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The Coffee Cupboard Cafe

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There are not many times when I am surprised with the flavour of my coffee but, boy, this place sent my taste buds into a party. I had started a new job for the Christmas season and was doing my training in a suburb far from mine. Therefore, I needed to find my coffee fix and fast so I googled nearby cafes (as we do) and found this little gem.

The Coffee Cupboard doesn’t look like much on a street that is trying to renovate their look, but the inside is pleasantly warm and cozy, like that perfect throw on a winter’s night.

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It had enough seating for a nook and was clean and inviting. The tables were littered with coffee facts and magazines, while they politely advertised their coffee selections.

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After making small-talk with the barista (was he the owner?), I ordered their house blend in the form of my go-to coffee: the flat white. Then I sat down after the barista told me that I could pay after I finished, not before, which is what I like in a cafe, because it creates a consumer-owner relationship rather than a fast food joint ready to get everything out of you.

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I flipped through a few coffee magazines as I waited for my flat white and then the barista delivered this beautiful stoneware mug to me, with a perfectly shaped heart. It was the taste, however, that gave me a punch. It was the best coffee I have had in Melbourne and this is not an exaggeration. I have never had a coffee as smooth, as sweet, and oh so perfectly brewed as this in Melbourne. It was beautiful.

I could go on and describe how wonderful this coffee was (compliments to the barista as well), but I feel you just need to go and taste it for yourself. I only wish it were closer to the city.

Without further ado, let’s get into the rating of this cafe:

  • Proximity: ☕☕☕
  • Quality: ☕☕☕☕☕
  • Price: ☕☕☕☕
  • Atmosphere: ☕☕☕☕☕
  • Service: ☕☕☕☕☕
  • Creative Connectivity: ☕☕☕☕☕

Total Rating: ☕☕☕☕ +.5

This cafe would have gotten a perfect 5/5 if it wasn’t in the suburbs and difficult to get to for people unless you are a local. I have already talked about the coffee so I will just mention that the cafe itself was a great space for writing. It had plenty of natural lighting, space, and a welcoming atmosphere. I would go here to write everyday if it were in my suburb.

Some fast facts about The Coffee Cupboard:

  • Coffee: $4 (50¢ extra for soy)
  • They don’t have a website but do have a Facebook page.
  • Their address: 37 Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds
  • I’m not the only one raving about their coffee: Reviews
  • Oh, the coffee!

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Posted by on November 14, 2015 in Australia, Cafe Culture

 

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Flipboard Cafe

 

 

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Flipboard Cafe is an innovative cafe, where the designer took a small space and made it work in so many ways. The style of the cafe is mostly plain wood, but the simplicity of it is ingenious that you appreciate how it looks.

So, let’s get into the rating of this cafe:

  • Proximity: ☕☕☕
  • Quality: ☕☕☕☕
  • Price: ☕☕☕☕
  • Atmosphere: ☕☕☕
  • Service: ☕☕☕☕
  • Creative Connectivity: ☕☕☕☕

Total Rating: ☕☕☕ +.5

The overall rating of this cafe is 3.5. The proximity of the cafe, though it is in the CBD, can be a bit of a walk from any train station. It is closer to trams. The quality, price and service were all good but did not ‘wow’ me, which is what it takes to get a 5 coffee rating. The atmosphere is wonderful in warm weather, but during winter, it is too cold to sit outside and the inside is usually crowded, which can make it difficult to find a seat. If this cafe were in a warmer city, I would give it 5 coffees for atmosphere. The creative connectivity was the hardest part I found about rating this cafe. The design is amazing and I could sit in a cubby hole all day, sipping coffee, but for the purpose of writing, it was more difficult to feel it. I think this cafe is great for meeting up with friends and chatting over a hot cuppa, but I think it tends to be a bit too small or not comfortable enough for writing purposes.

Some fast facts about Flipboard:

  • The cafe was designed by Brolly Design.
  • They are closed on the weekend.
  • It is considered a niche cafe.
  • It sits above a jazz club.
  • The small tables are up-cycled magazines.
  • Coffee price: $4 (extra 50¢ for soy milk)

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The below images are credited to Flipboard’s website:

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Posted by on October 16, 2015 in Australia, Cafe Culture

 

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Bean Counter Cafe

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I’ve mentioned Bean Counter Cafe before in one of my older posts and thought to rate this cafe first in my blog. Bean Counter has always been my go-to cafe for writing, because it is near where I live, it’s near public transport and shopping (aka people watching), is peaceful and has the atmosphere I look for in order to write.

So, let’s get into the rating of this cafe:

  • Proximity: ☕☕☕
  • Quality: ☕☕☕☕
  • Price: ☕☕☕☕☕
  • Atmosphere: ☕☕☕☕
  • Service: ☕☕☕☕☕
  • Creative Connectivity: ☕☕☕☕☕

Total Rating: ☕☕☕☕

I will explain my reasoning for each rating. I only gave Bean Counter 3 coffees for proximity because it is about a 12 minute train ride from the city and although it is near the local train station, it still might be difficult for some people to get to. I am always going to be harsh on the quality of coffee, because I married into a Colombian family and I haven’t had anything better than stove-top Colombian coffee. 🙂 Price of coffee around Melbourne is similar, unless it is specialty coffee or is located in the CBD. I tried to rate this cafe without bias, since it is one of my favorites in Melbourne. Therefore, I tried to rate the last three items fairly. The service at Bean Counter has always been fantastic. I’ve been going there for years and I see the owners of the establishment work the front counter many times. I find that an important part of the cafe culture. So I definitely recommend trying Bean Counter. It is one of the best cafes I have found in Melbourne for writing.

Some fast facts about Bean Counter:

  • Outdoor seating, indoor seating, courtyard
  • Coffee price: $3.70 – $5.40
  • Best muffins I’ve had around Melbourne (no joke! I eat a lot of muffins!)
  • Their Facebook
  • Really great iced coffees (with ice cream!)
  • Loyalty cards (which I always look for at cafes, since I drink so much coffee)
  • Displays and sells local art
  • Kid-friendly (with toys in the courtyard)
  • Even though it’s near the train station, the noise doesn’t disrupt the atmosphere
  • They offer a variety of coffees and hot chocolates, including single origin

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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Cafe Culture

 

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Cafe Culture

I go to a lot of cafés. This statement alone did not make me decide to start rating every one I go to. A friend, whom explores the many cafés around Melbourne with me, suggested that I start rating each cafe, since I tend to go to so many. Thus, I will incorporate this into my blog from now on. 

My rating system will be out of 5 coffees (☕☕☕☕☕) and based on:

  1. Proximity to public transport & CBD (city centre)
  2. Quality of coffee
  3. Price
  4. Atmosphere (decor, location, noise, etc)
  5. Service/Staff
  6. Creative Connectivity (how it gets the juices flowing)

Each of these six things will be out of 5 coffees and then averaged to get a total rating. Most of the cafés I review are in Melbourne, but because of my travels, I will review every cafe I go to. This is mostly for my own amusement, but I hope people will find it helpful. 

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Australia, Cafe Culture

 

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A Place to Be

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Today I would like to share with you a place where I enjoy going, mainly for a coffee or homemade muffin, but also just to ‘be’. What I mean by that is sometimes I feel I need to get out of the house and a walk simply doesn’t do it. Sometimes I just want to be somewhere. I don’t have to be doing anything (even though I end up doing something). I enjoy not having a plan or time restraints. So I thought I would share with you one of my favorite cafes, where I go to read, write, think, or work.

The name isn’t very creative (Bean Counter Cafe), but the atmosphere is pleasant, with a covered courtyard, indoor seating for rainy days, and outdoor seating for warm days. The coffee is good and the muffins are amazing. Even the background music is desirable, unlike some places that are too loud. I visit this cafe more than others in my neighborhood, which made me think of the reasons why.

Why does that cafe appeal to me more than others? So I made a list of the reasons why I love this cafe most and I encourage you to do the same for the place you go to the most.

Why I Love Bean Counter

  1. Coffee
  2. Close proximity to my house
  3. Homemade Muffins!
  4. Scenic
  5. Variation of seating
  6. Good lighting (necessary for writing)

So what are some reasons that you visit a place over and over? I realized while doing this list that the biggest reason for me is that I can walk there from my place. That appeals to me the most, because even if I find a cafe with better coffee, would I drive there everyday just to getaway? Probably not.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Food, Unknown to this World, Writing

 

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Sonido Soundwave

Yesterday I found this cute little authentic South American restaurant near the city called Sonido (Sound in spanish). Their prices were decent and the decor was fantastic. I walked through the wooden front door with the peeling white paint, and stepped into Colombia. The walls were a pale blue with accents of bright yellow everywhere. The kitchen, which was in the middle of the cafe, looked exactly like a Colombian kitchen with metal pots and pans hanging everywhere, ready to be served with hot chocolate (Colombian style) or perico (coffee with milk).

Hanging on the walls were a variety of knickknacks from the mother country, such as old bus signs, leather pouches and shoes, and stickers of their beer and soda. The menus had jackets of old albums of native music that they played throughout the restaurant. All of the tables and chairs were mismatched in a way that went together. I particularly liked my pale green that had jumped out of the 1970s. On each table, there were a multitude of books about the countries of South America, perfect for flipping through while waiting for your meal.

I ordered jugo de lulo (Lulo juice) and arepas con queso (arepas with cheese). Lulo is a native tropical fruit found in South America that isn’t very sweet, but refreshing with a slight bitter taste, although not as bitter as a grapefruit. Arepas are a kind of corn pancake that Colombians and Venezuelans eat with most of their meals and can come in many different ways: with cheese, eggs, jam, meat, or plain. They are deliciously golden and round that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. I topped mine with butter, picadillo (salsa), guacamole, and hot sauce. Then I eat it like a one-sided sandwich. Mmmm!

For that short little hour, I felt I was back in Colombia, a country filled with laughter, beer, music, and dancing! It was such a nice feeling… almost like a mini-vacation.

Chao!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Colombia, Food

 

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