Monday, March 14, 2011

Latte, Market Lane, Broadsheet, MFWF

The last cup
Another photo, also called IMG_1276.JPG

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flat White, Proud Mary, Broadsheet, MFWF

See below for extremely long caption.
From left to right:
1. Pain au chocolat. Or "chocolate croissant" if you don't know how to pronounce "au".
2. There was a guy walking around dishing out free tastes of the pourover. This was Colombian Something.
3. Well, I didn't get one of the blue cups. I ordered a flat white "to have here", I thought that would do it, but I guess not. Who do you have to root to get your coffee served in a blue cup?

Having said that, Proud Mary have been my favourite. It may be a little premature to say that now, on the second-to-last day of MFWF, but hey, for Market Lane to take out pole position tomorrow they would have to have Creedence playing live.

So, I should really go to Proud Mary more often. Why did I stop going there? Oh, right. I think I remember now. The funniest complaint I've ever said to a waiter was at Proud Mary.

"Excuse me, I think this record is playing at the wrong speed."

It was Lullaby by The Cure. If you've heard that song even once in your life, you'd be able to tell straight away if it's not at the right speed. So if this guy's never heard Lullaby before, why is he putting it on?

But that's not a good enough reason to not go to Proud Mary. It must be the location. If I'm driving, it can be a nightmare to park near. If I'm walking or biking, it's at the bottom of a pretty nasty hill. What can I say. I'm not into hills.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Latte, Dead Man Espresso, Broadsheet, MFWF

A cup of coffee.

Oh. That's right. I forgot I never posted the rest of these. Sorry for the dramatic three month pause. Dead Man were great. I guess. It was three months ago, I have no idea. But I went there on Sunday too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Latte, Proud Mary, Broadsheet, MFWF

Day eight. We're coming towards the end of the MFWF season, but this is Proud Mary's first day on. They've more than made up for their tardiness though. They really went to town (literally) in making Broadsheet look like their own while they're here.

Creedence just sounds better through grille-less three-way woodgrain speakers.
Old speakers, a cold drip setup in the middle of the table, and my favourite part: those distinctive blue cups. To top it all off, they were listening to Creedence. Perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stick around and enjoy it. I'll have to leave that until Sunday.

That's pretty full.
Tomorrow: Dead Man are back. And this time I'll actually be there.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Latte, Five Senses, Broadsheet, MFWF

Five Senses. Round two.

Looks like I stole Brian's coffee again.
I'd write more, but I'm writing this the next day, and if I don't hurry up I won't have time to visit Broadsheet again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Latte, Seven Seeds, Broadsheet, MFWF

NOTE: I should probably disclose that I wasn't charged for this cup of coffee on this occasion. It's worth mentioning, just in case you detect any resulting bias in this post. I'd be impressed if you could, considering I rarely say much about the coffee. With that in mind...

Day six. Seven Seeds are back.

Seven Seeds, one cup. I can't promise that I won't make that joke again any time soon.
I learned a lot today.
  • They're doing take-away-only because there's nowhere to wash the cups. No plumbing. That's good enough for me, given the temporary nature of the place. They're only here for eleven days, installing a sink and/or a dishwasher is pretty much out of the question. They will still do porcelain for espressi if you ask for it.
  • If you're buying a new Macbook Pro any time soon and you're curious about the benefits of SSD and whether Thunderbolt will really be a gamechanger, your best source of information is probably eavesdropping at Broadsheet Cafe. Cibi has its fair share of Mac conversations too.
  • Broadsheet (the publication) does not seem to be, by definition, a broadsheet. It looks more like a tabloid to me. But let's face it: turning pages in a broadsheet is a pain in the arse if you have less than a squash court in which to do it. In a crowded cafe at a communal table elbow-to-elbow with other broadsheet-flipping strangers? Impossible. So if Broadsheet Cafe is indeed the true incarnation of Broadsheet, tabloid is a good choice of size. It's much easier to turn pages of Broadsheet than a broadsheet at Broadsheet.
  • The Last Magazine is actually a broadsheet. But it's not, by definition, the last magazine: I saw another one not five seconds later. Maybe, if they speak the same dialect of irony as Broadsheet, they should just change their name to Tabloid and be done with it.
  • The sandwiches at Broadsheet are pretty amazing. Difficult to eat without everything falling out, but that's more a design flaw of the open-ended baguette.
  • And some stuff about inline CSS being a bad idea. But it comes in handy if you use Blogger.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Latte, The Premises, Broadsheet, MFWF

Day five. Today's operator is The Premises, all the way from Kensington. I've never been there before, so it was good to get a sneak preview of what they do. It was kind of like seeing the trailer.

This summer.
M. Night Shyamalan's
T h e   P r e m i s e s .

What's that shadow being cast over the whole scene? An expected unexpected plot twist?
Oh, right. It was just me. Not a great photo, but it would have been a bit weird to move seats just for a better photo of my coffee. It would have been weirder still to lean to one side, closer to one of the strangers I was sitting near, just to get my shadow out of the way. It's good to see the various operators of Broadsheet are bringing their own respective flavours in. The Premises were the first I've seen serving pourover coffee in addition to espresso (either that, or I just haven't noticed the other doing it), and also had some particularly amazing brownies (pictured below, half eaten). In the interest of keeping it all homologous, click here for Broadsheet(the website)'s review of The Premises.

Tomorrow: Seven Seeds are back for round two. Oh, that shouldn't be a caption.
Tomorrow: Seven Seeds are back for round two.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flat White, Market Lane, Broadsheet, MFWF

Day four: Market Lane. It might only be for today, but I'm pretty glad I don't have to go all the way to Prahran for Market Lane. I think I've only been there once, mainly because I live nowhere near Prahran and also try to avoid going there at all costs. Nothing personal, Prahran, but you've changed. I remember Novak saying, about five years ago, "It seems like everything I like around here is closing down and becoming a shoe shop. How many shoes can people possibly need?" So it was a boon to have Market Lane in the city today, though I kind of missed their giant tray of sugar. I don't have sugar in my coffee, but it's still impressive.

It would have been weird to ask the girl next to me to move her book out of my photo.
Cups! Did they bring them in, or will these cups be here for the rest of the week? Again, this is a question more easily answered if I had, in fact, asked it of someone while I was there. I was trying to go for a latte every time I came in, for both comparison's and consistency's sakes, but once I saw the real cups on top of the machine I figured it was easier to order a flat white than ask for a latte in a cup. For a lot of people, a latte in a cup is a flat white. But Market Lane clearly know the difference. They also know the difference between a latte and a 3/4 latte, and call the latter a magic. I'd be happy to make that my regular for the rest of MFWF, but that's not how it works. Tomorrow, The Premises will be in charge and they'll probably think I'm a halfwit if I walk in and order a "magic".

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Espresso, Dead Man Espresso, Broadsheet, MFWF

Day three: Dead Man Espresso. And, wouldn't you know it, only two days after I (half-heartedly) pledged (in blog form – not to be trusted at the best of times, least of all from me) to visit Broadsheet every day, I didn't make it in! I'll have to definitely be there for Dead Man's second and final gig next weekend. Luckily, Luke (who will almost definitely be there every day) was there today and sent me a photo of what went down.

"Deadman, Broadsheet, Etc"
Portrait! I never thought of that. Also, it looks like there is a demitasse available. Good thing: an espresso just isn't the same from a paper cup, no matter how sustainable its production is. Did Dead Man painstakingly bring the cups in for the occasion, or have they been there all along but I never noticed because I never ordered an espresso? I guess I'll find out tomorrow. And what did I find out today? That the only way to know for sure that somebody wearing a plaid shirt is not a hipster, is if they are also riding a horse. Which brings me to Luke's second photo:
"I tried to get the shirt in."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Latte, Five Senses, Broadsheet, MFWF

Day two: Five Senses are at the helm. According to their business card, they're based in Taunton Drive. I'm hoping that street is named after the creatures that Luke and Han ride around on in Empire when they're on Hoth. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably won't appreciate the caption of the following photo.

"And I thought they smelled good on the outside!"
Having not had any coffee yet, somehow the aroma had at least three senses tingling, which may or may not include the sense that sees dead people, and spidey-sense. It's not too crowded yet, but I'm sure that will change over the next few hours. They don't seem to be having much trouble taking all the orders, but what will get interesting is if that queue snakes all the way out the door. Given the width of the room, and the amount of floor space taken up by chairs and tables, I'm just wondering where you're supposed to stand after you've ordered. If you lean against the wall, you're part of the queue again. That came with a reward though: I heard somebody order a 3/4 flat white. Now that's getting specific. But probably a good idea if you don't want too much* milk, and you don't want too much of that milk to be foam.
Five senses, one cup.
Delicious, but I can't remember how the taste differs from yesterday's latte. Hence the phrase "Take a photo, it'll last longer." They went a little over the "fill to here for 8oz" line, but not so far that the lid was going to squash all their good work. It's probably getting close to a 9/8 latte.

* Of course, it should be assumed that nobody wants too much milk. That's why they call it "too much". And I really should credit Stephen Fry for that joke.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Latte, Seven Seeds, Broadsheet, MFWF

First of all, I'd better explain that title one bite at a time, in reverse order.
  • MFWF is probably an abbreviation for a particularly offensive insult* about one's mother, but in this case it stands for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
  • Broadsheet is Broadsheet Café which, as part of the MFWF, is open for the next eleven days in Crossley St. It was set up by Broadsheet and will be operated by a rotating cast of Melbourne's heaviest coffee hitters.
  • Today, Seven Seeds are in charge at Broadsheet Café.
  • Latte means caffè latte – the drink that this post is about. I've been calling them lattes since I started this blog, and I really wish I had included the word caffè in there right from the start. For the sake of consistency above all else**, let's leave it as is***.
At Broadsheet Cafe, reading an article about Broadsheet Cafe in this month's Broadsheet.
I was kind of hoping to get one of the cups that explains the El Gordo blend on the side, but settled for one with my name instead. Not only was my name correct (a rare occurrence), but Seven Seeds have set the bar pretty high and the contents of the cup was pretty spectacular. A little squashed by the lid, but that's why I left it on for the photo. I've got to admit, I was a little surprised that they only serve in take away cups, but it's worth mentioning they are provided by Biopak. As far as single-use disposable cups go, that is probably as environmentally-friendly as they get. If you still think that's not good enough, well you probably already own a KeepCup anyway. I've just got to figure out how to attach mine to my bike*. Let's face it: bicycle commuting is much better for your health and the environment, but cars are still years ahead in the cupholder department.

I'm probably going to regret saying I'll try to come here every day, but what the hell. I'll try to come here every day. I've got plenty more to say about the interior and the food and how it's going to be hard to find something to chain your bike to within two blocks for the next eleven days, but I'd better wrap up this post here, so I don't run out of material over the next eleven days.

P.S. Mark Dapin has six followers. He deserves more.

* Suggestions welcome. 
** On the other hand, throwing consistency to the wind, I'm going to start captioning photos.
*** Another thing I'm going to leave as is is* the apostrophes in this post and subsequent posts. Sure, the dot-with-a-tail apostrophes look much nicer than the vertical-line apostrophes, but it won't prevent the intended meaning of the sentence** from getting across. I'll strive to use apostrophes in the right place and at the right time – it's just good manners*** – but relatively few people will be offended by using the wrong sort of apostrophe.

* I'll also leave that double "is" as is.
** Unless you interpret the vertical-line ones as denoting feet and inches.
*** Unlike these nested footnotes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Flat White, Campos, Carlton

Campos always manage to get the pour to look just like their logo. Or vice versa.
I wish I'd heard earlier about this Campos opening in Carlton. As you may remember, I had a sparkling long black at the Campos in Brisbane last year, and was a big fan. They do them here too. Mind you, there were only a handful or two of hot days this summer. Still, it's good to have Campos in the area. This might be controversial, but it's better than most of the coffee in Carlton. It's also conveniently located directly across the road from the Music Swop Shop. So next time you need to go and have a coffee and think for a few minutes about whether you should buy that MPC-3000 in the window, or how much longer they're going to keep dropping the price on that '64 Fender Jazz before somebody buys if before you, or if you turn up at 11.00am but the sign on the door clearly says they open at 11.07am and you need to kill seven minutes, this is a good place to do it.