Saturday, January 31, 2009

Espresso, home

Walking down Chapel St today, a guy stopped me and asked where you can buy those shoes from. Only on Chapel St. I almost laughed out loud, for I was wearing Dunlop Volleys. Not the groovy Mooks ones, not the emo black ones. The white-with-a-blue-stripe ones. The normalest shoes in the world. Why would anyone want to know where to get those from? I didn't know what to say other than, "Er, Big W?" He asked where that was. He isn't from around here. I looked up and down the street and realised I wasn't either. I wished him luck.

Interestingly, I saw a guy in the city wearing the elusive but well tennisy-looking white-with-GREEN-stripe Volleys earlier today. I nearly asked where he got them, but thought that would be weird. I guess city-weird and Prahran-weird are at opposite ends of the weird spectrum.

Latte, Cafenatics, City

A lot of places promise, in writing on the back of the cup, that they will provide you with the best cup of coffee. I was very impressed that Cafenatics actually live up to this. So impressed that I'm willing to overlook the apostrophe they put in the word "baristas".

Flat White, home

I'm loving the Rage playlist this morning. It's like I'm aged 10 to 13 again. It even has a few songs that I used to change the channels during, and I still do. Get your YouTube ready:
Big Audio Dynamite II - Rush
The B-52s - Love Shack
U2 - Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
Ugly Kid Joe - Cat's in the Cradle
Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge (plenty of videos for this on the 'tube, but not what I'm looking for)
Jann Arden - Insensitive
Martika - Love Thy Will Be Done
All 4 One - I Swear (easily the most multicultural boy band ever)
Ace of Base - The Sign
Snow - Informer (anyone else creeped out by that look he gives the guy who walks into the cell at the end?! Also check this live version - he perfects that dancehall idiosyncrasy of singing in a different key to the rest of the band)
Cut n Move - Give It Up
Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

Friday, January 30, 2009

Flat White, home

As any Coca-Cola billboard ad will tell you, it's summer. That can only mean one thing. Festivals. Call me cynical, but it seems like music festivals are turning into somewhere that teenagers go to gather in a field and be marketed at to the tune of songs that they know because they've heard them on iPod ads. Music in advertising has long been a get-rich-quick scheme for songwriters. According to Neil Young, in this week's Big Issue, this trend started at Woodstock. It was Crosby Stills Nash and Young's second gig ever. It was also, according to Young, the time and place where marketers realised these kids were a big enough group to target, and they used the music to get to them. "That's the long term effect. Woodstock was a bullshit gig," says Young.

Be sure to catch Neil Young at the Big Day Out today if you're in Adelaide. I'm pretty sure you won't recognise any songs from Pepsi ads.

Halftte, home

Oh Jesus. Forty-four degrees! Why on Earth am I drinking hot coffee in this weather? Air conditioning. That's why. That's also why the city's power consumption went through the roof and millions of homes went into a blackout. The gods of electricity are cruel on days like this.
"Right. If I catch anyone turning on their air conditioner, you'll all have to go without for the rest of the day! And you have to stay back and write lines after class. 'I must realise that humans have been putting up with variations in temperature for thousands of years before the invention of evaporative cooling or air conditioning.'"
Well, the spell checker on Blogger insists "evaporative" is not a word. But check out the Google ads at the top of this page. Lots of people selling "evaporative coolers", right? That's common usage if you ask me. I'd allow it in Scrabble. I'd be impressed if you could expand on the word "vapor" to make "evaporative". I'd be very impressed if you did the same with the word "rat", and another word somewhere to fill in the missing letter.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Espressi, home

Today's iPhone annoyance: every time you type the word "its", it is automatically corrected to "it's". That gets annoying. For example, yesterday the auto-correct nearly made me say, "Quikfix has changed it's name."
It also has a habit of changing the word "yo" (which I begin almost every SMS with) to "you". I have to either remember this and click the don't-autocorrect-this button, or eliminate "yo" from my vocabulary.
Of course, I could turn off autocorrect, but this blog would be a nightmare without it. You wouldn't believe how many times I accidentally type "espeesso".

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Strong Latte, Quikshots, Sydney Airport

I don't (yet) have a Blue Screen of Death photo blog, but I really wanted to post this photo somewhere. So here it is: easily the most confronting public BSOD I've come across.
In other news, Quikfix has changed its name, and I think it's for the better. Quikfix implies that they are rectifying a problem before you realise what's going on.

Espresso, Kawa, Surry Hills

That's weird. I'm not sure why the camera got confused. Just turn your head and you'll get the idea.

Flat White, Single Origin, Sydney

Rad! Nice baked beans too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ristretto, Single Origin, Sydney

Wow. That just raised the bar. I'm pretty sure I've never really had a ristretto before this day. If this is right, everywhere else has been serving me an espresso by mistake. This gets the Bar Raise Award for January 2009. Right on.

Flat White, Single Origin, Sydney

Brilliant. I should have checked this place out earlier. May have to drop in again tomorrow. That extra heart was a nice touch too. The lamingtons look downright dangerous.

Ristretto, Jet, Sydney

I was kind of hoping to sit here and eat breakfast and for that to kill most of the day. But these guys are too efficient. I ordered at the start of Manic Depression, and then only one Jimi song later, somewhere during the guitar solo in Fire, my pancakes were already in front of me. These guys are good. Nice music choice too.
Uh oh. Spoke too soon. Cosmic Girl. That bit of the 90s just isn't cool again yet. Give it time though.

Latte, Jet, Sydney

Monday, January 26, 2009

QANTAS, Melbourne to Sydney

Eurgh. I wish the iPhone keyboard had a caps lock. Writing the title of this post was pretty tedious.

Latte, Timeout, City

Ugh. It's too early for this.
But I've got two questions:
How early do the guys in hot air balloons have to get up?
Also, there are a lot of people at Fed Square right now who don't have to be. Is there a good reason why they're here and not home, still asleep?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Latte, Shadowfax, Werribee

A fly landed in my pinot. I scooped it out. I was about to start drinking it again when Chantal made a valid point:
"Yeah, it's just a WERRIBEE FLY, I'm sure you'll be fine."
I never finished the glass.

note to non-Melburnians: Werribee is on the west side of Port Phillip Bay, famous for its proximity to sewage treatment facilities, and hence the timeless adage:
"He's in more shit than a Werribee duck!"

Espresso, home

I'm still having troubles getting the same dose in the portafilter every time I make an espresso. The "overfill it and scrape off everything that sticks out with your finger" method isn't really working out for me. It could be time to buy some scales. Or maybe that's getting too anal. No, I think "anal" would be measuring the size of each individual ground bit of coffee bean. Anything short of that is probably okay.

Flat White, home

If anyone out there is thinking of installing Parallels because they think they'll get a kick out of seeing Windows XP install inside a window on a Mac, save yourself some time and open this image in a new window:
Sure, the progress bar won't move, but hey it moves slowly anyway. If you do install Parallels, be warned: Windows is annoying. I'm sure you know this already, but installing Windows XP on your Mac via Parallels may let you play Minesweeper, but it also brings with it Windows's more annoying traits. This might refresh your memory:
"Your computer might be at risk. Click this balloon to fix this problem."
"30 days left for activation."
"A network cable was unplugged."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Espresso, home

I'm changing the rules again.
Take a look at Friday. No entries. That's no fun, is it? That's not what excessive blogging is all about. I've been pretty committed to non-stop wall-to-wall blogging for the last year (except for June and July, which I've yet to fill in) and I've no reason to stop now. The "I'm Not Posting If I'm Just Troubleshooting Espresso Problems" rule was too convenient an umbrella under which to hold too many coffees. So let's kick it back up to every coffee I drink will get blogged status. For the record, I went to Atomica again on Friday. It was rad. Again.

In other news, this. Just briefly, it's an open letter from Chris Randall (creator of Audiodamage plugins, blogmaster on to Jona Bechtolt (musician, aka YACHT). Jona is outspoken about his software piracy, in particular that sold by Audiodamage. Chris got wind of this and mentioned it (very briefly) on his blog. Jona responded in comment, citing that everyone is a pirate, really. Chris thought this wasn't good enough. Click on the word "this" at the top of this paragraph to read his response. Sorry to give you so much backstory, but this story will either not get your attention, or intrigue your pants off. If so, put your pants back on and read. It's great to watch the sparks fly.

For the record, I paid for my copy of Automaton. Reading that blog post only makes me want to support what they're doing even more.

Latte, home

Espresso machine, radio, air conditioner, PBS 106.7. Why leave the house?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ristretto, Brunetti, City

Shit. Better get to the gig...

P.S. My "shit" wasn't there to describe the coffee. The coffee was damn good. I was just running late.

Espresso, Atomica, Fitzroy

Rad. Rad. Rad. I really should come here more often. It was so smooth I was worried it would slide right off the (horizontal) bench. That would have been more of a danger outside today; another hot, peculiarly windy day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Espresso, Potter, University of Melbourne

This was very good. On hot windy days like this I often think, "Yeah what the hell I'd better have another espresso." I picked it up on the way in to Rod Laver Arena to watch Nadal wipe every square inch of the court with Rochus's sorry unseeded ass. It was still a good match, ass-court-wiping aside. Not embarrassingly one-sided at all. I would recommend that anyone heading to the tennis make sure they get some coffee before they get there. The tennis coffee seems problematic, starting with the draconian1 pricing:

Latte $4.00
Espresso $4.00

Woah! Furthermore, the old guy in front of me at the beverage queue stood in line for ten minutes only to be told he was in the wrong queue if he wanted to order coffee. I could tell even without seeing his face that he was glowering with rage. He turned around and, sure enough, glowered. I looked at him as if to say, "I know what you're going through; queue up, be punished for being in the wrong queue, queue up again, get charged a fortune, and - listen to the sound of all those milk-related crimes being committed by the steam wand - still walk away with shite coffee. Glower away!"

1. Poor old Draco. He still gets a bad rap, doesn't he. I guess we can all learn a lesson from this: 2600 years from now people might use you as an adjective, and your deeds today determine whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Latte, home

Further to yesterday morning's post (don't ask me how a bug can lay eggs that eventually hatch birds), I am now pretty convinced that Apple are advertising inside my dreams now.
Yesterday I received an update on Facebook from Maxis, advertising that SimCity is now available for iPhone. I thought not much of it at the time.
When I woke this morning, I could still remember my last dream. I had been talking to somebody about SimCity for iPhone and how rad it is.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog had a different dream altogether, where SimCity has enough annoying bugs to be not worth playing yet. Only time will tell which dream will influence me more next time I open the iTunes App Store.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet Silvia and Rocky

My new partners in caffeinated crime. Awesome. "Many years of fun," according to the guy at the shop.
It's fitting that this is the eight hundredth post.
Furthermore, it's a coincidence that today is the one year anniversary of the first post on this blog. Wow. Eight hundred coffees in a year, not including most of June and July, and some of December. Nice.

Flat White, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

You are invited to a wedding. You are allowed to bring a guest. Your guest can't be someone who is already invited, and you can't bring somebody that the bride and groom know but haven't invited. Therefore, it's safe to assume that you can't bring anyone who knows the bride and/or groom. Now you have to find somebody who wants to attend the wedding of two complete strangers.
Quite the dilemma. I'm glad this is just hypothetical.

Halftte, home

I was bitten by the espresso bug years ago.
Only recently has it burrowed its way into my chest.
Some time last week it laid eggs in my heart.
On Saturday morning the eggs hatched, and tiny espressobirds sprang forth.
My continued consumption of caffeine was like a mother espressobird regurgitating food for its offspring.
The birds took flight on Sunday night, gathering pieces of debris and assembling words like "Rancilio" in my brain.
Today I woke up and thought, "I'm gonna need a bigger coffee machine."
Around midday I grabbed my wallet and got in the car.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plunger, Mum's house

Oh God. I'm planning to walk 26km today. What was I thinking? It looks like a nice day for it though. If you must walk from Dromana to Cape Schank, you want it to be sunny and 26.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Espressi, home

I might soon have to introduce a rule to this blog where if all I'm doing is tinkering with grind and tamping and pointing a temperature probe into running water, I won't blog about it. It will get tedious. Tedium is a big part of this blog, but not what this blog is supposed to be about. I'm very proud of my multimeter/stopwatch/shitload-of-shot-glasses method (far more complicated and accurate than yesterday's DIY Roger Bannister atrocity) but I won't bore you with too many details. Actually, I like that rule so much I'm going to enforce it starting from now. No more relevant tedium. The irrelevant kind is so much more fun. Furthermore, if I go a whole day without posting, you can assume that I was espressotroubleshooting. That's far more likely than me not drinking any coffee. Let's move along:

You know when you hear a word for the first time, and then it seems to pop up everywhere for the next week, and you wonder how you got this far in life without knowing what that word meant, as everyone seems to use it incessantly? I've got a similar situation with people carrying birds in public. On Tuesday I saw a guy walking along Rathdowne near Latrobe with a budgie sitting on his shoulder. I thought, "That's odd, you don't see that very often." This afternoon I saw a guy walking down Rathdowne (much further north this time, near La Porchetta) holding a small branch (no leaves, like a "twig" but thicker) with a cockatoo sitting on it. That's two birds in one week. How many birds-in-public have I walked past prior to this week and not even noticed? Or does this only happen on Rathdowne St?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Latte, home

This new filter handle is making all the difference. It's solved one of the drawbacks of my machine: the steam runs out of steam, and you need to wait for it to heat up again to have enough steam to finish heating the milk. After you've done this, enough time has elapsed for the espresso to start looking a bit dodgy. But now that I'm pulling better shots, that crema is gonna be there for a while. And darker sexier crema looks better with milk poured into it than what I was getting before. That first round of steam is a bit crap and watery though. Maybe I shouldn't use the first round.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Short Macchiato, Bennetts Lane, City

I wonder how Keith Jarrett feels about this? It seems odd to single him out as THE piano player since whom Brad is the greatest. Keith would be rolling in his grave, if he weren't still alive. Imagine if he went to the urinal at Bennetts Lane and saw this poster.
"What the fuck? 'Since Keith Jarrett'? What? Isn't that the kind of thing you say about someone who is dead or not playing anymore? I was banned from the Umbria Jazz Festival not two years ago. Doesn't that count for something?"

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Espressi, home

Yes, it's a plural. But I didn't drink them all. I got the new portafilter from Saeco this afternoon, and tipped about six espressi down the drain trying to get the grind happening. It's pretty good now, somewhere around 22 seconds' pulling time. Mind you, I'm not entirely sure how big 30ml looks on these glasses. I'm just looking at where it's up to after 22 seconds and then pressing stop. That's not entirely accurate. It's a bit like saying, "I ran a mile in four minutes this morning. I set a timer for four minutes, starting running, then stopped when the timer got to zero. I looked around and decided that must have been a mile, for that is what I set out to achieve in the alotted time."
Bewilderingly inaccurate measurements aside, the crema is spectacular. I couldn't do anything like this with the old pressurised PF. It's reassuring that my machine doesn't just entirely shit itself when under this much pressure for 22 seconds. That ought to distract me from buying a new machine for a while...

Latte, home

Wow! I guess I learned something at school on Tuesday. A tip for anyone else with a Saeco semi-auto machine:
See that metal (or plastic) cylinder at the end of the steam wand? Remove it! It may make it easier to get passable results, but for that meringue-like Milk from Heaven, that tube is only holding you back. The downside is the wand won't be very long without that bit on the end. You may have to crane your neck at uncomfortable angles to see what's going on in the jug.
Similarly,the pressurised portafilter makes it easier to get a passable espresso happening with a bit of crema, almost taking grind and tamping out of the equation. But if you want to pull The Shot from Hell (or heaven) you'll need to use a regular-ass portafilter without any patented gizmos inside it. According to the Internet, Saeco have one available. I have a feeling it's going to be hard to get one in Australia though. I emailed but it bounced back. Hmm.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flat White, Midali, St Kilda East

"Small or regular?"
Interesting. I thought the smaller cup would BE the regular one. I always go for the smaller one. Does that mean I'm irregular?

Strong Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

Blogging while driving! I love technology. I'm not sure how illegal this is.
"Sorry officer, I'll have to pull you up there. I wasn't texting. I was blogging."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coffee School

It's hard to know how much coffee I really drank today. I think it was quite a lot. I drank the first espresso I made, which was nearly an hour into the class. I'm glad I had one at home, otherwise I would have been getting pretty edgy with all that looking-at-coffee-but-not-drinking-it. After that first one I had a sip of everything else I made that morning. I had to slow down in the afternoon, as you may expect. All in all it was a prolonged intake of small amounts of coffee all day. I'd better not make a habit of doing that.
Ok I'd better go. Need to sleep or go for a run or play Mario Kart 64, or something.

Espresso, home

First iPhone camera post. Let's hope this works...

EDIT: It did! This is Ryan Blogs Coffee 2.0, people. Mobile blogging. The app I'm using to post to Blogger doesn't have tag support yet, so I'll have to drop in here and add tags. But I'm sure they'll work on that in the future.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Latte, Greenhouse, Melbourne

Ten out of ten for presentation. It's a jar.
Greenhouse by Joost is a temporary venue in Federation Square that aims to show us all how easy it is to live sustainably. Unfortunately, a place like this often begs more questions, like this one from Luke today:
Little Creatures donated the beer for the venue. Wouldn't it be more sustainable to drink something that hasn't had to travel here all the way from Fremantle?
Nice coffee though. They have smaller jars for the espressi.

P.S. In my Googling to find whether "espressi" is actually a word, I found out that doing internetty stuff late at night can prevent you from sleeping. It can have the same effect as drinking two espressi. Well, I'm glad I don't drink two espressi just before I go to sleep. I would have to stay up to blog about them, and the blogging would only keep me up even longer.

Flat White, Switchboard, City

Out of cupcakes. Damn.

Halftte, home

This is easily my favourite Sleeveface.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Latte, Orange, Prahran

"Sorry, we stopped doing fresh OJ at 4.00pm."

That's a new one.

How exactly does this place deserve to be called Orange with a juice policy like that?

There was far too much head on the latte, too:

Latte, Quickfix, Sydney Airport

We were flying Qantas. That usually means I'm in the wrong terminal and can't drop in at Quickfix. Luckily, we were running early enough that I had time to walk through the carpark to the other terminal, go through the metal detector I didn't really need to go to, and get coffeed up at Quickfix. Rad. The caffe latte was a bit weaker than usual, but still miles ahead of anything I'd usually expect at an airport. I can now truly say with confidence that Quickfix is "worth changing terminals for!"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ristretto, Satori, Byron Bay

"A ristretto, thanks."
"Will they know what that is?"
"Yes, it's on the menu."

Latte, Espressohead, Byron Bay

It's often hard to know if we have time to grab breakfast on the way to the airport. This was my safeguard. Nicely done again, Espressohead.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Latte, Espressohead, Byron Bay

I'm reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. It's about his attempt to hike the 2000-mile five-month Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. It's an inspiring book. It really makes me want to walk somewhere dangerously far from here, starting right now. I ended up walking to Tallows Beach and was going to head up to the lighthouse but realised it was nearly time to meet the guys at the pub. I'll walk somewhere dangerous soon, though.
The book also has some history about Centralia, Pennsylvania. To cut a long story short, a fire started in a coal mine in Centralia in 1962, and it's still burning. It may burn for another 1000 years. People noticed their cellars were getting awfully hot some time in the 80s, and the town was evacuated. There are no plans to extinguish the fire: this has proved unsuccessful in the past. Smoke still rises from the ground where the town used to be. Scary stuff.
Some things in the world are just out of our control. Luckily, the temperature of the milk in a caffe latte is not one of them.

Latte, Balcony, Byron Bay

Latte number two. Mainly because I downed the first one long before the breakfast came out. It is a huge balcony up there, it takes a while to get everyone served. The barista must be working his arse off.

Latte, Balcony, Byron Bay

Brilliant. Just what I needed to recover from the terrible night of sleep. Byron Bay is fun in the first half of January, as long as you can put up with bogans vomiting in every alley you pass. That accomodation across the road from the Beach Hotel is great locationwise (you can quite easily go to the beach carrying NOTHING at all (this is handy: if you take nothing to the beach, nothing can get stolen)) but you sure won't get any sleep for the cockheads making noise in the street until 5am when you think it's all over but then the street sweeper comes and frightens the shit out of you. Seriously, I thought there was a hurricane coming in or something.
Good coffee. The service wasn't the greatest; the girl seemed like she wanted to be anywhere else but talking to us about breakfast. That's understandable. But we were all agape after this little exchange:
Luke: Can I get the eggs benedict, but with ham instead of bacon?
Waitress: We don't have ham. That's why it comes with bacon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Espresso, Beach Hotel, Byron Bay

She handed me a buzzer. You know, the ones that vibrate when your meal is ready.
"We'll buzz you when the girl who knows how to make coffee comes back."
THAT is how you do it.
Only one of the staff knows how to make coffee? That's fine. Don't let anyone else near the machine! I'm happy to wait for someone who knows what they are doing.
I haven't been this impressed with coffee machine permissions since that time in Sydney when the girl said she "wasn't allowed" to use the machine because she wasn't old enough.

Strong Latte, Bay Leaf, Byron Bay

Sure enough, I'd only been in Byron for about three minutes before I heard a Ben Harper song. That's gotta be a record.
Bay Leaf are still onto it.

Jug, The Point, Brisbane

I wasn't game to order anything espresso-based. I'd seen disastrous results at this hotel before, and the coffee jug was complimentary with breakfast. How bad could it be?
Well, the more important question was, "How strong can it be?" Very. I had to water it down. You don't get that often in hotel buffet filter coffee.
Jumps had a unique approach to the espresso machine.
"I talked her through it. Double shot, not too hot. It worked."
I still wasn't game though. I figured I could wait until Byron Bay.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flat White, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

The guy let me have two stamps on my loyalty card. One for my coffee, one for the one Kieran got straight after me. Rad coffee. Rad croissant. Confusing sandwich though. Chicken, mango, pickle think you've heard enough there. Five stamps down, three to go!

Espresso, home

The flight is at 3.00pm. We should all meet at 2.00pm. I'll have to leave home at 1.30pm at the latest. Somehow I let the time get to 1.00pm when I realised I hadn't had a shower, washed the dishes or packed my suitcase. Somehow I made it, and checked in before the other guys. I put this down to two things:
  1. Working methodically. I worked from one end of the house (watering plants, closing back door, washing dishes) to the other (putting toothpaste in suitcase, zipping shut suitcase and stepping out the door). Clockwork.
  2. Miraculous parking effort at the airport. It seems everybody who went away over the new year break is home now, and so parking spots have freed up everywhere, including The Showroom (the row of cars right at the front of section A that you can see as you drive past, the shortest walk from the terminal).
Like I said, I checked in before the other guys. I deserve more coffee.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Latte, Il Fornaio, St Kilda

Lisa got this one takeaway. It's not often that I take part in the en masse group coffee order that is collected by somebody else. That kind of thing only really happens to people with jobs, I guess. It was great, but the lid tasted weird. Not neutral, like most takeaway coffee lids.
Good lord. Is this my first coffee from Il Fornaio since I started the blog? I guess it is. What on Earth have I been doing?

Latte, Galleon, St Kilda

Man! That was quick. They seem to work fast here. I was almost knocked off my feet by three passing waitresses in the time it took to make a takeaway latte, which incidentally was not long at all. My grandad mentioned recently that he was hanging out at the Galleon in St Kilda the night he met my gran. I said, "Wow! That place is still there!" but my only real evidence that the Galleon of the 1940s and the Galleon of today are the same Galleon is that it seems they've only updated the decor once (in the 1950s) in that time.

Latte, home

Watching more Dr Katz. Steven Wright is truly wise on the subject of coffee.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Espresso, Markov, Carlton

Carlton Espresso is still closed, citing, "We are at the beach until Friday." Damn.
Brunetti is crawling with people who aren't back at work yet and are taking their five kids to Brunetti today. Damn.
Who you gonna call?
Totally deserted. Even the trees in the laneway swayed spookily as I sized up my espresso. The food and drink here is incredible, but sadly my shot paled in comparison. In more ways than one. Still pretty good, but nothing to write (or blog) home about. But that's not the purpose of this blog. I blog them all whether I write home or not.

Short Macchiato, home

Okay this one was a week ago, I can't really remember what I was doing. I bet I was watching Dr Katz on DVD, though.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Espresso, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

Yeah, why not. It's worth it for another stamp on the loyalty card.
It still seems to be the same dude working here every single time. Is this a one-man operation?

Espresso, Hudsons, Perth Airport

I think I've said before on the blog that the staff don't seem very well trained at Hudson's.
That may be because I only usually go to the one at Melbourne Airport inside security at the Virgin Blue terminal. They are usually busy and it seems like chaos, and the product suffers.
If you can find a Hudson that is totally deserted, that's likely to be more reliable.
I really should have come here instead of getting that free, crap espresso from the place around the corner the other day.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Espresso, Carriage Cafe, Fremantle

Everybody's flat whites looked pretty promising. It looked like a reliable place to caffeine up for the drive to Busselton.
They gave me a table number. I decided to take away. They were unflapped by my indecision.
The Carriage Cafe is a good thing, but it's in trouble. Read all about it here.

Flat White, Gino's, Fremantle

Gino's opens at 7.00AM. Foolishly, I thought it would be not very busy if I turned up before 9.00 on a Saturday morning. Nah. It was packed. I managed to get a table outside in the sun. Right in the sun. "This is my chance," I thought, "to prove how much of a white guy I really am: getting sunburnt at 9.00 in the morning." I came off relatively unscathed, though.
There was a funny incident when the girl brought out my TWO orders. She put the muesli in front of me, and the baked bean foccacia (baked beans on toasted ham cheese and tomato, and a poached egg) in front of the chair next to me.
"Does, er, this person want cracked pepper?"
Clearly she didn't want to offend me by suggesting that I was going to eat both of them.
But I was. It seemed like a lot of food at the time, but only because there was quite a serious scoop of muesli. I kind of expected the muesli to come out sooner than the baked beans, but they were delivered simultaneously. My extensive testing has shown that it takes 2.00 seconds at the most to scoop muesli into a bowl. Most cafes take far longer than this.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Espresso, Hertz Freebie, Perth Airport

If you hire a car from Hertz at Perth Airport and they don't have your car ready on time, they give you a coffee voucher. Adam and Hoss both got one. Hoss gave his to me, and Adam went to Hudson's instead.
They both chose wisely.
In the time it took to walk from Hertz back to the baggage carousel, the crema on my espresso was gone. Also, she'd filled the cup up so much that it spilled repeatedly on my hands as I walked. That's a bad sign for a short black.
It went in the bin.

QANTAS coffee, Brisbane to Perth

Brisbane to Perth is about the longest you can sit on a plane and still be in Australia when you get off. Not surprisingly, I had two cups of their curiously delicious coffee. C'mon, it was a five hour flight. I didn't have much else to do but drink coffee and be gobsmacked by the Killer Soduku I had set myself the task of finishing. The Killer is the one where there are no numbers filled in, but you know the sums of groups of two three tiles. So if you start off saying, "Okay, those two squares add up to 3: they must be a 2 and a 1," and similarly a 3 and 1 for the squares adding up to 4. After a bit over an hour I had the whole thing filled in. But there were two fives in one row. Shit'ouse. That's the frustrating thing about Sudoku: even if only one number doesn't work, the rest of it can still add up. D'oh. Oh well, it was a long flight. And I'm pretty sure I didn't watch The Mummy 3.

Espresso, Velocity, Brisbane Airport

Chantal's black earl grey tea cost $4.40. That's gotta be a record. It's just a tea bag and some hot water, for crying out loud. The coffee prices were similarly out of control. Not much change from $5.00. I remember the good ol' days. Less than ten years ago you could get a coffee for $2.00. Then in July 2000 the GST was introduced, and they went up to $2.20. Increments of 30c soon followed, and before long we were over the $3.00 mark as a standard. Thankfully, the >$4.00 thing is pretty rare outside an airport unless you go to Starbucks and buy something the size of a Slurpee.
As for my espresso, it was okay. The crema held its own, and it tasted okay. A little disappointing considering it was just shy of $4.00 (thank God they charge less for a short black than a latte) but I've had much worse at airports.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Espresso, Hobart Airport

Bypassing the Villa & Hut Kafe in the check-in area (mainly because I didn't like the look of the queue, the spelling of "Kafe", or the rows of blinding LED lights on the coffee machine) I chose one of the two places in the gate lounge. The word on the street about food choices at Hobart Airport was that the two places are owned by the same people. I think Kieran was suggesting that they were identical. That meant it all came down to who was operating the coffee machine. After you go through the metal detector, turn right and there should be a place in the corner with comfortable-looking (but not comfortable-feeling) adjustable stools. For some reason, I decided the staff there looked a little more trustworthy. The coffee was okay. I let it sit there for a few minutes and the crema kept on keepin' on. If I have to pay $3.40 for an espresso at the airport, I would hope it would be this good.