COFFEE WARS

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Tee Geez Cafe

1/96 Chapel St, Windsor

4.5 / 5 beans

George, the amiable proprietor of Tee Gee’s in St Kilda’s iconic Chapel Street, has wisely chosen Caffe Camardro – a classic Italian Coffee import, this company has been roasting and blending beans since 1951. George confidently boasts that he serves the best coffee in Melbourne, and I have to say he’s not far wrong. I started with my usual morning latte, which the lovely young woman behind the counter brought to me with a bright smile. The milk was excellently smooth and the lively flavour of the coffee wasn’t lost among the froth, as one sometimes finds with other brands. Full-flavoured Arabica beans ensure this coffee packs a punch, and combined with a handful of Robusta, the smooth, creamy texture makes it a true pleasure to drink. Notes of spice, orange and milk chocolate sit pleasantly upon the tongue, and the bold blend is the perfect pick-me up. Perched on the kerb-side tables, Caffe Camardo sits comfortably in the hand as the drinker partakes in that age-old past time; people-watching.

 

My Coffee Stop

2a/60 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

4 / 5 Beans

My Coffee Stop is designed for those light-rail commuters who are light on cash but in need of a caffeine kick-start to the day.

The huge menu board features nearly every conceivable hot beverage combination possible.

At this coffee stop the customer is always right. With recent reports of a high-end barista refusing to use soy milk, My Coffee Stop has no such qualms.

Soy and almond milk? No problem.

Chai lattes mixed with coffee? Sure.

Syrup flavoured lattes? Yep.

Each coffee is made using the Rumba blend by NSW-based La Zumba espresso. This blend literally criss-crosses the globe; coming from seven different plantations in three different climates.

The short macchiato arrives hot (super hot in fact), and it has an interesting taste, trending towards the heavier end of the spectrum; think chocolate and toasty flavours.

 

Leroy Espresso

191 Acland St, St Kilda

4 / 5 Beans

In a previous issue we looked at 95 Espresso, the self-declared ‘coffee nerd’s paradise’. Well, if 95 Espresso is the nerd of the Espresso family, then Leroy would be the laid back, cool and popular sibling.

Great coffee beans, friendly service and a stylish digs make Leroy a local haunt for caffeine addicts.

Leroy has established itself as a friendly local coffee stop. The house blend from Sensory Lab consists of half Columbian and half Brazilian beans, so you know it’s going to kick like a mule. This is the perfect blend for lattes and creamy coffees, as the addition of milk doesn’t subtract from the robust, toasted nutty finish.

Leroy also offers a weekly single origin blend. Opt for this blend if you regard milk as more of a caffeine obstacle rather than a flavour enhancer. What you’ll be rewarded with is an espresso that is light, subtle in stone fruit flavours and smooth as silk.

Like 95 Espresso, Leroy also offers patrons Panela cane sugar instead of your ordinary raw and refined varieties. Lighter in texture and more natural in flavour, it breaks down in coffee more easily, creating a smooth and even consistency.

Ain’t nothing bad, bad about this Leroy’s brown stuff.

 

Hub Café

Urban Hotel, 35-37 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

4 / 5 Beans

Sporting an extremely appropriate name for a café in a trendy hotel in an even trendier neighbourhood, Hub café is simultaneously bustling and laid-back.

The polished concrete floors, little brick fireplace and shelves displaying an eclectic range of books (some for purchase) give Hub a chic and bohemian feel.

It is a vogue haven for hipsters, business people and leisure-professionals alike.

Bucking the 7 seeds, St Ali roasting trend, Hub Café opts for the tried and true Genovese coffee and their Super Brazil roast.

It is a good blend for the crowd-pleasing milky coffees. Lattes are velvety, with excellent consistency and distinctly caramel nutty tastes, reigning supreme.

Espressos and short coffees are produced with the utmost care.

The flavours are distinctly dark, with a toasty finish.

The short black coffee could benefit from the use of a single origin blend, with the Genovese Super Brazil blend weighing a little too heavy on my palate.

Fashions may be fleeting, but it seems Hub is a trend worth embracing.

 

 

Ernest V

432 Glenhuntley Rd, Elsternwick

4/5 beans

Immersed in the middle of bagel country, Ernest V offers patrons a different type of middle-eastern fare: Egyptian. The locals seem to dig it, filling quickly on weekends with brunching friends and couples.

It is a lovely and engaging space, with a stunning arrangement of Egyptian antique wall tiles stealing focus.

Despite an impressive and enticing menu available, many patrons seem to be satisfied with just a cup of coffee.

Rosso Coffee is the roaster of choice here, using Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and Organic certified beans. So every cup of coffee comes with a healthy dose of good karma.

The blend of choice here consists of 100 per cent Arabica beans from five estates, from as far as South Africa.

The servings are generous, with my short macchiato arriving looking noticeably taller than usual.

It is the consistency of liquid gold with a lovely smooth finish. The senses are washed with predominant tastes of florals and citrus.

Don’t let the subtle flavours fool you though; the coffee here will leave you buzzing.

For coffee diehards out there, Ernest V also plans to soon adopt a weekly single origin blend

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