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Caffeine Fix

My regular readers would understand my need for good coffee and I’ve babbled on the subject in the past.  Not the black swill North Americans pretend is coffee but my poison is the European style coffee made with milk and steamed to perfection with good, freshly ground coffee beans.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (excuse the pun) but bear with me.

It takes class to be a quality barista and there is no shortage of good coffee houses in this country and you soon take note of the good ones.  Oddly, some of the best coffee I have sampled has come from a local shop, a servo on a country highway somewhere or the local donut shop.  In fact, on my trip to Warrnambool last week, I broke the journey with a coffee stop at a small supermarket and later at a petrol station with a small restaurant and both dished up an excellent brew. Our local Donut King also does a mean latte and Seniors get two hot donuts thrown in for free.  Probably a government conspiracy to harden our arteries quicker and get us off the social security bandwagon.

The biggest surprise coffee wise came yesterday on our long bike ride.  One of our trips is a 62k ride from Queenscliff to Geelong and return along the Bellarine Rail Trail.  We go through the small townships of Drysdale and Leopold but it’s off the beaten track if you want a caffeine fix so you don’t bother.  We get to the small Drysdale Railway station which is used by the old steam train for tourist trip from Queenscliff and Drysdale and a guy had set up a coffee van and so we screeched to a halt and rubbed our eyes in case it was just a mirage.

Being a discerning connoisseur, it takes a lot to say this but it was the best cup of latte I have ever tasted.  MP likes her coffee a bit weaker and got a cup she said was up there with the best.

The guy is battling the Council to stay there permanetly so we signed his petition and we said if he succeeds, we’ll make him a rich man.  Along with all the mothers who meet at the park with their kids and frequent his van too.

Incidently, McCafe doesn’t do a bad job either and Tim Horten’s in Canada doesn’t do a latte per se but their vanilla killers are to die for. 

There goes that pun again.

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  1. antikva
    April 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    hey! you’re back 😀

    I found a good one by accident the other day too but they’re allowed by council here. It’s run by a company that teaches baristas 😀 and OMG! it’s moved to the top of my coffee suppliers list here.

    It’s in the Rotary Park by the lake if you wander this far 😀

    I’ll mark that down for future reference.

  2. April 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    If it isn’t black, unsweetened and strong then it isn’t coffee. Just some wimpish hot soft drink concocted for the landed gentry.

    I know we disagree on this DB but I won’t hold it against you. 😉

    Dear Serf

    You sound just like my friend in Portland, Oregon. He drinks that god awful swill too!

    Yours sincerely

    Sir Dogbait Esq.

    • April 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Not really swill, though that too exists in far too many places. I like a deep, rich coffee flavor but smooth, not acidic. Kona coffee is one of my favorites. Also some blends from Sumatra, Columbia and Jamaica. Also, never percolated but fresh ground with just one pass of boiling water over the ground beans. I prefer my beans coarse ground as opposed to the fine ground alternative. I have found that many coffee shops that make coffee the way you like it use cheap beans because they know all that cream, sugar, chocolate and whatever other flavorings are added will mask the acidity. And never, NEVER, NEVER decaffeinated! The chemicals used in that process are very bad for you. Besides, if you don’t want to be alert then have a cuppa warm milk.

      I know cheap beans when I taste them. My mates coffee was far too strong for my liking and places like Maccas brewed or the stuff from petrol stations while we were travelling qualified as swill.

      I remember when we first arrived in the US I ordered a large coffee and got what could only be described as a bucket. Your definition of large and ours differed quite some. 😀

      • April 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

        While, technically, a “cup” is 8oz in the English system of measurement, when it comes to coffee the typical cup is 12oz and is referred to as “small” when various sizes are offered. A “medium” is 16oz and a “large” is 20oz. Unless you go to Starbuck’s. There a small is called “large”, medium is called “Grande” and large is called “Venti” (or something like that). I am not sure but I believe that venti means 20 in Italian. The stronger the flavor the better. Sadly, stronger is mistaken as meaning thicker. A good bean has a full rich flavor that comes from the bean and not from “cooking” it longer in a pot. When I make coffee I usually use about 30% more bean that most people.

  3. june in florida
    April 2, 2010 at 1:11 am

    What method do you use to make your morning coffee? Best coffee I have ever had was Jamaican High Blue Mountain, guy in Hyannis bought it from Jamaican workers as trade for shipping their purchases back to Jamaica.Paid $15.00 a pound, reg price was about $45.00 .

    Instant or plunger. I don’t have time to waste.

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