I'm not sure how much yet, though.

Readers: do any of you have an N95 and have you successfully posted three photos of coffee per day to Blogspot?

Wow. That's a good 500-ish words of blogging about blogging. That's almost as redundant as freestyling about freestyling. I heard enough of that at the Laundry on Monday night. I also heard this:

I hadn't heard that track in a while, and I forgot that, even if you ignore how rad the rest of the track is, it also has the same bassline as the theme from Knight Rider. You can't really beat that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Halftte, home

In the news today: McDonald's patents the sandwich.

Also, can anyone explain why the URL of my search page is so freakin' long?

http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&client=pub-2070091971271392&channel=0262445351&cof=FORID%3A1%3BAH%3Aleft%3BCX%3AStart%2520Search%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fcoop%2Fintl%2Fen-US%2Fimages%2Fcustom_search_sm.gif%3BLH%3A65%3BLP%3A1%3BVLC%3A%23551a8b%3BGFNT%3A%23666666%3BDIV%3A%23cccccc%3B&adkw=AELymgVpv6m0us-ZUrUeUe0HyhDKCdws7HKc6hFUXcvXIlHVYJsVl0ydt2WEIpTZkksfSW0AWaZaTrvM2KyI3nDFLhIaYrBAFVbFcGutVK8jtmVPpRBWJzU&q=&btnG=Search&cx=!014345598409501589908%3Amplknj4r1bu

Jesus.

Latte, home

New beans. Very nice. Mr Miles blend from Brother Baba Budan. Not as handful-of-blueberries as the last lot. That's gotta be my first documented case of getting through 250g of coffee beans in one week. I put this down to the combination of drinking lots of coffee, and being slightly more antisocial than average.
I couldn't get the grind right either, and had to tip a few espressos down the drain. Heartbreaking. I should have at least fed them to the venus fly trap or something.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Espresso, Brother Baba Budan, City

Christ. I rode my bike into the city twice today. I'm shagged.

Espresso, Elizabeth St Espresso, City

"How was your coffee today guys?"
I love it when they ask.
But I'm usually too stunned to be able to come up with a good answer.
It was damn good today, and I'm glad. I haven't been here for at least five years; it's good to see they're still serving it up like they should. This cafe is where I learnt, way back in early 2000, that some people actually get the milk to such a temperature that you can drink it straight away - I can remember thinking, "Wow, I can start drinking this now. I bet I could finish it before I cross Flinders St if I really wanted to...why doesn't everyone do it like this?"
Why indeed. Little did I know that eight years later I'd start a blog asking that very question three times a day.

Espresso, home

I was up pretty late last night watching jingles from Australian TV in the 80s and 90s on Youtube. I bet I'm the first person you've had that particular sentence from today. This has gotta be one of my favourites, that I totally forgot about:



How mind-blowingly awesome. Molly Meldrum, gratuitous BMXes (or is that BMices?), 3D computer-generated landmarks, rad music...yeah! It makes me wish the "Bike Bright and You'll Bike Right" road safety ad was also on Youtube, but I couldn't find it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Espresso, Carlton Espresso, Carlton

I'm hooked. This place is awesome. Order. Pay. Grind. Tamp. Pull. Espresso. Consume. Leave. In and out in forty-eight seconds.

Latte, North Island, Fitzroy North

I've really gotta come back here for breakfast. It looks damn good.
Is it antisocial to turn up to a party with a takeaway coffee? Some people interpreted it as "getting caffeinated up before you start drinking" or "lining your stomach before you move onto the hard stuff". Either way, I can't believe people thought my not drinking alcohol meant I must have been a hard drinker. I grabbed a martini glass full of gazpacho and ate some nachos, which only complicated things more. I must have REALLY been lining my stomach.

Latte, home

The big news this month is that the Beatles might be releasing some new material. Carnival of Light is thirteen minutes and forty-eight seconds of "distorted, hypnotic drum and organ sounds, a distorted lead guitar, the sound of a church organ, various effects (water gargling was one) and, perhaps most intimidating of all, John Lennon and McCartney screaming dementedly and bawling aloud random phrases like 'Are you alright?' and 'Barcelona!'" that was recorded in early 1967 and has never been released on an official Beatles album, or on any bootlegs.
Paul McCartney tried to release Carnival on the Beatles Anthology 2, but George Harrison voted against it.
As much as I want to hear a 13-minute Beatles jam and people yelling "Barcelona!", I feel more comfortable agreeing with George than I do disagreeing with George. He must have had a good reason to say no; either musical, or to spite Paul. I'm happy with either.

Double Macchiato, Ismael, Tunbridge Wells

If you ever happen to be in Tunbridge Wells, this is where you want to go for your coffee. If you're coming from the train station, head up the hill and you'll get to it before the Chain of Chains (Costa, Nero, Starbucks and even Muffin Break are within about 20 metres of each other).

Don't be put off by the fact that Ismael is located within an outdoor clothing and camping shop. It is easily the best coffee in town. Incidentally, it's also the best tea and hot chocolate. If you drink macchiato, as I do, it's not on the menu, but they'll make it anyway. And they'll even ask you to say "when" with your milk and froth.

They roast their own beans, and these you can buy. And they sell all the harder to find ones, including Hawaiian Kona. Last time I had to buy beans, after asking me what I use to make my coffee at home, one of the excellent baristas asked me at what time of day I drink it, before recommending a variety. That's a cafe that cares about coffee.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Espresso, Brother Baba Budan, City

Two. Spectacular.
It's been raining all day.
I got a parking ticket - I was eight minutes late.
I left the ticket under the wipers, for spite.
I drove off.
It started raining again.
I put the wipers on.
The ticket went flying somewhere on the corner of Queen St and Latrobe.
I thought, "There is no way I'm getting out of the car in the rain for that."
They'll track me down. They always do.

Flat White, Brother Baba Budan, City

In the weekend vapornews today: girls get rich and famous blogging, or as the article says, they use their blog as a foothold, or rung, or some other metaphor, up the ladder to greater fame. The criteria seem to be late-twenties (done), have at least 1000 page views per week (I'm a fair way off from that), female (out of the question), and possibly wear a dress made from condoms, or something. That last one is also pretty far out of the question.
Sam, of Ask Sam fame, says in the article that blogging is a 24-hour job; she is up replying to comments all night. Wow. Replying to comments! I've never really thought about that. One does wonder how she can be such an authority on "relationships, dating, cheating, flirting, romance, or love" if she also spends this much time blogging - wow, nerds must be cool again.

Latte, Cafe 639, Carlton North

Honestly, we only went here because Rathy Food Store and Bicchieri were full. Waay full. Who would have thought so many people would be going out for breakfast today, when it has been hailing most of the morning, when it is supposed to be late spring? Anyway, the coffee wasn't bad. The breakfast was a bit weird (I don't think putting two hash browns in an omelette constitutes a "frittata" that contains "potato"), but the coffee was okay (quite good, actually), and hey, they had free tables. And glass bottles of Coke.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

They've got the sexy cups back in stock. And they're listening to Primal Scream again! I never hear that band anywhere else except this cafe, and now I've heard multiple albums.

Bobby Gillespie looks more like Bobby Gillespie played by Arj Barker in that video. That's Little Barrie there on guitar too. Rad. Watch out for the boobies at 1:43.

Espresso, home

Eurgh. A bit over-extracted I think.
I just received word that Jeff Beck is touring. Woah.

That's Scatterbrain, about two years ago. We tried to play that in the Genie a few times but we got confused.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Espresso, home

I downloaded World of Goo.
This game is going to require a lot of coffee to play, but I'll probably want to keep playing rather than write a blog about the coffee I'm drinking in order to play it.
Quite the predicament.
By the way, the survey results are streaming in. I can't believe somebody who had coffee in the same building as Leo Sayer is reading my blog!

Halftte, home

I'm getting pretty close to finishing Hey, Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland. If you've read anything else of his, a word of warning: this book is no walk-in-the-park pop-culture-namecheck like jPod and Microserfs. It's a bit of a downer. A bloody clever, beautifully written one with page after page of exquisitely-applied semicolons, but a downer nonetheless.
But I guess I should expect that from a book about a high school massacre.
In other Coupland news, I read in the Green Guide last week that there is a TV series of jPod out there somewhere. The bad news is:
  1. It's only screened on FOX8 in Australia, on rich person (cable) TV
  2. It was axed after one season
These are bad newses for me because:
  1. I can't watch it, unless it happens to be on when I'm on a really long Virgin Blue flight and I've swiped my credit card in the hope that FOX8 is screening some sort of fifteen-hour Simpsons marathon
  2. Maybe it was axed for a good reason
Mind you, a lot of things are axed prematurely. The Mick Molloy Show. Rove, when it was on channel nine. Way to go, Nine! You're still number nine! But some things get axed because they suck. To which category does the TV series of jPod belong? We'll let YouTube decide that.

Woah. I just watched a bit and decided the book is still funny without being read out loud on TV. TV sucks.

Long Black, home

Woah, what happened to the weather? Well, if it weren't for the water crisis I would have no other reason to possibly think today's weather was a good thing. In the news today: Monty Python have their own channel on YouTube now.

To combat the growing number of unauthorised sharing of Python content on YouTube, they are re-posting it up there themselves, the only trade-off being that there is a link to Amazon where you can buy the real thing on DVD. This is much more cost-effective that dishing out takedown notices, and will actually result in more sales. Nice one Python. As you can see above, you can even embed the content. This is the kind of thing that will get blogged about (by people like me), increase awareness of Monty Python's online presence, and who knows, maybe even sell more DVDs. This is a concept that so many other official YouTube channels aren't cottoning onto.
Take Universal Music Group, for instance.
Let's say I just remembered that new Q-Tip song I saw on Rage a few weeks ago. I think to myself, "Yeah that song was alright, I might find it on YouTube, the defacto iPod for songs I don't own; I might even put that song on my blog, that ought to eat up some column inches," and so off to YouTube I go. The song comes up as the first result, posted in the Universal Music Group channel. But I can't embed it in my blog. It's a shame, embedding that song in my blog might put that song out there for readers of my blog to hear, maybe enjoy, and maybe think, "Wow, Q-Tip's still got it after 20 years, I'm gonna check out his new album."
But I can't embed the video on my blog.
"Embedding is disabled by request."
This doesn't really achieve much. I'm just going to search for the song again, find somebody who shouldn't have posted the song because it's not theirs to post, but they won't have disabled embedding. The song still gets blogged, but not because of UMG. Strangely, me posting the song kind of helps them out; I'm not sure why they're trying to prevent that. Anyway, here's the song:

He looks kinda like something from Super Mario Bros 3 in that raccoon hat. I'm worried he's gonna spin around and knock me out with his tail.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Espresso, home

Okay folks, part one of the Ryan Blogs Coffee Survey is now open for business. Click over here and fill it out. I'm mainly testing the waters, seeing how much coffee is being had out there at the moment. The questions will get slightly more specific as we go on. Enjoy!

Flat White, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

These photos are starting to look pretty bad; it might have something to do with the two or three cracks in the camera lense on my phone. Hmm. I should do something about that. But hey, this is much easier than carrying a camera around. Eventually I'm going to have a system going where I can take the photo and post the blog straight from my phone. It's the future. My mobile contract isn't up until February, which is also in the future. Until then, let's see how much these lense cracks affect my photos.
Not a bad cup from Bitchiery today, the pumpkin pide was okay too, but I'm starting to realise I just don't like parsley. Everything else in the sandwich was great, but the (curly) parsley just put me off a bit. Remind me to steer clear of tabouleh for a while too.

Latte, home

If you don't want to get hooked on a very addictive and quite clever game, look away now.
World of Goo. You can get the demo for PC or Mac (and Linux is coming soon) at 2d Boy's site, and the full version is downloadable if you pay via Paypal. The game also has no DRM, and as a result 2d Boy have estimated an 82% piracy rate of the game based on the number of sales versus the number of registered users. They are still convinced DRM is a waste of time and money though, as it's usually cracked in the first few days of a game being released.
Rad game though. You build things by connecting balls of goo together, so all the goo can get to the exit. It gives me a Lemmings kind of feeling, with a Loco-Roco-meets-Edward-Scissorhands aftertaste.

I finished the demo, might have to get my Paypal on.
You can also get it (either now or very soon) on WiiWare. But that doesn't seem as attractive to me, I'm pretty sure my Mac has better graphics than the Wii, and buying Wii points and and then spending them on the game is slightly more annoying than Paypal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Espresso, home

Brother Baba Budan said these beans taste like blueberries. It was hard to imagine at the time, but now I see what they mean. It's kind of a weird sensation having these beans in a latte. It tastes like it should be purple, but it isn't.

Halftte, home

I'm watching Goodfellas. A word of warning to anybody who has seen all of the Sopranos and wants to watch Goodfellas: it gets confusing. There are at least five actors from the Sopranos in it. Not just that, but most of the characters have similar names. Paulie. Tony. Etc. It's hard to put names to faces when you're used to that other guy being called Paulie.
Rad movie though. There's some cool commentary on the DVD by Henry Hill (the real life guy whose story Goodfellas is based on) and the FBI guy who brought him in. But what I don't get is how Henry Hill has not been whacked after getting so many hardcore mob guys arrested. Maybe because they were all in jail, I guess.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Espresso, home

Er, catching up on the blog. Not much more to report.
I've gotta stop giving myself a day off every time I catch up. It only puts me back where I started.

Flat White, Switchboard, City

On the grapevine today: Ridley Scott is making a movie of Monopoly. Yes, the board game. Wtf?
It could be awesome; the storyline could be like Scarface: dude starts out on the streets in London with nothing, then pretty soon he's holed up in the penthouse of his hotel on Mayfair with a bazooka and a kilogram of coke. But how did he get there? We flashback to the same guy walking around London, occasionally collecting $200, paying rent, etc. Pretty soon he wins second prize in a beauty contest, but then realises that same contest was once won by a SHOE and a DOG. He's pissed off, but he keeps walking. He is soon arrested, sentenced to go directly to jail. He gets released a week later and collects another $200. Etc.
I'm just really hanging out for the turning point in our hero's rise to notoriety: the scene where he goes to the ATM, prints out his account balance, and realises there has been a bank error in his favour.

Espresso, Brother Baba Budan, City

Continuing our BBB question and answer series:
2. What's with all the chairs on the roof?
A: I don't know. But it gives you opportunities for one liners.
"It's full of chairs, but never anywhere to sit."
"Yeah. I can never find a TABLE at this place."

Latte, Animal Orchestra, Carlton

I think this is a very good coffee, but I'm sick of lattes. Maybe I just need some time off from them. Or to just have stronger ones. Or to have less milk in them.
That reminds me, I forgot to mention the best bit about the latte I had at Hudson in Canberra Airport on Wednesday morning last week. She hadn't steamed enough milk, poured it all in, and it filled the cup about 3/4 of the way up. I said, "That's enough, don't worry about the rest." I think that's the secret if you want to get a decent strength latte out of Hudsons without ordering an extra shot.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Double Mac, Paul, Regent St, London

I had to go to London for the day for a work thing. And I wasn't going to have time to travel via a Monmouth site, our most trusted coffee in London, but only really handy if you're somewhere near Covent Garden or the Borough Market. I also didn't want to risk the transit coffee from Tunbridge Wells Train Station, after my last experience there. The only thing to do was to gamble on finding somewhere decent between Oxford Circus tube station and the venue I was heading to.

The first thing I saw was Costa. Incidentally, it had the words 'Espresso Bar' on it (see Ryan's post from November 10), but I would argue the words 'Espresso Bar' are superseded by the fact that they were on a chain cafe that is on every major street in the United Kingdom. Further along the street was a Pret, similarly chainy, and at least part-owned by McDonald's. No good.

But on the other side of the road I saw the words 'patisserie' and 'boulangerie'. I also saw, in an overly-large font, the word Paul. A strange name for a patisserie/boulangerie/cafe. It's rather like having a Prime Minister called Kevin.

On the inside it looked like Laurent: windows full of colourful cakes and pastries. Macchiato was not officially on the menu but they made one nonetheless. The guy did try the upsell of the food, which I declined. The Macchiato was good, a little too much froth for me, but certainly did the trick.

In a land where it seems like the chains are taking over, and a decent coffee is hard to come by, there is still a light at the end of the (tube) tunnel. Even if it is called Paul.

Espresso, home

Okay, I hit the Spanish Festival way too early today, putting me in the neighbourhood seven hours before my gig. I watched SiB's gig at the Laundry, had two beers, and then realised there was still six hours to go. I went home and slept for two hours. So I'll need an espresso to get back into music mode.
It was a fun gig. With about 200,000 people in Johnston St for the festival, it was good to see that at least fifty of them knew that the Laundry also has an upstairs. Some rave dancer guy was totally losing his shit while we played Epic. Some guy came up afterwards and demonstrated the maximum amount of times you can logically use the word "psychedelic" in one sentence. Alex Dimitriades was DJing before our set too. You can't really ask for much more than that.

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

She pulled the espresso shot into a flat-white-looking cup, and then dumped that into a takeaway cup. Hmm. Can anyone tell me why? Surely any insulation benefits of the porcelain cup are negated by the fact that you're going to pour it into a paper cup anyway? And it sure looked like a lot of residual crema was going down the drain. But there must be a good reason.

Halftte, home

I bought that second My Bloody Valentine album yesterday. It's spectacular. I'm going to file it under Why Didn't I Buy This Ten Years Ago When it Caught My Eye In That Top 100 Albums Ever Poll in Rolling Stone? It also fits under the Revolutionary When It Came Out But Now Useful as Slightly Edgy Filmscore Fodder category. Sure enough, Sometimes was on the soundtrack to Lost in Translation. Strap this on:

Magic. Listening to that, I can imagine how loud their gigs must have been, and why they gained the reputation of being England's Loudest Band. There's a few new tracks on their Myspace too. This sixteen-years-in-the-making third album could be quite rad.
I also got TV on the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain and Sufjan Stevens' Illinois, based on the conversation I had with Richie and Bec on Friday night. It was a bit like that "I can't believe you don't own this fucking record!" scene from High Fidelity.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Espresso, home

Okay, I've spent a few days with Guitar Hero World Tour now. I'm sure you've all seen the ad on TV or the internets.

Hmm. On TV in Australia she keeps the shirt on. I've had a weird relationship with that song though anyway. I first saw it on an episode of Alf, with Alf coming in and impersonating Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Then I saw the Risky Business scene shortly after. My dad bought me the single of the song (one of my first singles..possibly before I got Stutter Rap). I listened to it non-stop. I even took it in to show-and-tell at school, in prep. The song gradually grew to become that song I used to like when I was a kid. Then some time in my early 20s I thought, "This song sucks! There's nothing funky or cool about it...I don't even know what decade it's from any more. Bob Seger sucks!" Then I learned a few years later that Bob Seger freakin' RULES and the song is GENIUS, and the Muscle Shoals cats who recorded it were freakin' BADASS and their toenail clippings contain more funk deposits than all of my limbs combined. I also read somewhere that Bob Seger wrote the verses and didn't ask for a cut of the songwriting, and it was worldwide Tom Cruise/Alf/Guitar Hero huge and he's regretted it ever since. And then the ad featuring the sporadically-shirtless Heidi Klum hit TV, cultural reference critical mass was imminent, and all were helpless against its powers: we all went and bought Guitar Hero World Tour the day it was available. The song isn't even featured in the game, or any Guitar Hero games, but it worked. I'm not sure who Activision should thank more: Bob Seger, Heidi Klum, Alf or Tom Cruise.
Here's my thoughts on the game:
  • Drums are difficult, require co-ordination, and are slightly defective. Yes, I think I'm ready to blame the drum controller itself for my shitty out-of-time playing.
  • Bass is fun. As Flea said on his instructional video in the 90s (co-hosted quite spookily by River Phoenix), upstrokes are for pussies; it's gotta be all downs.
  • Singing in tune is hard, especially for people who can't sing in tune, and even more especially when there is a line on screen showing how far out you are.
  • The song choice is awesome. Eye of the Tiger! Beat It! Love Me Two Times!
  • 30 Seconds to Mars are horrid. But I knew that already.
  • You earn dollars every time you complete a song. You can only spend all the money you earn from the gigs on clothes or guitars. Just like a real musician.
  • If you do a really good gig, you get offered an endorsement. "EMG Pickups want to give you all the pickups your bass can handle! Radical!" This message is shortly followed by, "EMG Pickups now available in the store." So even if you're sponsored, you still have to buy stuff, and you can choose to use pickups made by companies whose gear you aren't endorsing, but want to use anyway. Just like a real musician.
  • Another thing you can spend money on is unlocking more songs. For example, to play the three Tool songs, it'll cost you $8000. Wtf? This is where the whole dollars-as-points system falls flat. Why does my band have to spend all its money just to play even more songs we haven't written?
  • No matter how much I make my character look like me (by having the right hair and clothes and guitar) his stage moves still make him look like a complete douchebag.

Espresso, Carlton Espresso, Carlton

I think I may have posted today's Carlton Espresso yesterday, and vice versa. It doesn't matter. They were both perfect. This place rules.

Halftte, home

Well, I still can't listening to that My Bloody Valentine track I posted a few days ago. Will have to get some more of their stuff today. Their Wikipedia entry details some interesting career highlights:
  • Guitarist Kevin Shields, on auditioning singers: "It was pretty dangerous, I made the mistake of mentioning The Smiths because we liked their melodies, the whole thing was disastrous and excruciating, you should have seen some of the fruitballs we got."
  • On hiring Bilinda Butcher as a vocalist: she "sounded all right and she could sing one of our songs which sounded fine, we just had to show her how to play guitar."
  • On 1991 album Loveless: The making of the album was rumored to have cost £250,000 and to have nearly bankrupted Creation Records, claims which Shields has denied.
And finally, most interestingly:
  • My Bloody Valentine signed with Island Records in October 1992, reportedly for £250,000. The band spent their advance on constructing a studio in a house in Streatham. The studio was completed in April 1993, but problems with the studio and attempts to repair them caused the group to go into "semi-meltdown", according to Shields.
  • In 2007 Shields announced that the band had reunited and that a new album they had started recording in 1996 was "3/4th finished."
Well, they didn't release another album after 1992's Loveless. Let's just say that the album they started recording in 1996 is still the third album, which technically they started when they signed with Island in 1992. That's sixteen years ago. That's even longer than Chinese Democracy, which looks like it might actually get released before the year is out. Free Dr Pepper for everyone! C'mon MBV, can you beat GnR to the line?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Espresso, Brunetti, Carlton

Ahh. I don't think it's worth going back to Big Harvest. Not when Brunetti is only two minutes' walk away.

Espresso, Carlton Espresso, Carlton

Following on from the question posed in the previous post, I'm trying Carlton Espresso again. I was disappointed last time, but last-coffee-of-the-day is not the best environment for developing an opinion about this place. Here's what take two looked like:
Yeeeah! I'll be back. Repeatedly.

Espresso, Big Harvest, Carlton

Well, that's the last time I'll ever trust "I've never been there before, it might be worth checking out" as an excuse to go somewhere new for coffee. Kids, if your espresso looks like this, clear the area!
Waaay too long.
I should have known from the non-central position of the coffee machine. The coffee is an afterthought at this place.
This brings us to today's homework question: if you try a place for the first time and you dislike the coffee to the point of not drinking it, do you ever go back there again? Is it worth giving them another chance, or should you just go somewhere else?

Latte, home

In what is possibly the greatest thing to happen to a newspaper ever, Squarepusher is now writing for the Guardian music page. The highlight has to be the bit where he "reviews" that week's pop singles, "picking them apart one at a time like an angry, deconstructionist Casey Kasem."1
There's a rad article about Stockhausen, a scary-as-fuck drum-n-slap-bass video, and an article about Italian noise futurists that led me to discover the following song, for which I'll be eternally grateful:

That's You Made Me Realise by My Bloody Valentine, from 1988. I'll have to check out more of them. What's going on from 1'40" to 2'22" in that track? Woah.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Latte, Atomica

Meh. Not the greatest.
But maybe I'm just sick of lattes. What I was served today was a bit milky, not that interesting, but maybe I would have loved that a few years ago. Hmm.

Latte, home

In the news today: Virgin Blue fires thirteen staff members for posting "less than pleasant comments about passengers and aircraft" on Facebook. This is a bit scary. What if these guys had just said the less than pleasant comments to one of their mates at the pub? Unless said mate was pretty high up the chain at Virgin, it wouldn't have been a problem. But it seems Virgin Blue wants to stop any more disrepute from getting out there. Just in case you didn't get the Age this week, this is what those thirteen poor bastards lost their jobs over:

"...planes were full of cockroaches..."
Green Guide page 22, The Age, Thursday November 13, 2008

Cockroaches. Just in case you missed it the first time. Let's hope they've cut the allegations off at the source, we wouldn't want anyone to think the planes were full of cockroaches.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Espresso, Brother Baba Budan, City

Shit. Guitar Hero World Tour. Do I get the whole bundle, with the drum kit and the mic and the guitar and the game? Or just the game? I don't need another guitar, I can use the Guitar Hero III one. But if I want the drum kit I have to get the second guitar. Hmm. It's a lot of money. But fuck it, it's a drum kit! It'll be awesome.
Nahh, it's too much money to spend on a video game. This is ridiculous.
Maybe the drums will come in handy; some guy on the internet will have figured out a way to Bluetooth/MIDI/etc the GHWT drum kit into Logic. That would be cool. That justifies some of the price.
Hmm. JB Hi-Fi are doing the "just the game disc" pack for $64. That's nothing. C'mon EB Games, pay attention.
BUT what use would the game be if you can't play drums on it?
Ok bugger it, I'll get the whole thing.

P.S. Eye of the Tiger is one of the first songs on drums. Yeaah! Totally worth it.

Espresso, home

After finally getting back to Melbourne, and getting a few hours' more sleep, I think I'm ready to finally talk about Def Leppard.

It was rad. Everything you want from a stadium rock show. Sometimes when you hear Def Leppard in normal life, you might think, "That's a bit over-the-top," but in an arena in Canberra with 5000 people who are all there for the same reason, it all makes sense. They started with Rocket. Into Animal. You can't really go wrong with that. The sound was brilliant too. Cheap Trick's set (which was rad) left me thinking, "Well it sounds a bit crap in here, it must be the room," but from the first note Def Leppard sounded amazing. That middle section of Pour Some Sugar on Me is the best thing I've ever heard.

Wicked. Totally worth going to Canberra for. Totally worth getting up early to fly back from. Totally worth getting one knee (!?) sunburnt while watching Rudd's speech at the War Memorial. But Leppard did make a big point of saying they'll be back next year. So maybe I could have just waited until then and seen them in Melbourne..
Nahh. They might not bring Cheap Trick next time.

Flat White, Potter, University of Melbourne

Now that's made with love.

Latte, Hudsons, Canberra Airport

Get up at 4:45, in the taxi at 5:10, be quite early to check in for the 6:40 AM flight.
I assumed, being at the airport before 6:00 AM, that nowhere would be open for coffee and I would have to wait until Melbourne or take my chances with the soluble contents of a sachet of Virgin Blue.
I learned my lesson: assume nothing, especially when Hudsons are on the case (apostrophe or no apostrophe). After all, they're the ones with the coffee with the "aromatic aroma". How usefully useful it was that they were openly open this earlily early in the morning. My camera phone cracks the shits if I try to make it capture the reflection of fluorescent lights off steamed milk (a common occurrence at airports), so there's no photo today. But it was damn good for a pre-sunrise Hudsons latte.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Espresso, Ellacure, Canberra

It's located just across the carpark from AIS Arena. I think everybody in the restaurant was there for that reason because they were about to go and see Def Leppard.

(note: I just noticed Blogger had put a red underline underneath the word "Leppard" in the above paragraph. I was about to correct it, but remembered that it isn't really a word, but then realised I had spelt it with a triple p. Mind you, Blogger also thinks the word "Blogger" is spelled incorrectly. What an identity crisis.)

The espresso was a bit too long, but not too bad. I liked the waiters too. They weren't afraid to let what they really think break through their professional facade.

RYAN: Woah, that's a lot of salt.
WAITER: Yes, oysters are often served like that.
RYAN: It always seems like a lot of salt just to waste on presentation.
WAITER: It's pretty shit-grade salt though, so it doesn't matter.

Shit-grade! Yeah!

Latte, home

Yep, I'm really going to Canberra to see Def Leppard. Today. Here's some warm-up music.

That's Photograph, from the 1982 album Pyromania, before peroxide, before the tragic death of guitarist (on the left) Steve "Steamin'" Clark, before drummer Rick Allen's horrific arm-severing car accident. A lot of things have changed since 1982, but I'm pretty sure one thing remains constant: Def Leppard are awesome. Oh, and they're supported by Cheap Trick too:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Espresso, Potter Espresso Bar, University of Melbourne

The last thing I need today is more coffee. But that's hardly the point. It was a venue I'd never tried before, and the phrase "espresso bar" is usually a good sign.
The university's website says the PEB serves "excellent coffee and delicious refreshments". I think they were right on both counts. It's good to know there's great coffee in such close proximity to such a hub of learning. Without the former, the latter would be impossible early in the morning.

Latte, Brother Baba Budan, City

I just remembered that my original post about BBB posed a series of questions that I planned to answer over my next few visits. I have so far answered, er, one of them. I'd better catch up.
Q: Who is Brother Baba Budan anyway?
A: Directly lifted from Wikipedia:
"Baba Budan was a 17th century Sufi, revered by both Muslims and Hindus, whose shrine is at Baba Budangiri, Karnataka, India. According to legend, he introduced coffee to India by bringing beans from the port of Mocha, Yemen."
Wow. Such an important part of history, without which coffee may not have spread as it did. It all happened in Mocha. It's a shame that hot-chocolate-coffee drink had to be named after it.

Short Mac, Pushka, City

Pushka seem to be having some sort of license troubles. You can now only drink coffee outside in a take-away cup, unless you sit on the stairs. I guess this insulates them from being responsible for so many people sitting in the alley on milk crates.
I'm still amused by their choice of glasses. And the length of the espresso. Half a shot glass. What is that, 15ml? Actually, the glass tapers, so it's probably less than 15ml. Yikes.

3/4 Latte, home

Half? Three quarters? Well, I think this is a six-ounce glass. So I guess that makes it a 3/4 latte. Or a waltztte.
In the news today: Jesse Hyde takes out pole position at the Victorian Barista Championships. The word on the street is that he has been running a "cafe" out of a caravan in Preston, and half of his clients make their orders via SMS. Just the fact that he has clients makes him sound like a professional, and well worth a Ryan Blogs Coffee field trip. So, Preston, eh? Does anybody know where this fabled caravan is? Or has it closed down to make way for Jesse's real cafe? If it is still around, it sounds like a good way to bean up on the way to the airport tomorrow.
Oh yeah. That's my big news. I'm going to Canberra.
To see Def Leppard and Cheap Trick.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Short Mac, North Island, Fitzroy North

I couldn't help but notice, walking past Manny's, the poster for Michael Angelo Batio's gig at the Corner that is coming up soon. For those of you who haven't heard of him, Michael Angelo Batio is a bloody hilariously fast guitarist, in a famous-on-Youtube kind of way.

Try to make it to at least 2'20". He starts to sound like a Nintendo.

Latte, home

Messing around with drum machines. This is what the weekends are all about, kids!

LL Cool J's Radio. Rick Rubin's taking you to school. Sit down, it's time for the first lecture in Making Drum Machines Sound So Rad That The Track Doesn't Need Anything Else 101.

Latte, home

Wow! I just logged on to find a new post on the coffee blog; I didn't write it. Thanks to Dr J-Mo for the UK coffee perspective. It's no secret that England has lagged behind in the culinary stakes until recently, even though they are located so close geographically to places like Italy and France. As the world gets smaller, so do the flavour borders. The fact that you can now fly from Gatwick to Milan and back for less than the cost of a Tall Latte has changed the UK espresso landscape considerably. Dr J will keep us informed as to how it's shaping up. Oh, and she went to Iceland.

The big news this week is the impending almost-simultaneous release of two Wii games: Wii Music and Guitar Hero World Tour. They're far different beasts (GHWT is the new game from an unstoppable franchise that makes you believe you can play guitar, Wii Music lets you play instruments and jam with other people using the Wiimote - far more user friendly and Wii-like) but I think few people will buy two music games in one week.

I just may be one of those few. The new GH game is a must, if only for the new songs (Are You Gonna Go My Way! Beat It! Hotel California! OMG!) but one phrase jumped out at me when reading up about Wii Music:
"You’ll use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers as drumsticks, and place both feet on the Wii Balance Board—which work as virtual pedals for the bass drum and hi-hat cymbal."
There also seems to be some good music tips hidden in there too.
"Everyone on the team has a job to do: Play one of your notes only when the tune demands it."
Wow. Nintendo summed up the improvised music experience in one sentence in a way that none of my lecturers at the VCA could. I think I need to play this game.

They played another Montreaux Jazz Festival show on ABC2 this morning. I think George Benson's bass player was shaking a tamborine with his foot. Wow. I'll almost forgive him for playing that unnecessarily ugly bass with too many strings.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Latte, home

Crikey. That's more like it. I'm not sure why that latte from Lygon Food Store was so weak. It was the kind of taste that makes you wish they had run out of milk half way through pouring. I also worry a bit when somebody forgets your order.
"Would you like to order?"
"Oh, sorry, I did. At the other end of the counter."
I remember the guy who served me yelling "latte take away" in the general direction of the coffee machine, and I thought, "Wow, I hope that doesn't get lost in the system." Who knows, maybe those kind of hopes just attract forgetfulness. It's hard to brim with positivity on Lygon St on a Saturday morning though. If you manage to get past the teams of exchange student Red Cross collectors and throngs of foodies heading out for breakfast, you'll be mighty lucky to not get knocked over by the hordes of cyclists on their way to Brunetti. Utter chaos.

Latte, Lygon Food Store, Carlton

CSI (Coffee Spill Investigation) reports will reveal that the coffee was thrown, rather than dropped. After tasting this one I decided it was going to be more fun to throw it in the gutter and take a photo of the results than it would be to actually drink it. That car that drove past while I was doing it must have thought I was a nut.

Double espresso, Tunbridge Wells Train Station, Tunbridge Wells

There was about 7 minutes until the train, so I definitely had time to get a coffee for the journey. It's one of those wierd places where they're actually serving 2 counters at once (one inside the nonexistent ticket barrier, and one outside).
So someone at the outside counter ordered a Mocha (eeugh). The woman behind the counter put in the chocolate and then set the coffee going in. Then I, inside the nonexistent ticket barrier, ordered a Double Espresso. She looked confused and said to me, inexplicably, 'Yes, she'll be back in a minute'. Then took an order from the next guy, which was an Americano. At which she put in a shot of espresso and then topped it up with hot water. At this point the woman with the Mocha has nothing to drink, I have nothing to drink, but the third guy has his Americano. I couldn't help saying 'Geez good service for you, I thought I ordered first'.
Then another woman appears behind the counter and starts frothing milk for the Mocha. The first woman then says, 'Oh, and she wants a... what was it?'
'A Double Espresso', I said calmly, thinking, "Bloody hell the 7 minutes I had before the train clearly wasn't enough." So finally the Mocha went to that person, and then the second serving lady made my Double Espresso. The first woman gave it to me and said 'Sorry for the wait, but I don't know how to make Double Espresso'. What!? Don't know how to make Espresso, but can do an Americano and have a fair crack at a Mocha (apart from the milk, obviously)?
The Double Espresso did the job, insomuch as a train station coffee can, but the unnecessary hurry to the train, with two backpacks and an enormous jacket, was well uncalled for.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flat White, Animal Orchestra, Carlton

Not bad. That muffin looks like it could do some damage though.

Latte, home

Latte. Home. A slow news day. I'm experimenting with the blog. Can anybody recommend Wordpress over Blogger?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Allegedly, there are three Saturn V rockets out there somewhere. Two cancelled Apollo missions and one spare one. It's only a matter of time before they all turn up on eBay. Just remember, before you jump on the Buy It Now button, that the shipping will probably screw up the whole deal for you. Back in the day they used to transport two of the three stages of the rocket by barge. So I think you'll need two or possibly three barges. How long would that take to get to Melbourne...a year? Two?

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

They're going with Sigur Ros today. I've never really checked them out, but I imagine if I had to work as early as these guys do every day I'd probably want to listen to fragile Icelandic orchestral melodramatic pop quite a lot too. Plus, they fit in with my Bjork theme of the last week.

In other news, the coffee blog is hiring. Do you drink coffee? Do you write blogs? Do you insist on writing complete sentences in every SMS? Do you want to slap people who mispunctuate? Do you enjoy inventing words like "mispunctuate"? You could be right for the job. I can't help but think Ryan Blogs Coffee is getting a little self-centred (the title alone could do with some work) and repetitive (I'm a creature of habit - you may notice I don't often have coffee anywhere I haven't been before twelve times) so it might be time for a change of scene. Also, the post-something-every-time-I-have-a-coffee was a fun experiment, but it would be nice to have more people covering more ground.
So, if this sounds like it could be a productive waste of your time, send through a twenty-five-word bio (exactly twenty-five words would be ideal), an example of some of your other writing, and a brief account of something interesting/horrifying and coffee-related that happened to you in the last week, and any blog title ideas you have (preferably involving a pun on a coffee-related word) to bassmonro at gmail dotcom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Espresso, Gerald's Bar, Carlton North

It was great to have a day off today. Yesterday I probably would have told you that I was busier than a one-armed bartender on election night.
But that was before I saw the bartender at Gerald's in action.
I find it pretty hard to pull the cork out of a bottle of wine, and I have two arms. Christ.
Speaking of dudes doing lots of things with not many arms, I can't believe I missed Def Leppard on Monday night. Goddam. All the accounts I've heard so far have been along these lines:
"Dude. Just book a flight interstate. You have to see it."

Flat White, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

Obama wins! Flawless victory! Fatality!

The Odd Spot was piss-funny today. You probably can't read it, but it says a music student in the UK has changed his name by deed poll to Captain Fantastic Can Outrun Superman Wolverine The Hulk And Flash Combined. His grandmother isn't speaking to him.

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

They're listening to slightly annoying Leonard Cohen. Not quite as rad as their past music selections, but it's a Leonard Cohen sort of morning.
Okay, I've got a day off. I'd better not spend it all updating the coffee blog.
Go Obama. I hope you win. Part of me fears that it's not possible even if more people vote for you, but let's hope it all works out. The news is showing the queues at voting, which closes at midnight. Wouldn't it suck if, statistically, Democrat voters go to the polls later than Republican voters, and so all the people still in the queue at midnight who won't get a chance to vote were all there to vote for Obama? Yes. That would suck. We'll see, I guess.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Espresso, home

Gig. Gotta go. If that twenty minutes of sleep didn't sort me out, the espresso will.
Hmm, I still seem to be pretty busy. That's okay, I know I've got a day off tomorrow.

Strong Latte, Quikfix, Sydney

I've said it before. Best airport coffee in Australia.
Had a funny night last night. Adam said he'd give Ollie $100 if he ate a Quarterpounder with Avocado from McDonald's. Most of us agreed we probably would have not only done it for free, paid for the burger too. Then followed the inevitable McDonald's urban legend conversation. Here's my favourite:
"The buns are called buns because they have too much sugar to be called bread. Not only that, but the burgers only have the pickle inside because otherwise they couldn't be classified as savoury."
I always thought beef was a dead giveaway to whether something is sweet or savoury.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Espresso, Angel Cafe, Sydney

Okay, this one was $2.20. And very good. Clearly, it is not Sydney policy to overcharge for espresso.

Espresso, Industrie, Sydney

Walking down Pitt St, I was keeping my eyes peeled for somewhere that looked like it could pull a decent espresso. I forgot to check if anyone had replied to my "Ryan wants to know if any of you have coffee tips for around Pitt St/Hunter St" status on Facebook, so I decided to go on autopilot. Pretty soon I saw a coffee-ish font overhead, but soon realised it said "Industrie".
"Oh man, not more fashionably-dishevelled polo shirts!" I almost said out loud. Then I got closer and I realised it actually was a place with coffee. Nice choice of font. The Toby's Estate espresso came out. Awesome. The only downside was that it was $4.00.
Four dollars.
For an espresso.
Maybe that's just because I'm in Sydney.

Latte, somewhere in Sydney

Across the road from Cupcakes on Pitt, and a bit further north. Not bad. I could do with a cupcake chaser though.
I bought two. For some reason I assumed "2 for $4" didn't necessarily mean you could get one for $2. I was wrong. But two cupcakes isn't a bad thing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Espresso, Victoria Lounge, Richmond

Ten out of ten for punctuality again, Vic Lounge. Happy birthday Ollie.

Latte, home

Rehearse, sleep, rehearse, gig, sleep, rehearse, plane, sleep, rehearse, gig...
Crikey this is a busy weekend. While most people seem to be getting drunk and watching horses, I've got three full-day rehearsals. But that's okay. Stay out of the city if you don't want to see lots of sunburnt cockheads in suits with white Oakleys on their heads at midnight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Espresso, Great Britain Hotel, Richmond

Well it's been a big Richmond-dominated coffee-fuelled day. The good coffee guy isn't here tonight (the guy who puts his entire body weight on the tamper) so the espresso isn't as good as it has been in the past, but still way above par (in a good way...not a double-bogey way) for a pub coffee machine. GB also seem to have brought some new CDs in too. It used to be the first LCD Soundsystem album and the second MIA album non-stop, but they're mixing it up slightly more now. Kraftwerk! Yeah!

Espresso, Victoria Lounge, Richmond

Okay here's my northern Richmond tip for today: the coffee at the sandwich shop is often better than the groovy cafe with hip decor and hordes of cool people eating interesting breakfast. Vic Lounge get the job done and I didn't have to wait 10 minutes for it. Rad.

Strong Latte, New York Tomato, Richmond

C'mon guys, do we really have to wait 10 minutes for a take-away coffee? I'm sure prioritising take-away over eat-in orders isn't the way to go, but this is ridiculous. Not very strong either...hmm...not happy NYT.
Getting a take-away espresso for someone else and walking ten minutes with it is probably not a good idea. Given the walking time and the volume of liquid, it'll be cold by the time you get there. But I have a solution: put the espresso cup in a normal cup, and put the lid on. I'm sure it helped keep a few degrees in there.

Latte, home

I'm still listening to Bjork. I know I've got her MTV Unplugged show on VHS somewhere, but it's going to be a lot easier to just look it up on Youtube. Ah, technology.

I wish the whole Debut album sounded like that.