I’ve been here several times before and each time I’m greeted by an under trained staff member. First they hesitate to seat me and once we have past that point the next struggle is to find out what coffee is on offer. This time in particular I asked her what single origin was available and perhaps I should of given her a quick run down on what coffee was because she stared at me like a deer in head lights. Now I understand that not everyone in the hospitality industry is there to learn or even has a passion for it, but when you are working for a reputable cafe that has a strong focus on coffee the least the staff could do is know the menu and a little bit of what is happening. In saying that who ever does the employing should be held accountable to for the lack of training or even for not selecting the right person for the job.
Anyway, she then after consulting whom I gather was the floor manager, on what coffee they had she brought back the whole board with the tasting notes and all which was on display out the front! But hey she showed some initiative I guess. After the whole ordeal I had more order taken and sat patiently at the bar.
I actually like the vibe in this place and I like the bar. The decor is minimalist and symmetrical, there is a lot of natural light from the open bay windows and the lighting used inside is dull and creates a gentle mood. This place was designed by 6 Degrees initially to be a retail outlet for Seven Seeds with a small cafe, however it turned out the other way, a bustling cafe with a small retail nook.
The environment and surrounding is chilled and really relaxed. People sitting on the window ledge enjoying a good book while the music keeps everything upbeat and paced. It’s true to the demographic of Fitzroy, which is nice. It’s in the least pretentious and besides the staff being under trained or uninterested they are still smiling and doing their best.
The food here has always been exceptional so my expectations were set high. I ordered banana bread piklets served with popcorn puree, poached pear and maple syrup.
This was literally heaven on a plate!!! My mouth was watering on the sheer scent of it and I devoured it in the most malicious way. I ended up with syrup on my dress and didn’t fuss! that just meant I could save it for later. Ok I kid that would be disgusting, but it was really divine and hats of the guys in the kitchen. They were busy and still put up an impeccable dish which goes to show team work and communication go along way into producing such quality dishes, that and well quality produce too. The only downfall was that the pear was slightly too firm for a poach but it still got in my belly.
My first coffee arrives in an exceptionally clean cup and saucer ! Yay thank you dishie you a most appreciated !!
Espresso- Guatemala Los Santos (Roasted by 5 Senses Melbourne)
Acatenango, San Martin Jilotepeque & San Jose Poaquil
Cocoa, vanilla, orange rind, lingering sweetness.
So the espresso was not the greatest but it definitely wasn’t all that bad. Upon sipping the mouth feel was creamy and really nice on the tounge. It was chocolaty and slightly astringent at the same time perhaps the orange rind like the tasting note suggests. To me it was a bitter sweet profile that was possibly from the roasting profile but the barista failed to pull it to it’s full potential. By the end of the cup I was left with a chalky mouth feel that just would not go with copious amounts of water.
I love 5 Senses coffee and have been fortunate to have had some training at the academy and in house and they really do offer the best training to their account holders. Their coffee is ahead of the rest so to see it be treated this way was a little disheartening. But then maybe it was just an off day and I am extra critical. In the end my taste buds were not satisfied.
Espresso Coffee: 5/10
So I dare to have a second coffee. I figured I was going to need it as I was working on a pretty big art commission. I opted for the filter.
CCD (clever coffee dripper)- Filter- (Roasted by 5 Senses)
Olvin Fernandez, Honduras
Lychee, complex tropical fruit, buttery, spectacular acidity, intense body, thick and coating, with a nutty finish
I am just going to get straight to the point. I had three sips each worse than the next. Horrible to say the least. I don’t know what went wrong. Either the grind size, brewing time or water weight. It was not like the tasting notes suggested and with the notes a side my taste buds could only get a nuttiness like never before. There was no distinct flavours, no clarity and no body. Much like drinking almond water.
The aroma was flat and I could only suggest the filter was old or they had forgotten about it and it sat for some time. I asked how it was brewed as I went to pay. The glass clearly still full, he explained by a CCD “which is like a pour over but not” well thanks captain obvious. He neglected to ask what I thought or why I was leaving my full cup of coffee even though I did say it was unpleasant. This was a major let down.
This doesn’t come highly recommended. Although previous experiences here were pretty decent the service has declined and the quality too each time has fallen. But don’t shy away too quickly the food is fantastic, even if thats all you go for.
Total rating: 5.5/10
I’m hoping for a better result upon the next visit which won’t be too soon.
Until next time.
187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Monday – Saturday 7am to 5pm
Sunday 8am to 5pm
(kitchen closes approx. 3pm daily)