Coffee Wars

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So the relentless quest to discover that quintessential cup of Espresso in the greater St Kilda Area for our ‘would be’ coffee connoisseurs continues!

Our discerning coffee critic, Ravenous Renee, takes you on a fascinating journey of coffee appreciation, based on flavour, body, texture, strength and presentation, rated out of a perfect ’5 Beans’

Amigos

92B Acland Street, St Kilda

Amigos; a modern Mexican restaurant inconspicuously serving up a divine cup of coffee on Acland Street, St Kilda. It sometimes really is in the places you least expect it that you find the gems. Thinking of this place as a purely Mexican-only, eatery and establishment, I was taken aback, when I first tasted what was a delightfully delicious and distinct brew, of the finest European quality. Utilising the Amiciblend, developed ‘over more than three generations ago’ (as stated on the ‘Amici’ website), I was intrigued.

Ordering a latte; for the first part, it was presented as a creative art piece, with little love hearts all around, and, although with fear of sounding corny, it actually was quite nice. Secondly, the coffee was full-bodied, robust and rich in texture, and of a consistency that will have you moreishly wanting more. Thirdly, this coffee has a unique flavourful punch, not just the caffeine kick, to get your motor going. A slightly poignant taste that’s hard to describe, this coffee has personality, whilst still maintaining its subtle vanilla spiced charm. Also maintaining hints of caramel and malt interwoven, this coffee holds a lingering, delicately sweet aftertaste that refreshingly works well on all accounts. Thank you Amigos, and ‘thank you’ again.

Latte rating: 4.5/5 Beans

 

Leroy Espresso

191 Acland Street, St Kilda

The fact that this cafe is always bustling (especially on weekends), speaks volumes. Cornering the Acland and Barkly Street stretch, this place is funky, warm and inviting, with a daily line-up outside their takeaway coffee window, always a given. Known for their caffeinated brew, by word of mouth, and around the street – to be honest, it was not a place I’d visited much. Oh, how I now know, how much I’ve been missing! This cafe lives true to its good recommendations; the coffee here is wonderful.

Utilising Leroy Blend, an equal mix of Brazilian and Columbian soul, the taste proves it’s a splendid combination. Ordering a cappuccino; full-bodied, medium-acidity and velvety smooth in consistency and texture, the team at Leroy’s, are working with mean beans. But not only are these mere morsels to be praised for the pronounced quality found in my cup, credit must also be given to the ‘man and hand’ behind the machine that served me on this given day. Why? Because without good form and technique, and milk heated and frothed just right, I would not have tasted the gorgeous caramel and light chocolate undertones of a coffee served at optimal, taste-bud tantalizing temperature. See you soon Leroy, I’ll be back!

Cappuccino rating: 4/5 Beans

 

Jimmi Jamz

130-132 Ormond Road, Elwood

An Elwood favourite amongst the locals and it’s not hard to understand why. Owner Giuliano Buttazzoni has this place running as smoothly as clockwork. Serving up great hospitality and service, alongside value-for-money fare, and, as it turns out, coffee (and excellent coffee at that), this place has it made.

Choosing the Genovese Super Brazil Blend, and reliably known for their consistent, flavoursome and efficiently made brew (they know how to pump those coffee’s out when you’re in a rush), it’s no wonder Jimmi Jamz are hitting it off with a continually increasing, loyal, local following. The coffee here is simply ‘darn delightful’, and cheap too. In fact, it might be one of the cheapest places I know to get a decent coffee ($2.50 regular takeaway, $3 large, and a fraction more to sit in), without at all compromising on quality.

Ordering a flat white, I was impressed. Not only was my coffee robust and gutsy, showcasing good character, it maintained mild to medium acidity, full-body, and a creamy texture – all of which sat well rounded on the palate. Alongside an aroma of toasted caramel and dark chocolate, and a sweet but subtle aftertaste, this coffee is worth more than its weight.

Flat White rating: 4.5/5 Beans

 

Harper’s Kitchen

78 Inkerman Street, St Kilda

We are so spoilt for good coffee and awesomely cute cafe spots here in Melbourne, and Harper’s Kitchen (owned and managed by Hana Provan) is no exception. Maintaining a bright and airy, modern-industrial feel, it resembles one of those ‘feel-good,’ trendy cafes, which you might stumble across in sunny Byron Bay, or Noosa.

A friendly little neighbourhood haunt, this place beckons anyone yearning for a divine cup of coffee alongside a delicious array of scrumptious goodies, homemade on the premises. So if it’s not the mouth watering aromas of freshly ground beans or the home cooked, seasonal and sometimes Japanese inspired food (made by Hannah herself) that gets you in (very unlikely), it will be the genuine hospitality and service, delivered with a smile.

Ordering a long macchiato, sampling their beloved Coffee Supreme Boxer Blend – the medium dark roast of the beans is showcased in the rich, dark cocoa essence of the brew and nutty emanation. Maintaining a full-body and distinctive and pungent punch, this coffee has character and it has charm. Not overpowering by any means, but gutsy in true bold Brazilian style, this coffee knows how to tantalisingly tease and begs to please the most concerning of coffee connoisseurs.

Macchiato rating: 4.5/5 Beans

 

If you would like St Kilda Bites to critique your favourite coffee spot, please phone the Food Dude on: 0427 382 772 or Email: fooddude@stkildanews.com

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