Coffee Wars – September

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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 connoisseur continues!

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

 

 

The Woodfrog Bakery

108 Barkly Street, St Kilda

More than just a bakery, this little treasure of a find on Barkly Street (near the Barkly Hotel) is a gourmet-cafe-haven, waiting to warm your winter blues. Known for their quality selection of real rustic sourdough breads (that are made on premises, with organic flour, water and salt in their gas-fired stone oven), alongside some very scrumptious treats; their choice of Axil coffee blend also leaves its mark. A distinct and divine, medium strength brew, you will be glad you stopped by for more than just your morning loaf of bread. Coffee here is good.
Ordering a short macchiato ($3.50), my tastebuds were met with a velvety smooth, full-bodied espresso that hinted decadent notes of dark chocolate and divine blueberries, which was welcomely received. Maintaining a naturally occurring slight bitterness from the beans, my macchiato was clean and robust and left a pleasant mild aftertaste and acidity in my mouth. Although the extraction of the coffee beans could have been perfected slightly to have allowed for an aesthetically better looking shot; I thoroughly enjoyed my coffee here at this cosy countrified establishment. My short macchiato downed very easily as my first caffeine hit of the day. I’ll be back.

Rating 3.5/5 Beans

woodfrog short mac

IL Piccolo Posto

2A/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

One of those hidden little cafe gems that you would only know existed if you’re either a true St Kilda local that knows Fitzroy Street inside out, or you regularly catch the light rail from St Kilda Station; IL Piccolo Posto sits unassumingly tucked away at the far end of the 132 tram stop. A secret hideaway well worth the find, this relatively new establishment, owned and managed by Giancarlo Miggiano ‘JC’, won’t be a secret for long.
With cosy-styled-Italian-chic and serving up a handful of mouth-watering sweet and savoury delectable treats, alongside some exceptional coffee, nothing is amiss. Ordering an almond milk latte (regular $4.40), I was more than impressed – a winner, hands-down. My coffee was creamy smooth in consistency, light to medium in acidity and held its form miraculously well (considering the almond milk did not segregate from the espresso like I would normally expect). What’s more, Giancarlo’s secret almond milk family recipe truly tasted like a cup of almonds, yet being used in coffee it did not take away from the flavour profile of his Rossi Original Blend. In fact, the blend cut perfectly through the almond milk to highlight the caramelised nutty chocolate flavour of the beans – mastery indeed.

Rating 4.5/5 Beans

il piccolo latte

Osti

218 Chapel Street, Prahran

Maintaining a fresh and modern contemporary interior with high ceilings, large front and side windows, and plenty of natural light, this place exudes a happy and alluring vibe from the onset. Greeted with a happy and upbeat “hello” and smile from the barista at the coffee machine upon walking in, I knew I was off to a good start. I felt instantly welcomed from the moment I walked in.
Ordering a soy cappuccino (regular $3.80 sit-in) which arrived at my fingertips within a blink of an eye, I relished my first sips of my charmingly love-heart decorated caffeinated brew. My lips met with irresistible creamy foam while my palate met a gentle and warming cup of Axil coffee goodness. A well-made soy cappuccino which maintained a strong body, smooth consistency and moderate to mild strength and acidity; this was a pleasant and very easy cappuccino to drink (despite the fact that it would have benefited from a little more ‘kick’). On this occasion, the full flavour of the beans could have cut through the milk with a little more vigour, but overall it was a delightful cup of coffee that I won’t hesitate to drop by for again. Talented barista hands make this place a winner.

Rating 3.5/5 Beans

osti soy cappuccino

Stickybeak

40 Green Street, Windsor

Inconspicuously off the main track, at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, but still close enough to warrant frequent visitation rights, sits a granted large and awry warehouse type cafe that unconsciously and inexplicably lures you in. Maintaining undignified charm, it goes without saying, this place draws in the crowds on the weekends, but as I experienced, also allows for some mid-week welcoming afternoon solace – a place soothing for the soul, not just the tastebuds. Taking a seat by the front window to bask in the warming morning rays and soak up the beautiful rustic-industrial establishment surroundings; I ordered a long-black to get the day off to a solid start.
Receiving my much anticipated first cup of morning brew, I was delighted that their Tik Tak Organica Dark Roast Blend didn’t take much to down; being syrupy smooth in texture, full-bodied, mild to medium in acidity and decadent in hints of dark chocolate and cherry notes. Furthermore, my double shot espresso was extracted well and was not bitter or overpowering in strength. It presented agreeably with a fine coat of caramelised crema on top and gave my coffee that final touch. It was a delicious heart-starter to a chilly Melbourne morning – thank you Stickybeak.

Rating 4/5 Beans

sticky beak double shot espresso

 

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.comod Dude on 0427 382 772 or Email: fooddude@stkildanews.com

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