Coffee Wars May 2015

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Soldier On EspressoShort Black Soldier On Espresso

188 High St, Windsor

Rating: 4.5/5 Beans

Despite its name, I suggest you would be doing yourself a wrongdoing if you were to ‘soldier on’ pass this sleek Victorian terrace café. Located just up from Hanoi Hannah on High Street in Windsor, and a relatively new and much needed addition to this end of the street (only just opened in July last year 2014); this is one little find, I recommend you try. Already a hit with the locals, the coffee here at Soldier On Espresso is sensational, and pretty hard to beat. And with a cute coffee window and barista or two to match (that’s one for the ladies); know you can always get your ‘pick me up’ here.

Offering a wide selection of daily rotating single origins, alongside their own House White Blend and Five Senses Harvest Black Blend, I decided that for something different, a short black single origin espresso ($3.50) was on the cards (but to be fair, I also sampled their Black Blend and both were outstanding). Trying their washed process Mwasa Rwanda single origin by Industry Beans, I was rewarded with a full-bodied, rich, syrupy and silky-smooth mouthful, alongside an irresistible trio of caramel, cranberry and grapefruit flavours that had my palate in a frenzy. Then add the sour pop of cherry at the tip of the tongue, and the hint of spice at the back of the palate, and I was converted.

 

Glovers StationGlovers station capp

258 Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick

Rating: 4/5 Beans

An old garage and service station turned recently refurbished café; enter this stunning mock Tudor heritage listed establishment, and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Showcasing a picturesque and enchanting, almost medieval exterior that allures you in from the outset; step inside and you’ll be welcomed with pristine and polished surroundings and comfortable modern décor. Then add exceptionally welcoming, friendly and attentive service, alongside a refined and delectable creative menu, and for my sole purpose, quality tasting coffee — and trust me, you’ll be all sorted.

Ordering a skim cappuccino ($3.80), to get my morning on its way, my first impressions of the coffee at Glovers Station were high. Using Dukes signature House Blend, my cappuccino, served at optimum temperature, was a delight not to be reckoned with; and showcasing a hazelnut and light caramel underlay – flavours which cut through the milk with stunning clarity — was divine. A medium bodied brew, it maintained a light acidity and offered me just the gentle but sufficient pick me that I needed. Then add the indulgent creamy consistency of my cappuccino and its toasty, dark cocoa marked finish, and you can understand why the locals keep coming back to this place for more.

 

Windsor DelicatessenLong Mac, Windor Deli 2

33 Hornby St, Windsor

Rating: 4/5 Beans

Windsor Delicatessen. Have you been here? Well, if you haven’t, it’s probably because you have no flippin’ clue where this place is. Even I didn’t know where this milk bar, turned delicatessen, turned café in Windsor was — not until taking a wrong turn off Chapel Street, and making the discovery. But, thank goodness I did, because had I not; I wouldn’t have unearthed this fabulous local’s gem, situated cosily at the corner of Hornby Street and James Street, amongst the housing estates of the area. Now, although shop front wise, for first-timers, this place might not grab you straight away, take a punt and step inside, and trust me – you’ll be glad you did. This place is as sweet, as it is neat.

Ordering a long macchiato ($3.80) and trying one of Windsor Delicatessen’s outlandishly delish, home-made Gluten Free Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookie’s on the side $4.50 (cookie-crush alert) and I found myself on heaven’s doorstep. My coffee washed down velvety smooth and with the Niccolo medium roast blend that is on offer, its unique balance of bitterness, acidity and fullness; alongside its flavoursome fruity and zesty profile is what makes this blend well-balanced, yet distinguished and unique. Now although the three tier complex of this coffee type could have gone with a touch more refinement to portray a sleeker division between the coffee, crema and milk (only a minor qualm), add the toasty caramel finish, and you’ve just encountered a full-sensory experience.

 

Mr Mister CaféMr. Mister Capp 4

161 Chapel St, Windsor

Rating: 4/5

A new enterprise opened up in January this year, Mr. Mister is fast becoming the new trendy place to be. And ideally situated in the heart of Windsor, it’s understandable why, when you discover the enviable breakfast, brunch and lunch spread (like I previous experienced), that they have on offer.  Not to mention their fresh and contemporary setup (with indoor and outdoor seating), efficient and friendly service, and most notably, their wonderful coffee that I had heard about, but was still yet to try. On that note, I knew a re-visit to Mr. Mister was required, and what a good excuse for doing so.

Finding out that Mr. Mister houses Niccolo Coffee, I was excited, and ordering a cappuccino ($3.50), I was pleasantly rewarded. A soothing and invigorating brew; my coffee was velvety and creamy in texture and showcasing light fruity and citrus notes, and a gentle lingering acidity, was devoured with utter appreciation. A very well-balanced coffee, this medium roast, 100% Arabica blend makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal. And showcasing a silky head of delectable foam and served at just the right temperature, my cappuccino delivered the perfect ‘pick me up’ to get my morning underway.  A delightful coffee that will leave you feeling comforted, satisfied and content all day.

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