Free coffee deal!
95 Espresso in St Kilda - one of the cafes offering two-for-one coffees. Brilliantly, following the success of the Coffee Army Handbook 2012, The Age has picked up the ball and run with it, organising with some of the featured cafes to do a fantastic two-for-one deal, starting this weekend. All you have to do is clip the voucher in The Saturday Age this Saturday and The Sunday Age this...
Coffee Army Handbook Full Listings
Winners are indeed grinners
Some of the winners of last night’s Coffee Army awards, held at Left Bank bar in South Bank. Featured are Auction Rooms (centre), who took out first place, with staff and owners from runners-up Proud Mary and Three Bags Full.
And the list of finalists...
Procal milk goes into a latte at Balderdash - one of the finalists. Congrats to all the 25 remaining finalists, who topped our review of around 1000 cafes… 95 Espresso – St Kilda Axil - Hawthorn Balderdash – Port Melbourne Brother Baba Budan - City Brunswick East Project – Brunswick East Campos Coffee - Carlton Chez Dre – Soth Melbourne Cup of Truth - City De Clieu - Fitzroy ...
Congrats to the four runners-up...
The Final Step in South Yarra. Pictured are The Final Step’s Tom Biffin and Ben Whitaker. Little Bean Blue in the city. Pictured are Little Bean Blue’s Aimee Cosentino, Stig Myhre and Sarah Heinjus. Proud Mary in Collingwood. Pictured are Proud Mary’s Tessa Pavlich, Monica Chhay, Vjeko Jukic, Kris Wood, James Yeoman and Tess McNamara. Three Bags Full in Abbotsford. Pictured are Emily...
Auction Rooms - the winner!
Auction Rooms in North Melbourne - awarded Melbourne’s best coffee last night - yet owner Andrew Kelly couldn’t attend: he was in Guatemala buying coffee beans. What’s so good about the place, anyway? Well, coffee aside for a moment, it’s as much film set as cafe, with its conversation pit and lab-like filter bar and its various nooks all apparently cobbled together from...
Survey results revealed
Seven Seeds in Carlton, which was reviewed 30 times by Coffee Army volunteers Very shortly a crack team from the Coffee Army will hunker down in a bunker at The Age and pore over the data from what has been an enormous survey. The result of that night’s discussion will determine the major awards in the Coffee Army’s search for Melbourne’s best coffee for 2011-2012 and will be top secret...
the blend is on...
Coming soon… the first Coffee Army coffee blend. We’re visiting the Social Roasting Company this Thursday to experiment with our own custom roast. Places for the tasting are filled but we’ll be sending all active members of the Army a sample bag of beans… update soon
Wow you're good
So… The Army has just passed the 1500 mark. That. Is. Incredible. A huge thank you to everybody who has contributed - promotions on the way shortly! More updates in your inbox. Amazingly, our goal to rate every cafe in Melbourne seems achievable. As is a well researched verdict on Melbourne’s best coffee. Who will take the prize, we wonder…
Micro review - liar liar
N. K.’s verdict on Liar Liar in Hawthorn… This is a consistently good cafe, which I rate as one of the area’s best. The coffee is smooth with high-toned caramel notes and nice persistency. It could be hotter. The service and food is first rate. The vibe and atmosphere is cruisy and relaxed. A clover coffee is available in a brandy balloon for those who like a delicate,...
Breville BCG800 Smart Grinder - the verdict
The thing about geeks is geeks obsess. There is no greater oxymoron than “indifferent geek”. There are a lot of pejorative terms that are associated with geeks: obsessive, anal, control freak. But is it wrong to have standards based on knowledge and want to be able to live up to them? Is it wrong to see the appropriate constants for life’s variables and want to achieve them? Breville...
introduction to cupping
The brilliant Andrew Kelly, of Small Batch and Auction Rooms, invited a squad of Coffee Army members to their new roastery to demonstrate the standard cupping technique. This - for the uninitiated - is how they compare different beans and roasts, and how they choose which beans to buy. In this session we tried 8 different coffees in a blind tasting with each selection of beans divided into four...
10 steps to latte perfection
Not sure if your barista is making your latte properly? These are the 10 points to look out for (courtesy of trainer Paul at the Coffee Army boot camp at the Coffee Academy) 1. Should always start with fresh cold milk - should never reheat leftover milk in the jug (will taste funny or burnt) 2. Jug should be filled to about half full. They should use the correct-sized jug: a small jug for one...
The tastings tomorrow (August 30) will be at Small Batch’s new roastery: 3-9 Little Howard Street, North Melbourne, just off Howard Street See you there!
Coffee overdue How will I survive this, my Afternoon torment– Winning entry #5 from James P.
I’m in The Army The one strictly for coffee Salute The Brown Bean– Winning entry #4 from Colette G.
Cup of morning joe The tamest of my vices Now where’s that crack pipe– Winning entry #3 from Mathew C.
Need my caffeine hit, Little Swallow is my fav. Oh No! Not open! Where can I...– Winning entry #2 from Danielle W.
Barista wonders: Why use fingers? Count to five? Ah. Haiku contest.– Winning entry #1 from Angus S.
haiku winners announced
ANd it’s over.. Thanks to everybody who entered, we had 40+ Coffee Army folk try their hand at haikus, with many sending in several. But we only had five grinders to give away… sadly. Congratulations then to Angus S., Colette G., Mathew C., James P., and Danielle W. Winning entries posted shortly. And sorry can’t resist it: Missed out once again? Don’t fear, more prizes soon Please keep...
Top reviewers' top coffees
The top scoring coffees from the reviewers who have visited the most cafes so far … (click on hyperlinks for addresses etc) Jane - 15/20 for espresso at Kent Street Dustin -16/20 for espresso at Seven Seeds and League of Honest Coffee Darrel - 15/20 for espresso at Aura Catherine - 18/20 for espresso at Axil Elissa - 14/20 for espresso at Dukes Michael - 19/20 for espresso at Market...
the latest top 20
A month into the project and the results are pouring in… With over 1000 reviews now in the can, here’s an update on the cafes we’re rating highest (listed alphabetically). Please note that different reviewers’ experiences can still vary greatly, and we are still a long way from properly analysing the results. Look out for a post soon on highly rated cafes in out-of-the-way...
Caffeinated snail Inch by inch, climbs Mount Fuji Oops! Eaten by bird– By Rose, aged 9, daughter of Coffee Army general
Barista wonders: Why use fingers? Count to five? Ah. Haiku contest.– Entry in Haiku contest
Some not-so-good reviews
While we’re focussed on finding the best coffee in town, unfortunately some of our reviewers are taking a few bullets along the way. “Wow. Ordered a latte. I only had two sips. The chemical smell was a total turn off and the taste of off milk was the decider.” - From very well-known city cafe “Latte temperature was scalding. Grit in the coffee. Burnt milk.” -...
Sip it in secret— The richness buzzes your brain … Coffee—is my high!...– Haiku competition entry
Swallowing white clouds Cascading through milky way Latte oh yes please– Haiku competition entry
Grinder releases blackened treasure Espresso steamer, luscious creme, Gentle...– Haiku competition entry
I’m in The Army The one strictly for coffee Salute The Brown Bean– Haiku competition entry
The coffee army: Sipping the best espressos Stimulates reviews– Haiku competition entry
Caffeine injection Prying tired eyes open Damn you morning lycra ride!– Haiku competition entry. Keep them coming!
Tranquil Ponyfish Mediocre coffee comes Eventually– Haiku competition entry
love espresso - yes! caffe latte - super nice! … cannot sleep too well– Just another in-house effort to get the ball rolling. Can you do better?
Enter our haiku competition!
Sad - photos no good Joy! Second chance, try again Shiny grinder yours… Yes, after the tremendous success of the photo competition we’ve managed to snare another batch of the fabulous Breville blenders to give away, five in all. This time, for your chance to win one, we’d like you to write a bit of poetry. Specifically, a Japanese-style Haiku poem, like the terrible one...
Coffee is real good when you drink it, it gives you time to think. It’s a lot...– Gertrude Stein
With reviews continuing to pour in (850 at latest count) it’s time for another round of promotions - stand by your email to see if you were successful. One amazing reviewer has filed 28 reviews now, and five more have filed 20 or more, which is outstanding, troops. Congratulations to all of our recently promoted Coffee Army volunteers. Without disclosing their secret identities, we can...
Congrats to James, Jane, Lora, Neiyo and Walter, their winning entries in the Breville Grinder competition are posted below… Thanks everybody for taking part and stay tuned for the next competition
having trouble submitting?
We’ve had a couple of reports of the form not working - of course from this end it seems to be working fine (at least in Safari on a Mac and on an iPhone). We’ll check it out and see what’s going on. Meantime if you continue to have problems feel free to send your reviews direct to Angus and we’ll input them here - email@example.com
We've covered a lot of ground...
So far in just three weeks the Coffee Army has filed over 650 reviews from pretty much all over Melbourne (with the CBD the most popular spot)… See the chart above for a bit of an idea!
You little brewdy (updated)
Coffee Army volunteer Danielle posts these suggestions … can you think of any others? Caffeinology (n.) – the study of all things coffee Déjà Brew (n.) The feeling that you’ve had this coffee befor Brew Ha Ha (n.) The smile that a great coffee puts on your fac Brew Net (n.) Internet blogs dedicated to fanatical coffee drinkers (who says blondes have more fun! Brewdy (n.) Emotional...
Win this groovy grinder
ENTER THE GREAT COFFEE ARMY PHOTO COMP NOW!!!! As we now know, the secret to good coffee is a fresh grind, and while we haven’t personally road tested these babies, Breville have been creating a bit of buzz for their high-end domestic coffee machines so their grinders should be terrific. They tell us: “The Breville Smart Grinder includes Dosing IQTM technology which automatically calibrates...
Our first Top 20
Coffee Army Top 20 Cafes as of July 26… in alphabetical order, not ranked. Note this is a very early list and will certainly change as more reviewers get to each cafe and the scores start to average out. Axil – Hawthorn Brother Baba Budan – City Bushwa and Hooey – City Café Gaia – South Yarra Cafenatics – City Captains of Industry – City Chez Dre – South Melbourne Choclatte -...
STOP PRESS ARMY hits 100+
congratulations to all volunteers we’ve already compiled over 100 reviews, in five days. Solid work, troops! Here at Coffee HQ we’ll compile the results as they pour in and on the first of August will release some interim ratings. Stay tuned….
How to froth milk … not as easy as it appears. Coffee Academy trainer Paul demonstrates (in terrible video shot on iPhone - but you’ll get the idea!). Key points are: ALWAYS use cold milk from scratch (never add it to warm milk in the jug); don’t fill more than half full; makes sure the wand gets enough air (you don’t want a “screaming” sound) and aim for 65...
Coffee Army swarms over 50 cafes
Attention new recruits!! In four days the mighty Coffee Army has now reviewed and rated the coffee at over 50 different Melbourne cafes, which is an amazing initial effort. Imagine how many we are going to cover over the next few months. Meanwhile 36 Coffee Army volunteers passed basic training today with flying colours. More sessions tomorrow and Thursday. Stay tuned for more developments...
Coffee Army out in force
NEWS FLASH Coffee Army posts 30-plus reviews over the weekend - and we’ve barely even begun. Great work troops!
coffee army has rolled out
So it begins… On Friday night all Coffee Army volunteers should have received your marching orders, including the special secret passwords that allow you to post reviews on the Coffee Review form. Some reviews have started flowing in already but please let Angus know if you have any problems posting reviews, twitter is best @thecoffeearmy. Updates to follow soon…