Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

Wow, I'm getting blog comments on Twitter now:
"oh i miss dave chappelle...did you buy more coffee beans???"
Yes! In the hours that have elapsed since my takeaway latte from Tre Bicchieri, the reader will have to have assumed that I still haven't bought any coffee beans. But that's precisely why I visited TB this afternoon.
That abbreviation makes it sound less appetising doesn't it?
Anyhow, while waiting for my coffee I couldn't help but notice it was one of those days where the newspapers really let you know where their priorities lie:
The front page of the Australian was mainly dedicated to the terrorist attack in Lahore, whereas the Herald-Sun had a half-page photo of Lleyton and Bec leading to some fluff story about their relationship and the "other man rumours". You've got the scoop again, Herald-Sun! Unfortunately it's the same scoop most people prefer to use only when they take their dog for a walk.

Latte, Marios, Fitzroy


As you can see, I just bought the new Doom (aka MF Doom, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, etc) album. I should probably go home and listen to it.
Lunch is served here from 11.30am. When I sat down at the bench at 11.32 the guy next to me was already eating linguine. No time wasted.

P.S. Apologies to anyone who read this post before I got a chance to actually ADD THE PHOTO (and fix up the last sentence so it made sense). One of the more annoying things about BlogWriter is that if the photo doesn't upload for some reason, it will still go ahead and publish what you just wrote. So if you started out with something like, "As you can see," in reference to a photo, it just won't make sense.

Espresso, home

Hmm. This morning I had a case of too-many-grounds-in-the-portafilter syndrome. That's not a euphemism. That's exactly what happened. The handle barely fitted back onto the machine, and as I struggled to keep the machine from moving across the bench as I tightened the handle I thought, "That'll be enough."
It wasn't quite enough. A bit of water leaked out around the filter into the cup, but it didn't seem to affect the pressure too much and the shot came out okay, if a little watered-down.
Not a disaster. Besides, I couldn't tip this one down the sink and start again: I've run out of beans: I'd have to go get some more: I'd have to have a shower. So I drank it instead. It was still drinkable, even with the leaky-grouphead syndrome symptoms.
Not a euphemism.
Well, I saw the funniest thing I've ever seen on Dr Katz last night. I was hoping somebody had posted it on YouTube. They haven't. I might have to upload it myself. But in the meantime, I found the second-funniest thing I've ever seen on Dr Katz. Dave Chappelle, on superheroes:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Espresso, home

Further to my comment in the previous post about playing Wolfenstein on my iPhone, I'm currently reading the article by id Software's John Carmac on how the iPhone port came into being. It's a good read, and reminded me of a few features that have been introduced in the new version:
  • doors open automatically when you walk up to them
  • when you get shot at, there are visual cues so you know which direction to look
  • no lives: you just respawn at the start of a level
  • automap, to save you from hours of walking around trying to figure out which door you haven't opened yet
  • end-of-level stats to make you wonder where the other three secret doors are...
These are all great additions which make the game more playable, without losing that classic FPS mow-down-some-Nazis feel of the original. Yes it's on an iPhone, but it still feels old-school. It plays great, too. Really smooth. The controls take a while to get used to, but they are definitely usable. If you're going to play it, consider adjusting the control sensitivity. When you start getting shot at, it's frustrating when you can't turn around fast enough: one opportunity is all an SS needs to pop you.
Also, kudos for making the remember-where-I'm-up-to-when-I-go-back-to-the-home-menu feature actually work. This makes Wolfenstein a game that can be played sporadically. Got 30 seconds to wait for the train? Get in there and find the gold key.
I'm impressed with how classic the sound still is too: the sound effects ("mein leiben!") are still just as shitty and 8-bit as the original. I'm glad they didn't try to clean them up. And it's all in mono! How many other new releases can say that? Other than Guitar Hero III on Wii of course, but Activision seemed apologetic about that when they mailed out replacement discs to any customers who called them about it.
The score sounds great too, with that SoundBlaster FM sheen that, for me, just screams "PC games in the 90s". Anyone who still gets the music from SkyRoads stuck in their head knows what I'm talking about. Composer Bobby Prince kind of gets painted as the bad guy in the article because he never got back to Carmac on finding earlier MIDI versions of the tracks, but there is plenty of helpful info on his computer-game-score-composition-centric blog. His website is helpful too, but I must warn you: it's a bit heavy on the Comic Sans.
The coolest thing about Wolfenstein on iPhone is that "id Classic" logo in the main menu. This paves the way for other classic id Software titles to get released, and John Carmac sounds optimistic about this too. Commander Keen, anyone?

Jetstar, Coolangatta to Melbourne

Flying with Jetstar is like flying with Qantas, but a few things will be different or go wrong.
One of these is that the system doesn't make sure each boarding pass for each flight has a different seat number. This must be a hangover from the first-come-first-seated system of Jetstar's early days. On both of the Jetstar flights of the last two days, at least one of us has boarded the plane to find somebody else in our seat with a valid boarding pass with that seat number on it. The crew even casually called it something like "double seating": it must happen a lot if they have an official term for it.
Another thing that's not quite right about Jetstar, in comparison to QANTAS, is the coffee. It's Jasper instant coffee, which means it tastes passably good and ticks all the fairtrade/organic/Colombian boxes, but hey, it's still instant. QANTAS is still winning the mile-high coffee race in my book.
I spent most of this flight playing Wolfenstein on my iPhone. It is really, really, really good.

Strong Latte, Velluto, Coolangatta Airport

"Ryan."
"Graham?"
"Ryan."
"Okay."
And she wrote "Brian".
The menu includes prices for an espresso in both the small and large columns. Long black is not listed as a separate item. A small espresso with an extra shot is the same price as a large espresso, but does the latter only have one shot? Or is it the same thing with more water?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ristretto, Quikshots, Sydney Airport


Bryan? Close enough. They called me Graeme here once.

Latte, Bourke St Bakery, Surry Hills, Sydney


That's a queue. It's not a nightclub. It's a bakery. On a Sunday morning. Once we got to the front of the queue, the coffee came out surprisingly quickly. The pain au chocolat was spectacular.
I had to scull most of the latte, though, as the Brett Whiteley Studio has a no beverages rule for visitors, enforced after a kid with a bottle of water fell over and almost splashed a painting.
I suggested banning children instead.

Latte, Toast, Surry Hills, Sydney


Toast, a.k.a. the place across the road from Single Origin, which you can see there in the background. Coffee wasn't bad, breakfast was better. I wonder what's going on at Single Origin. What's he building in there?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

QANTAS, Melbourne to Sydney

Woah! Stronger than usual. I think somebody didn't add enough water, or something.
I love that moment of confusion when you hand the air hostess a sickbag, and they're not sure if it's full of vomit, or just an apple core and a few serviettes. They never ask, though. That might be awkward.

Latte, home

"The first thing I do when I get into town
is buy a .22 and cut the whole place down"
Standing on the Outside by Cold Chisel

I had plans for when I got into Sydney; Chisel and I had that much in common.  But my plans involved less guns, and more coffee.  I regretted not visiting Single Origin last time I was in Sydney, and I realised this morning that the hotel on this trip is ONE BLOCK from Single Origin.
Bing-fucking-go!
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be.  They are either undergoing renovations, or business hours were over and they routinely cover everything in big bits of plastic during closing hours.

Oh.  That didn't happen in the morning.  It's just nonsensical to write about this happening before the plane flight.  Hmm.  These are the dangers of writing coffee blogs in hindsight.  Oh well.  If you really want to know what I did this morning: I watched episode one of season two of Arrested Development.  It's such a good show.  There's so many embedded laughs in each episode.  All the allusions to Oscar being Buster's father are hilarious on second viewing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Espresso, home

Well, I've kind of lost count of how many espressi have gone down the gullet today. But I'm experimenting: the temperature surfing stuff I was getting into earlier in the week, combined with some tips from Jesse Dancing Goat yesterday, and I can feel that I'm getting closer to espresso nirvana here. Mainly, my tamping is getting better. This results in a more even puck, and so less chance of the water finding a path of less resistance. As a result, the pulls are getting slower. So today I'm grinding progressively coarser, and watching the results. Like I said: getting closer. Might move back to the single basket soon too.

Latte, home

We watched The Big Chill yesterday.  It was a recommendation from my mum.  She was right about Neil Young's Harvest, I figured she would be right about this too.  A few things confused me:
  • Tom Berenger has a moustache.  Other than that, he and Kevin Kline are exactly identical.  It gets confusing.
  • Kevin Kline's accent is not his own.
  • I was expecting, for some reason, a flashback at some point.  It turns out Kevin Costner was cast in the role of the dead guy (whose funeral the rest of the cast are attending, and that's what the movie's about, in case you need some more background) but all of his scenes were edited out.  Sadly, the same can't be said for the rest of his movies.
  • Glenn Close pimping out her husband to her best friend.  Wtf?
  • Glenn Close IN GENERAL.
Seriously.  She got nominated for an Oscar for this?  I don't get it.  As my mum said, "she just seemed to be acting like she was everyone's mum for most of it."
Leonard Maltin said something like, "brilliant soundtrack makes up for total lack of plot."  What worries me is that next time I hear Ain't Too Proud to Beg, it's going to remind me of Jeff Goldblum and Glenn Close dancing around the kitchen in the 80s.  When Bad Moon Rising came on, I yelled out loud at the TV, "Oh God no, don't wreck Creedence for me as well!"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Espresso, Bella, South Melbourne

Coming north on Kings Way towards the city, just after you pass Park St, when you're almost across the road from Officeworks, you just cannot miss it on the left. It's big. It's orange. It's new. It's a DRIVE-THROUGH cafe. I've seen this sort of thing in Western Australia a lot, curiously, and always thought it was a good idea. I wondered why nobody tried it here: the closest I'd seen was a car wash with a cafe. But here we are. Drive-through coffee. I pulled in and ordered an espresso, to see what sort of skills we're dealing with.
"How long have you guys been here?"
"Oh, about a week and a half."
Ah. That explains why it looks so new.
The shot was good. This is very promising news for anyone who goes to the city or the Westgate Fwy along this route.

Espresso, Dancing Goat, City


Barista Jesse seems like a nice chap. He gave me some tips on how to fix this wet puck problem. He also suggested that it doesn't matter what the puck looks like: if it tastes right, it probably is right.
They're getting a second grinder in soon. That's good news for everyone in this quadrant of the city, and for everyone who, like me, traverses the city via King St.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Espresso, home

I've got one more condition to add to the Top Gun drinking game:
  • Whenever somebody behaves how their callsign suggests, have a drink.  Eg, Iceman has ice in his drink, Maverick doesn't go by the rules, etc

Latte, home

I learned many things about Herbie Flowers on the internet today. I knew he was the bass player on Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. I also knew he quite cleverly played double and electric bass on Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side. Here's what he said about it.

"I hardly remember doing it because I was out of my trolley. It just seemed a good idea at the time to try putting a tenth in above it, which is a corny interval. But somebody had to do it just once, and now no one can ever do it again."

One of the most iconic bass lines, and he was out of his trolley, playing a corny interval. Awesome. He seems to have a history of down-playing his achievements. Anyhow, until today I didn't know that he also played bass on Serge Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson album. Holy crap! I've always wanted to know who that was. There's a video on YouTube of Herbie playing it last year for, er, some Melody Nelson reunion thing. If anyone understands French, can they let me know what's going on in that video? It's still good to see Herbie play though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Espresso, home

Okay, I'm waiting TWO MINUTES after the thermostat light goes out now before I press GO and collect $200. This is getting seriously good. Also I'm grinding into a jar, shaking it about a bit (to convince the grounds to un-clump), and then pouring that into the PF. FYI, an empty Best Foods Mayonnaise jar is almost exactly the right height to fit under the grinder's mouth, just proving in yet another way that it's the best mayonnaise in the universe.

But there's more important things at hand. I just remembered I have more to add to yesterday's analysis of the coffee situation at Hobart Airport. I'm talking about the first coffee place you see when you walk into the departures area: Villa & Hut Kafe. The fact that they pluralise the word "kafe" with an apostrophe all over their website* should spell a warning. The fact that there is only one woman working the register AND the coffee machine should spell further warning. And yet we're still lured in by the dazzling array of LEDs attached to their shiny coffee machine.

The main problem with V&HK seemed to be that it was irresponsibly understaffed, and could not hope to meet the demands of the queue that had gathered. Remember, these people are all operating on a "I have a plane to catch" level of anxiety. And yet I was the only impatient cityslicker from the mainland who stood in line for five minutes before finally muttering "fuck this" and walking away. The sole staff member could easily have catered to the queue without pissing off people like me. Unfortunately she decided to follow this procedure:
  1. Take order from one customer
  2. Go to the coffee machine and make that order
  3. Repeat
Fuck. Me. It. Took. Ages. To. Whittle. Just. Three. People. Off. That. Queue! There must be an easier way.
"Hi, welcome to Villa and Hut. How can I help you today?"
"Two skinny cappucinos."
"And you?"
"A weak latte and a soy chai."
"And how about you?"
"A short black and a long black."
"Okay, what about you?"
"Just this apple juice."
"Okay that comes to $7.00, $7.50, $6.50 and $4.00."
A flurry of money changing hands ensues.
Then she goes to the coffee machine.
"Two skinny caps, a weak latte, a Muggsy Bogues, a Manute Bol and a soy chai. Let's boogie!"
No time wasted crossing from the register to the coffee machine. No time wasted switching from cashregistrar persona to barista and back. Most importantly:
They would have served the guy with the apple juice, a coffee blog and a grudge before his patience ran out!

* Actually, the whole Villa and Hut Kaffe website is a punctuation nightmare:

villa & hut kafe's - inhale the aroma's, take on the rythmic music and enjoy our cuisine

Ugh. I feel dirty even just quoting it. You'll be glad to know they were one of Australia's Top 50 Smart Companies in 2008. Clearly, spelling and punctuation were not among the selection criteria. I'll be sure to send them an angry letter as soon as I've dealt with whoever is responsible for the name of the business "Dogs Breakfast Trading Company". Try Googling them: it will ask if you meant to search for "dog's breakfast trading company". Google, once again, shows us the way.

Latte, home

My milk steaming job this morning gets an F. I tipped out the first lot. It had that Aero bar inside size of bubble everywhere. I can't go for that. So I started again and realised I was out of milk, so if this lot didn't work I was in trouble. It worked, sort of, but I still ended up with too much head and still-too-big bubbles. They're sitting in the cup snap-crackle-and-popping at me right now. You know when the latte hisses at you? Yeah, that shouldn't happen. I'll buy some more milk later and see what's going on. The shot was very good though. Allpress Organic blend. It doesn't taste like a Tim Tam yet, but I've been reading lots of geeky espresso things online and I'm going to try some new tricks for my next shot.
In the meantime, watch this, the ad for Puma LIFT. I had to watch the start about five times to figure out how she slides into the room. Make sure you press the HD button. Without that much detail, you may not notice that the clothes are projected onto the people. Very clever.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Latte, Tre Bicchieri, Carlton North

After the first sip of this, I thought to myself, "It tastes like Tim Tams!"
I think that means I'll be back here soon.
Or to 7-Eleven for a packet of Tim-Tams.

Espresso, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

"Do you want the free one now?"

WOW. I've racked up another eight coffees, and hence another free one, already! It's possible that I drink coffee at Macchinetta more often than anywhere else. That means I've been spending way too much time at the airport. It's time to get started on loyalty card #3.

Latte, Hobart Airport

"Man, I can't believe it cost NINETEEN DOLLARS for fruit salad, a toasted sandwich and some orange juice."
"Woah! Ouch! It was $4.90 for a latte and a potato cake. That's not too bad, but it means the potato cake was a dollar."
"That's good for an airport."
"Yeah, but I remember the days when they were 50 or even 40 cents everywhere."
"Hmm. I'm trying to remember how much they are at Lambs on Brunswick St, whenever I go there when I'm wasted. Maybe three for $2.00 or something?"
"Yeah. That sounds about right."
"How's the coffee?"
"Meh. Not bad. I told Adam it tastes like someone's heated up a Big M."
"Are you going to blog about it?"
"Yeah, I have to. But I won't take a photo. That might make it last l... Shit! That's what I'm going to write!"

...
I didn't take a photo of this coffee because I was afraid a photo might last longer. I do not wish for the experience of this coffee to last any longer than it has to. On the bright side, at least it wasn't too hot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Latte, Baristasista, Moorilla Estate, Tasmania

"A latte. A really good one. No pressure."
It's not bad. There's something missing, but still good. It doesn't quite live up to the "expert espresso" tagline, but at least it wasn't misspelt.
Nice cups, too.

Strong Latte, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

I was about to say, "it's way too early for this," but the coffee guy just told me he's been here since 4.00am. I'll just be thankful that today I'm the coffee-ee and not the coffee-er.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Espresso, Pellegrini's, City

We ordered and got served in about three minutes. I love this place. I think the secret to their speed is this: no menus. That saves time.
I figured out why that photo of Christy Turlington is there too. It was taken here. See the clock in the photo? That's it over there at the end of the bar.
(that all makes sense if you see the photo)

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Yeah, I know. I forgot to take a photo before I started drinking it.
Here's the first draft of the Top Gun drinking game:
  • Every time somebody fiddles with a dogtag, have a drink.
  • Every time "Take My Breath Away" or "Highway to the Danger Zone" comes on, have a drink.
  • Every time somebody wearing sunglasses inside takes them off to look surprised, have a drink.
  • Every time somebody talks while staring out a window holding a clipboard, have a drink.
  • Every time the script sounds like it just had the word "Russians" edited out, have a drink.
  • Every time Val Kilmer looks like he's borrowed Kevin Bacon's hair, have a drink.
  • Every time you wish Tim Robbins had some dialogue, have a drink.
I'll notice more on my second viewing of the film, I'm sure.

Latte, Julio, Fitzroy North

Caution: milk avalanches in the area!
Don't be fooled by the glass-smooth facade of the caffe latte before you: anything could be lurking underneath. I found this out the hard way. As I worked through my donut (they are phenomenal: Julio is worth visiting for the donuts alone) I was oblivious to the chain reaction of bubblepops that was going on below the surface of my latte. As each bubble popped, it triggered another, and the bubbles joined forces until finally, as I took a sip, the roof caved in. I've never seen this before. Kudos to the rest of the latte and its Guinness-like special effects, but let's just put this down as a highly-unlikely phenomenon. I think it's Haiku time.

A butterfly flaps
Its wings. And then miles away,
My latte caves in.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Short Mac, Two Fingers, City

There isn't a lot of seating to be had at Two Fingers (up the hill and almost next door to the Forum Theatre), and it is even harder to get on a Friday afternoon. Not only have all the people with normal jobs finished work, and finished a whole week of work, but they are there in droves for the cheap drinks from 5pm until 7pm. This makes it hard to find somewhere to balance your short macchiato to take a surreptitious iPhone photo, hence it's sitting on a stool.

Espresso, home

Watching Top Gun. For the first time. Yes, really. I should have done this years ago. Hot Shots makes so much more sense now.

Strong Latte, Atomica, Fitzroy

"I should come here more often."
Yeah, I know I say it every time I come here. But it's true.
Nice Eggs Benedict this morning too.
Unfortunately about ten bubbles popped on the surface just before I took the photo. It was much smoother before that happened.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flat White, North, Carlton North


I was going to come here without having a coffee, but, as Anthony Kiedis said in Point Break, "That would be a waste of time."

Latte, home

I started watching Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey yesterday morning because I woke up with Breakaway by Big Pig stuck in my head.

Far out, how many drummers can you fit in one video? Or is it just an optical illusion, with a bunch of mirrors multiplying the number of drummers? Rad song. I haven't seen the video since...hmmm...the jukebox at Bar Ace in Sydney in October 2007 maybe. Before that, I hadn't seen it since it was in the top 50 on Rage.
Anyway. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Halfway through the opening credits I realised, "Oh right, the Big Pig song is actually in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." I ended up watching for half an hour, and the rest this morning. I noticed a few things:
  • What's with the double bass the Grim Reaper plays in the final scene? It has horizontal F-holes on the body under the fingerboard, which makes it look like it has a moustache.
  • For all the guitar-miming-coaching they put Keanu and dude-who-plays-Bill through, couldn't they have at least told the Reaper, "Put your left hand on the neck and the other one down near the bridge"?
  • The credits list Steve Vai and Jim Martin as playing the air guitar licks. I'd like to see a list of who did which ones.
  • The reverb on the Reaper's voice in his first scene is awesome. I'm sure there's a thread on gearslutz about it*.
  • As Pam Grier (who appears to have borrowed Tina Turner's hair for the role) starts unzipping just before she turns into Rufus, some guy yells out, "Yeah, take it off baby!" Out there somewhere is a guy who can truthfully say, "Hear that? That was me!"
* I checked. There isn't. Can somebody start one if you're a member?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Espresso, Rue Bebelons, City

It's one of those really thick espresso cups that takes a lot of heat to heat up.
If the cup isn't hot when you pour a hot beverage into it, it will suck the heat out of the beverage. A lot of heat. But only if the cup isn't hot to begin with.
I get the feeling this one wasn't hot. I feel it in my fingers.
I'd better hurry up and drink the espresso before it reaches equilibrium with the cup. Luckily, it's drinking temperature already.
But it shouldn't be.

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy


There was another earthquake in Melbourne, but I didn't even notice. I was too distracted by how awesome this album cover is.

Aeropress, home

It's been about three months since my last Aeropress, when I was discouraged by the results from a bag of stale-ass pre-ground supermarket-bought marked-down Lavazza that was probably ground five years ago. I shouldn't have been surprised with the lemon-juice-without-all-the-good-bits flavour. So I woke up this morning, realised I was fifteen minutes away from the Silvia being warmed up and ready to go, remembered I have the Aeropress, and put the kettle on instead.
BBB Mr Miles blend ground straight out of the Rocky into the Aero is, not surprisingly, a hell of a lot fresher than Lavazza that's been on the shelf for an indeterminate amount of time. Awesome. I always forget that this can be a lot more fun to drink than a long black.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Espresso, home

The rules for Kieran's forthcoming Bacharach party are that you drink cocktails, dress like Burt Bacharach in the 60s, and bring along a Bacharach record. Original recordings, covers, tribute albums, anything Bacharach or Bacharach-related. I've locked in my choice: Isaac Hayes's cover of Walk On By. The twelve-minute extended organ workout version with the slide guitar freakout at the start, if anyone will let me play the whole thing.

Latte, Keffa Han, City

Nestled in the caffeine-rich vein of the between-Elizabeth-and-Swanston section of Little Collins St is Keffa Han, easily the second-smallest place to get brilliant coffee in that area. Switchboard, I'm looking at you: Keffa Han may have less total floor space, but you guys have to duck to get to the dishwasher due to the incline of the roof.
But it's not a question of size: the radness of the coffee is not inversely proportional to the square metrage of the premises; if that were the case Brunetti's Carlton campus would be in serious trouble. Keffa Han sure know what they're doing. Beans from St Ali, some serious knowhow, and even somewhere to sit. I'm going to have to start rolling a dice to decide which mindblowingly good cafe to visit when in this section of the city. What I can't figure out is where they store the chairs and tables after hours. I also wonder how much smaller cafes are going to get. What's the rent like on two milk crates duct-taped together?If you want to find it, I think the easiest directions are, "in the lane that Laurent is on the corner of, a few doors along." Blink and you'll miss it.

Double Espresso, home

Damn. This morning is the first Tuesday all year that I've actually remembered that Mediawatch is on TV and I don't have to watch the podcast every week, and it turns out that I was wrong and it's not on Tuesday mornings at all. It was on last night. I swear it used to be on ABC2 at 8.45am, or something. I guess I'll just have to wait until iTunes downloads it for me again.
Today on YouTube: the Jenga Pistol!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Espresso, Aromas, Brisbane Airport


With so many weirdo chains I'd never heard of (except Gloria Jean's, but I'm not going there again), Brisbane Airport was a disappointment minefield. My disappointment metal detector slowed down its beeping a little when I reached Aromas, and aside from there being no prices on the menu, they looked like the most likely candidate to keep me going until Melbourne. Yes, my coffee machine is about six hours away.
Anyway, it was pretty good. The quality of the milk-inclusive drinks looked ok too, so I think Aromas (or today's barista at least) can be relied on.
That goes some way towards disproving my "never trust a barista wearing a name tag" rule.

Jug, hotel


It doesn't matter which hotel. They all have an overpriced breakfast buffet with a jug of coffee. The coffee tastes like it's been sitting there since 6.00am. It probably has. The price discourages so many people from eating that the first jug of coffee probably never gets finished.
What sets this one apart from the rest, however, is that the hotplate it sits on looks like it is named after a Del Tha Funkeehomosapien album.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Latte, GGs, Kirra

I refuse to add an apostrophe after the two Gs.
Kirra is a very beautiful part of the coast, with what looks like 3km of sand between the road and the water, but it always reminds me of Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer on Playstation 2, and those voicemail messages you used to get at the start of each level.


"Hey it's Kelly, I'm down at Kirra, it's totally awesome man, aight seeya there."

He never even asked what you're up to or what part of the world you're in: he always just assumed you were going to turn up at whatever beach he was at. But what the hell, it was his name in the title of the game I guess.

And the coffee? Silly glass, but quite good otherwise.

Long Black, Hungry Jack's, Tweed Heads


Ok, I ordered a short black but I'm certain she pressed the long black button instead. Still, this is far more crema than I was expecting.
And the taste? Not bad. I've had FAR worse from people without nametags and matching uniform. Hungry Jack appears to have succeeded in making a consistent and foolproof system. If they press the right button.
I missed breakfast though. The curious thing about Tweed Heads, which is technically on the New South Wales side of the border, is that some businesses insist on living by Queensland time (no daylight saving). So the motel says it's 10.15am, but when I get to Hungry Jack's it's 11.15 and they've stopped serving breakfast.
(confusingly, the motel says they operate on Queensland time but the alarm clock is set to NSW - I had to Google "time in Brisbane" when I woke up just to be sure)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coffee Oasis, Mullumbimby


That's a well-lit photo. It's very sunny up here today.
Nice coffee. I'm not sure how they made it. But one does not ask questions of the Oasis. When you see an Oasis in the desert, you just have to jump right in there.

Latte, Gunshop, West End, Brisbane


Number two. Very nice.

Latte, Gunshop, West End, Brisbane


Success! Much less rain, but I didn't even have to walk here. Amazingly, we got a table for ten at 10.30am on a Saturday. I usually wouldn't stand in a queue for ten minutes that early in the day on the weekend, but it's worth it for the breakfast here. Very photogenic coffee.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Espresso, Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane


Very very very good for venue bar coffee. I'd subtract points for the foam cup if it wasn't for the unbeatable insulation properties.
Cat Empire gig tonight. Getting down to Jumps's exquisite (as always) pre-show mix CD.
Damn. Mix CD just doesn't have the same ring to it as mixtape, does it?

Latte, Cafe Dockside, Brisbane

Okay, Drew just pretty much blew my mind when he demonstrated the Trachtenberg System of mental arithmetic, founded by Jakow Trachtenberg during his incarceration in a concentration camp in WWII.  I can't really demonstrate it in blog format, there are books on the subject that do a much better job.  But failing that, Wikipedia has a pretty good summary.

From the it's-a-small-world-with-not-many-names-for-people department, I just found a guy on Wordpress whose name is also Ryan M who is also into blogging and coffee and speedcubing and joking about referring to himself in the third person in his "About" page.  He's also a nurse, so I guess that's where the similarity ends.  Mind you, he is REALLY into speedcubing.  He has posted videos.

While we're on the subject of doing nerdy things really fast, here's the world champion freehand circle drawer.  The first minute of the 1m18s video are just him warming up for the circle, but trust me: it's worth watching until the end.  That's a freehand circle.


Strong Latte, Cafe Dockside, Brisbane

"I had a plan but that was where it ended."
I did some research on Google Maps yesterday and realised that it is only a 4km walk to the West End, and therefore the Gunshop Cafe, purveyors of breakfast and coffee much radder than anything near the hotel. So that was the plan: get up, walk 4km, then reward myself with pancakes. Easy. I got my wallet and my phone and my headphones (I got the iGrado - a little silly-looking but people will know you're only wearing them because they sound amazing) and walked outside.
Rain.
And a guy spraying high-pressure water at the driveway.  IN the rain.  But more on that later.
I thought, "It'll slow down.  I'll start walking."
I started walking down the hill.  The rain kept pouring.  I decided catching a ferry down the river to the West End might be a better move.
I walked toward the river.  The rain got heavier.  I could hear the distinct sound of rain-on-soaked-tshirt on my shoulder.  The front of my shorts were as wet as they could get.
Seeking refuge in the ferry shelter (like a bus shelter, for people catching a ferry) I saw there was only a 15 minute wait for the next ferry going in the right direction.  I waited.
Some time in the next seven minutes I realised I was standing there in wet clothes which would remain wet for the rest of the day, and I would probably have to walk through an undetermined amount of rain when I got off the ferry at the other end, and would probably be very sick of walking in wet clothes by then.  The big decision was whether to get on the ferry, or turn around and have slightly-less-good breakfast.  I thought, "This is insane," and walked back to Dockside instead.  The rain had eased off and it wasn't a long walk: as the name suggests, Dockside is quite near the dock, which is attached to the river.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Espresso, butter, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane


Yes, the pretentious lower-case first letter, in the tradition of silverchair, is there on purpose.
That crema isn't gonna be there for long. I get the feeling this one came out a bit too quickly. A waterslide, as opposed to a cement mixer.

Short Mac, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

You just can't win sometimes.
I even said "short macchiato" rather than "short mac", so it wouldn't be confused with "short black".  Then he served my coffee.
"Short black?"
Er, damn.  I guess even not truncating the word macchiato isn't foolproof.
He dumped some milk in there and I was on my way.
I get the feeling the shots are getting progressively longer here.  Not sure why that is.

Double Espresso, home

I'm really hanging out for a better Blogger-compatible iPhone app than BlogWriter to become available.  There's a few out there, but at the moment they have annoying shortcomings, ie not yet supporting uploading photos to Blogger.  For now, continuing to use BlogWriter and putting up with no tagging and limited photo resizing is a hell of a lot easier than moving my whole blog to Wordpress and using their extremely rad (as far as I can see) iPhone app.  But I really have to draw the line at the no-saving-drafts thing.
For instance, this morning on the long term car park shuttle bus at the airport I had nothing to do for about six minutes and decided that was a good time to post something about the double espresso I pulled at about 8.10am and didn't have time to write about yet.  I started writing, went off on a few tangents (as I often do) and then noticed that we were already driving up the ramp to departures, and I had to start thinking about getting off the bus.  I switched the screen off, and got off the bus.  A few minutes later I got my phone out, for reasons other than continuing the blog post, specifically finding out the name of that Burt Bacharach track I Shazammed from Kieran's headphones last week.  It was Something Big.  Check it out, it's rad.  But I think it's not on iTunes.  That's okay though, many rad things are not on iTunes.  Anyway, so I pulled out my phone, pressed the "back to menu" button, and opened Shazam.  I sat down a few minutes later and went back to BlogWriter and my post was GONE.  If you exit the app before you send the post, it disappears.  It's the iPhone equivalent of accidentally pressing "back" in the browser while writing a lengthy email in Hotmail.  In situations like that, the next email you write is much shorter, and usually begins like this:

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fucking Hotmail...I just wrote you the looooongest email ever, it was awesome, and then I lost it.  I'll rewrite it in dot-point form.  Sorry.

Anyhow, I should probably do the same:
  • Pat Benatar has been on high rotation this morning.  So many hits!  Wow!  It all sonically stands the test of time too, except maybe that synth sax thing in the chorus of We Belong.
  • Hmm.  I can't remember what else I wrote.
  • This replacement post has been far better than the original one I lost.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Espresso, Superfino, City


GeoTagged, [S37.80492, W144.94780]

Excellent. This place is going straight to the top ten. Anyone with that many jars of Best Foods Mayonnaise so prominently displayed has clearly got their priorities in the kind of place I like them to be.
In other news, it appears my cover is nearly blown at Pushka. I'd better keep a low profile. Flooding the premises with customers ordering the same thing as me and taking lots of photos could be a good way to go.

Latte, home

It looked right, but this coffee tasted not good. Not good at all. Am I getting something wrong here?
It turns out I am. I really am.
Googling "double espresso shot time" can be dangerous. There's all sorts of people whose level of expertise does not correlate with their motivation to publish things on the web, and espresso is an area teeming with such anonymous amateur experts. I found one guy who insisted 5-7 seconds was the optimal pull time. Eurgh. What I did find helpful, however, was Al's Rule. There's a link to his original post on Usenet (I thank you, Google Groups, for keeping a copy of everything that was ever posted on the now (allegedly) defunct Usenet) on that page, but as you can see I've also linked to it in this sentence. Just in case you missed it, here it is again.
So if I'm using a double basket, it has more holes and can let more liquid through more coffee in the same time? So I should be aiming for 60ml in 30 seconds, rather than 60ml in twice as long as it takes for a single. But what if I only want 30ml? Getting 30ml out of a double basket in 15 seconds probably isn't going to do the trick. Mind you, I enjoyed my ~18 second shot yesterday a lot more than the ~25 one I had today. So what's going on here? Should I aim for 60ml in 30 seconds, and if I only want half of that, split it into two cups and feed one to the Venus Flytrap? If we look at Al's Rule, I should add one second for every 5ml less than 60ml. So I'm aiming for 30ml in, er, 36 seconds now? Yikes. That's a long time.
It might be time to break out that single basket again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Strong Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Little Richard came blasting out of the windows of a passing car.
"Respect. You don't hear that very often coming that loud out of," I paused to check what sort of car it was. I couldn't believe my eyes. The douche in the driver's seat even had a cap on backwards and most of the windows rolled down.
"A LEXUS?!?!"
A douchebag in a Lexus listening to Little Richard.
Yes, that is very rare.

Flat White, home

Today's wandwatch: inconclusive. I walked past before they opened and the steaming wand was obscured by the milk jug. This could mean two things: it's been cleaned and for some reason they store the milk jug there, or it hasn't been cleaned and they're hiding it in the milk jug, or it is laying dormant in half a litre of lukewarm milk overnight. That last one is certainly an unlikely worst-case scenario.
Also, I just noticed I listed three things, after saying there would be two. That reminds me of something that happened in the Metalocalypse episode I watched this morning:
"There's only two things to do during a blackout: get drunk."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Espresso, home

While we're on the subject of who I'd rather hear sing what: Def Leppard and Bryan Adams should swap back-catalogues.
I also wouldn't mind hearing Def Leppard sing Shannon Noll's Let's Ride (written by Bryan Adams and Philip Thornalley (co-writer (with Ednaswap bandmates Scott Cutler and Anne Preven (who also co-wrote Grammy-winning Listen (sung by Beyonce Knowles in the movie Dreamgirls) with Henry Krieger (some other guy with a Wikipedia page))) of Natalie Imbruglia's international smash Torn).

QANTAS, Adelaide to Melbourne

Qantas appear to have changed cookie suppliers. Kez's. They may be bigger, but they are shite.
I must be getting old: on Glenn A. Baker's Reeling in the Years show on channel 8 or 12 on Qantas in-flight radio this month he is reeling in the year I started high school. My "good ol' days" are now featured on the classic hits channel. Scary.
Chilling thought it was, the 1994 playlist did provide me with content for this month's edition of I Bet You Didn't Know That Was A Cover, brought to you by Badfinger:

File that one under Ashamed That I'm More Familiar With Mariah Carey's Version. Glenn A Baker is a man you can always count on to wear a hat and know thousands of facts about rock history. I also learned on this flight that Turn the Beat Around was also a cover. Mind you, I'd probably rather hear Gloria Estefan sing it, or anything for that matter. She's got so many deadly vocal moves. If singing were Mortal Kombat, everyone would play as Gloria Estefan. Check out that back-back-lowkick in the second chorus...

Macchiatone, Cibo, Adelaide Airport


"What name should I put that under?"
"Ryan."
"Bryan?"
"Ryan."
"Bryan?"
"RYAN."
I have to yell the last one, and that makes me look psychotic.
This is why I usually just go with the Bryan flow. If they call out Bryan I'll probably mis-hear it as Ryan anyway.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Piccolo, Combi, WOMAD, Adelaide


GeoTagged, [S34.91304, W138.59978]

I was advised to look for the Combi.
A Combi is usually pretty conspicuous, but it took about fifteen minutes to find this one nestled under the trees at one of the two food areas in the vast festival site.
I was glad to see piccolo specified on the menu, and even gladder that it was well made even amid how busy they were. They have three four-group machines running. Heavy duty.
I'd better go watch the rest of Neil Finn...

Long Mac, Hudsons, Perth Airport


"Would you like that topped up?"
Aha! In my Fremantle macchiato research I stumbled upon this phenomenon: the topped-up macchiato. What was a double shot stained with milk becomes a double shot filled to the brim with milk, essentially a double shot latte. And so a topped up LONG macchiato is, er, the same thing with a bit more water? The answer, according to the menu, is yes.
The short mac comes in one size (small, as logic would dictate) whereas the long can be small, medium or large. Curiously, the small short mac is 10c cheaper than the small long mac, which in turn is 10c less than a latte. We have already observed that a topped up short mac IS a latte.
To be continued...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Short Mac, Aubergine, Fremantle

I just saw a kid pawing at a friand on a plate on the counter.. He could reach it from the ground. I'm the only one who noticed. I wonder how often this sort of thing happens. The plate was soon moved and the friand discarded.
Last time I was here there was a Darth Vader Mr Potato Head displayed with prominence on the shelves over the coffee machine. There's no sign of it today. Maybe this place has new owners too.
My coffee just came out, and just feeling the weight of it in my hand I remembered that I have no idea what the word "macchiato" means in this town. What I have here is more like a 3/4 latte. That's okay, it's pretty much exactly what I feel like drinking right now. And there's no reason to complain. If you order a scallop at a fish and chip shop in New South Wales they'll give you what Victorians call a potato cake; for them the word "scallop" belongs only to seafood. So if I order a short macchiato in Fremantle there is no reason why they would, or should, consider where I'm from and what I think a short mac looks like.
Let's not even get started on the names of beer glass sizes.

EDIT: I asked Perth locals about this. They agree with me about what a short mac is. They assure me that it must be "a Fremantle thing".

Flat White, Carriage Cafe, Fremantle

I just had a look at the statue of the late Bon Scott, original AC/DC frontman and "Fremantle's biggest international export"1. If you want to find it, go to the Little Creatures brewery, walk towards McDonald's, and it's right there on the right side of the road near the anchors. It is almost life-size, which just makes it look like he was a really small dude. And I couldn't help but notice the belt buckle. It looks like the ones the X-Men wear. Was Bon Scott a genetically mutated superhero? Is that what the sculptor was trying to say with this work?
The trapezoidal guitar amp Bon stands on appears to have REAL 1/4" input and output jacks. What would happen if I plugged a guitar in and started playing Jailbreak? Would Bon come to life and start singing?

1. Mayor Peter Tagliaferri, via Sunday Times, via KNAC http://www.knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=4299

Friday, March 6, 2009

Espresso, Angels Cafe, Fremantle

Welcome to today's iPhone Keyboard Annoyance. This one only effects people who want to construct complete sentences, in particular sentences involving dialogue. This may only be a short segment of the iPhone's userbase. Consider typing the following example:

"Don't worry," said Steve, "we'll be able to fix it in a firmware update."

We run into the following problems:
  1. After the word Steve you change to the punctuation page, type a comma and press space. It automatically puts you back on the keyboard page. You have to change back to punctuation again for the quotation marks, and back again to start typing we'll.
  2. After the end of the sentence, with the full stop inside the quotation marks, if you type two spaces to make room for the next sentence, it automatically adds ANOTHER full stop outside the quotation marks.
Typing lengthy conversations on the iPhone is not recommended.

Espresso, Brisbane Hotel, Perth


Brisbane? In Perth? Where am I exactly?
I'll tell you where I am: one of those places where I am possibly the only patron EVER to walk in wearing a Def Leppard t-shirt.
The food was amazing. Linguini, churros, it was all pretty happening. The coffee could do with some attention though. It was more like half a long black, than a short black.

Flat White, Angels Cafe, Fremantle

My cousin is a chef. Actually, three of my cousins are chefs, but we're getting away from the point. He once told me that if someone's happy with their food they'll tell three people, and if they're not happy they'll tell ten people. That theory doesn't really apply to this blog, as I'll tell however many people are reading, whether the coffee is good or not. In the real world, however, I told at least ten people about what happened last time I went to Angels Cafe. It was bad, but not in a Michael Jackson way. Okay, maybe in a Michael Jackson way. Anyway.
What I'm getting at is that if you become the new owner of a place that has possibly had MANY people tell ten people about their bad experience, you're pushing shit up a hill. Shit service, shit food, shit coffee; that might longer be the case, but it's still a long way up reputation hill before you can plant the flag of redemption. That's why the coffee blog is here to lend a hand.
I heartily recommend Angels Cafe. It's a totally different story to last time I came here. Is it the best coffee in the world, as the chalkboard claims? No. Is it better than before? Certainly. Is it the best in Fremantle? Possibly. I haven't been everywhere in Fremantle. Is it worth visiting? Yes. If only for the "Frankie Says Relax - Have a Coffee" sign.

Flat White, Carriage Cafe, Fremantle


It's good to see these guys are still around. I don't agree with a lot of their points (a skate park will not necessarily result on graffiti, in fact people graffitied things long before the invention of the skateboard - furthermore, to paraphrase Police Academy 4, skateboarding is not a crime) but with so much terrible coffee in the world it would be a shame to see one of the good places go under.
Whenever i hear Django Reinhardt it just reminds me of those lamb ads from ten years ago with the butcher inside the window and the woman outside and the subtitles. And then a dog comes up to the window and the butcher says, "Sorry, no bones." Yes, advertising is destroying music. Why do I remember an ad from last decade when I hear the song, instead of thinking, "Wow, that guy only had two fingers on his right hand. What a badass. Why can't I play guitar like that? Are these two superfluous fingers just getting in the way?"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Espresso, Little Creatures, Fremantle

There seemed to be a service area next to the coffee machine.

"Can I order a coffee here? Or at the bar?"
"Sorry mate, it's table service only."

Ehem. I thought I'd be saving them some service time by ordering at the bar. Especially so, considering the strange payment method. After you order at the table:

"Would you like to start a tab, or do you want to settle that now?"

Unless your whole table can agree on one person's credit card that will become the tab, you'll need to settle straight away. This requires the waiter to take another two trips to the till and back. Wouldn't it be so much easier to just let me order at the bar? You can order all the other drinks at the bar!

Presumably, table service attracts more tips. Oops.

Latte, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

A bit on the milky (ie. Doesn't taste like coffee) side, but ridiculously fast service. I didn't even have time to walk around to the side counter before they handed it to me.
I'm happy with the smallness of the lamingtons. The price could do with some reduction too, but it's good to see somebody is fighting against Muffin Diameter Explosion Syndrome and its devastating effect on other baked goods.

Short Mac, home

If I hadn't bought those beans at BBB yesterday, I'd have to wait until the airport before coffee. In hindsight, I can say the one at the airport (two hours from now, approximately, if you'll allow me to persist with the illusion that I am writing this as I drink it) was a bit disappointing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Latte, Brunetti, City

I love their late trading hours (or is that latte trading hours? No, definitely not.) but I feel that after a certain time of night Brunetti don't care as much. Maybe when the heat is on during the day and there a queue going out the door and they have to get 30,000 lattes out there - maybe that's when they're at their best. But when it's deserted? Not quite happening. I guess I feel a bit weird about a dude spraying Windex around that close to my milk jug.

Espresso, Rue Bebelons, City


It gets difficult to find coffee after 5pm. The Baba Budan brothers sure weren't happy to see me come in the door when the chairs were up. Rue Bebelons show no signs of slowing down yet though. It had cooled down a hell of a lot, but I was in a hurry anyway. A good choice for after hours.

Strong Latte, North, Carlton North

Brilliant, again. Nice work North.
On the other side of the street, and the other end of the scale, is the Calabrian. I thought maybe I should keep it anonymous and refer to them instead as "a cafe I often walk past", but I liked the double-edged street metaphor so much I'm just gonna use their name. And it goes in line with my name-and-shame policy on the blog.
Every single time I walk past the Calabrian, I can clearly see through the window how much old, rancid, burnt milk is stuck to the steaming wand on the coffee machine. If they're not cleaning the bit that sticks out, who knows what else they're not cleaning? Avoid, avoid, avoid coffee at this place unless you are in the mood for a strong e.col-latte. The true test will be looking in the window after hours and seeing if they leave it that way all night. If so, who knows, maybe they haven't given it a wipe in five, or maybe ten, years. I shudder. If I see any change, I'll let you know. I'll call it Project Wandwatch. It will get tedious if I write about what it looks like every time I walk past. Unless, of course, I dedicate an entire blog to it. Hmm.

Latte, home

Another note about Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, which I briefly mentioned yesterday:
Not only does it rhyme, but it's chronological too. What a feat. Have a look at this site (>11 million hits! do this many people like this song? Wow!) and watch the bottom left corner. It displays the year. Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchell and Joe DiMaggio: 1949. The next four bars are 1950. Amazing. It goes on at approximately four bars per year until "Richard Nixon back again" where it speeds up, and before you know it there's Russians in Afghanistan. More fascinating stats are available on Wikipedia, such as which nine people mentioned in the song are still alive today, which two people are mentioned twice in the song, and which US presidents are not mentioned.
Billy Joel. Respect.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Short Mac, Leroy, St Kilda

Two.

Latte, Leroy, St Kilda


"Prices may vary according customer attitude."

Latte, home

Some time in January, Beau told me his new year's resolution: to learn all the lyrics to Ms Jackson by Outkast. Ambitious. There's a lot of words in there. Even with the lyrics in front of you, it's hard to fit them all in. Watch this one, the video quality is a bit crap, but click on "more info" and all the lyrics are there. Good luck with the first verse. Anyway, I thought of my new year's resolution lyrics challenge - in the first week of March - Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega.

That's not the version I remember from the radio when I was a kid, ie the "der der der der..." hook and all of the instruments are missing, but the verses are all there, and that's what is going to be hard to memorise. It is nowhere near as rhythmically challenging as Ms Jackson, but the inane meter is way off the dial on this one. Since I started listening to this song again, I've found most of my thoughts are in Suzanne Vega's voice, singing her melody. It's addictive. For example:

I am sitting at the keyboard
I am writing 'bout the coffee
I am running out of ideas
So I go turn the TV on
And it shows a bunch of bushfires
That are happening in the country
And it starts to get me down and so
I reach for the remote


See? It makes everything mundane seem slightly more interesting. Just like Twitter*. This song is about some shit that happened in a diner that just so happens to rhyme, and it will be near impossible to remember the lyrics because they could be, well, anything really. I'll try to do one verse per week. That's achievable. Then I'll move onto the rhyming 20th century history lesson tour-de-force that is Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire...

* That's not this song's only social networking link - she sang it in Second Life once. I couldn't in good conscience post a link to the Youtube video, find it yourself if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Espresso, home

Home, home again. I like to be here when I can.
The backyard looks pretty amusing. Anything that was growing in a pot still looks dead from the high temperatures two weeks ago, but other things seem to be growing out of all the gaps between the bricks. Lea said the backyard is growing plants like an old man grows hair: in all the wrong places (ears, nose, etc).
I also said on the phone, "I won't use that quote, you don't need to remind me to footnote," but I'm running dangerously low on material over here at Blog HQ. Whenever I think of something, I'm more inclined to put it on Twitter rather than save it up for next time I have a coffee. The old-man-hair quote was one of the few hilarious things that happened today that I didn't tweet about. That thing about Etihad and Hisense only showing up on my brand awareness receptors when they had a stadium and arena named after them, that could have been expanded into at least two paragraphs and a photo, or indeed one sentence longer than 140 characters (like this one). Yeah, I said that much better without Twitter's immovable word limit.
Maybe this is a sign that I'm not really sticking to what Twitter is all about. It doesn't ask, "What are you thinking about?" at all. It only asks, "What are you doing?"
There. Problem solved. Unless the answer is, "drinking coffee," I'm pretty sure the content of my Twitter and the coffee blog won't overlap.

Wow, that was tedious. Yes, there really is a lack of content here today.

Espresso, Macchinetta, Melbourne Airport

I'm starting a new loyalty card. I put Kieran's stamp on there too. Five more coffees and I'll get another free one, which I possibly should be able to fit in by the end of the month. The sooner I get started on the new card, the sooner I get a free coffee.
"That's exactly what they want you to think," I hear you saying.
Well, I guess I just like the idea of an airport coffee place actually worth going to.
But yes, that loyalty card is very clever.

Strong Latte, Hudsons, Canberra Airport


A word of advice: eat before you go through the metal detector. The only thing more irritating than queueing for the metal detector is knowing you'll have to do it again after you go back out for a coffee.
The Hudsons cup announced that they have stores in six states. I'm in ACT: it is a territory, not a state. What's going on, did I just go to a Hudsons or was it just some guy who hijacked a truck full of their cups?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Latte, Little on the Side, Chippendale

I always have a bit of a chuckle when I see a dude trying to look simulataneously productive and sociable by using his laptop at an outdoor cafe, and he has to squint and shield the sun off the screen with one hand to see what he's doing. It's hard to be effortlessly creative and productive in public while squinting, hunching and shielding.