Thursday, November 04, 2004

Aaaaaahhhhhh ... Coffee

Ok, so coffee seems to be the topic du jour (see comments from Barry and Jamey). I’m okay with that because I am a coffee addict. Yes I am. I’m addicted and I’m proud. Not as addicted as some, but an addict nonetheless. Addicted, addicted, addicted! Now that I’ve got that out of my system …

Ok. Hand’s up who hates the bitter taste of bad coffee coupled with burnt milk? Thought so. I’ve had really bad coffee at Sticky Fingers (what was I thinking?) and Harbour Lights (on the waterfront), and lots of very average coffee from Sals (Salamanca), Kafe Kara (gasp!), and just about every restaurant in Hobart. Although I’ve equally had great coffee at each of these establishments and at Zum and T42. If you’re not after eggs (sorry Jamey, but it’s not always about the food), then Machine Laundry Café is rather fab. But don’t even mention Maldini to me … I’m still suffering the trauma!

So where does the HRB go for a coffee when the craving really hits hard? Firstly (and I know you’re not going to like this one), Hudson’s (gasp! choke!). Sorry. I know the whole paper cup thing is an issue for some, and I am risking my credentials flying out the window (oops, too late, there they go), but I have never had a bad coffee there. However, the whole serve-yourself, fight-the-mums-for-a-seat, try-to-talk-over-the-gaggle-of-Collegiate-girls thing is jarring to the nerves (added to a caffeine jolt, that can be just dangerous!). So the alternate haunt?

Barcelona. Yes, yes, yes, I have gone completely mad. But they literally have the BIGGEST coffee cups on the planet. I swear it’s true. AND the coffee in those buckets is actually good gear. Now I know I said I was a coffee addict, but coffee GLUTTON is more like it. Coffee in a bucket gets me all excited (actually, that added to a caffeine jolt probably isn’t safe either).

Take away coffee? Well yes there’s Hudson’s there too. OR you could do something out of the ordinary and go to the Backdoor Café (in the atrium behind Rockerfeller’s). Good coffee. Seriously good coffee. And tell the proprietor Julie your name just once, and she’ll remember it for life! And of course, you can then sit in the atrium and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

GW the HRB


Anonymous said...

hudsons? oh please! they so over airate their milk. :-)

my personal favourite is the perth roadhouse. i find their international roast and hot milk just sublime.


fantasia said...

Reading articles on coffee in hobart always makes me laugh.. Sometimes I think the people who are the most outspoken are the people who don't really know what they are talking about!! Anyone who claims to be a coffee lover in one sentence and then in the next sentence cannot stop raving about the virtues of Hudsons and oversized coffees is in my expert opinion a coffee ignoramus. Very similar to the customer who asks for a really good coffee and then in the next breath asks you to make it as hot as you can...
Any coffee maker (and we can't call them baristas in Australia unless they have completed the very long course in Italy) knows that the minute you are asked for an oversized coffee you are faced with the issue of how to make it decently. You can use three shots of espresso so the ratio of coffee to milk is still good enough to make the coffee taste delicious. But most customers don't want to pay for the extra shots and would rather you overextracted the espresso, an no self-respecting coffee maker likes to prostitute themselves in this way. The other issue faced is that most large vessels do not fit properly under group handles so espresso needs to be transferred from one vessel to another and thus you lose the best tasting part of the coffee - the crema (something that the Timeless Way has not yet come to terms with).
As for Hudsons.. It is the McDonalds of coffee and i have never ever seen any foodie stating the virtues of a quarter pounder.
As for good coffee venues in Hobart there are but a few. Sadly Retro does not live up the repuation is holds and i refuse to drink coffee there ever again after personally seeing them cook scambled eggs with the steaming wand.
T42 is ok but it largely depends on who is on the machine.. Has anyone tried the coffee at Peppermint Bay? If you get the guy with the blonde floppy hair on the machine then you are in for a real treat, well worth the travel down there.
But I have to say that the best coffee I have found in the greater Hobart area in a while is at Brew in Sandy Bay. Has anyone been there yet? It is a new espresso bar and the couple that operate really seem to know what they are doing when it comes to creating a coffee. Food is also pretty good (but don't go expecting a dining experience, remember the focus in this place is coffee) and as for funky... It will really change your attitude I think.
I must still try the Choux Shop as I have heard only good things... Will be happy to share my opnion one day.