De Clieu

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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.

Ambience: 7/10

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Banana bread piklets. A must try!

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.

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Sensational!

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Food: 9/10

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
Washed Process
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.

 

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cocoa,vanilla,orange rind,lingering sweetness

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
Washed Process

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.

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A big let down

Coffee: 1/10 

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.
Peace out
CH

De Clieu
187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy 
Monday – Saturday 7am to 5pm
Sunday 8am to 5pm
(kitchen closes approx. 3pm daily)

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Market Lane – Therry St.

 

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Ever walked into a space and breathed in so deep like you were taking your last breath because the air was so fresh? That’s exactly what I did when I walked in to the light filled washed walls of Therry streets Market Lane. There was a queue of people that moved in and out smoothly with no fuss on waiting. As I made it to the counter the I asked for a pour over, being spoilt for choice I asked for the one she recommended. She suggested the Bolivian Senda Salvaje, so thats what I selected.

Upon waiting at the window bench for my pour over I noticed how in sync the staff were. It was actually a beautiful sight watching them work so cohesively in such a busy period and the girl at the counter was still able to offer customers her time to explain what was available and what was recommended.

The music was at a decent level in the background and the vibe was uplifting. Retail was packed and neatly displayed, the shop was spotless and for me that’s a huge plus! Nothing worse than sitting in dust or un-wiped benches with coffee stains. 

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This place is filled with light and life! Window seat a definite recommended sitting spot

Ambience 10/10

My coffee was carefully brewed in the traditional pour over manner, and I say traditional because I’ve seen some crazy methods. However, they don’t use the Hario V60 they use a ceramic filter cone made in Japan and also available for purchase in store for $35. 

After the gentleman carefully brewed it watching time and weight of the extraction, he handed me the coffee and a card that gave me more info on where the coffee was sourced as well as tasting notes and the process method.
Personally I think more cafes need to do this. I feel like it is the best way on educating your customers without it eating into your time or interrupting your flow in service.

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Pour over filter coffee provides clarity of flavour and can be served hot or over ice.

Pour Over – Bolivia ‘Senda Salvaje’
Caranavi District 
Typica, Caturra & Catuai variety
Washed Process
Toasted hazelnuts, honey, soft lemon acidity

Served in a white cup and along with the Origin card I allowed it to settle and cool a little. As coffee cools the flavours can change there’s science behind it and the basic gist to my understanding is that your taste buds are more receptive to things closer to room temperature as they tense up knowing something is hot, your brains way of telling you to be careful in a sense. The sweeter, fruity flavours are more pronounced upon cooling too.

Upon the first few sips the mouthfeel is light and well rounded. It had a sweet aroma but wasn’t all that prominent. The flavour was light not as much clarity as I would of wanted. It had the nuttiness to begin and finished sweet with a nice linger. Like most well extracted filters it was low acidic. Overall I enjoyed it. Not the greatest but it was pretty good. Still I would recommend giving it a shot. It was balanced just not so complexed in flavours and that could just be what they were after.

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Pour Over – Bolivia ‘Senda Salvaje’

Coffee:8/10

 

Total Rating: 9/10

I didn’t try the pastries that were available but they did look tempting. Market Lane has always been one of my fav cafes simply because it’s simple. It is in the least pretentious and they do coffee well because it is all they want to do. I suggest you check it out they have a few about town.
Until next time.
Peace out
CH

Market Lane Coffee
109-111 Therry Street Melbourne 
Monday – Thursday 7am – 3pm
Friday – Saturday 7am – 5pm
Sunday 8am – 5pm

 

Axil Coffee Roasters

AxilThe experience started from the second I walked through the door. Not often do you find genuinely friendly staff around in the well named cafés of Melbourne, everyone has an ego like they own the place. Not here at Axil. So I take my seat along the back bench, it’s filled with families for a Saturday morning breakfast. Music just peeping through the chitter chatter. The decor is the kind of minimalist industrial feel. Timber with black accents and a vertical garden that hovers at the brew bar.

garden

Ambience 9/10 * choice of music and volume

I order my coffee and food. Nothing could of prepared me for the magic that was about to be served!
Baked eggs : 2 eggs with spicy capsicum sauce, goats cheese feta, dukkah and toast.

this photo does no justice but it was a mouthful of incredibleness

this photo does no justice but it was a mouthful of incredibleness

Baked eggs

I tried to be discrete while taking the pics on my iPhone as i was dining alone and it would of drawn more attraction to my loneliness shooting with my 60D. But back to the food, it was the BEST baked eggs I’ve ever had ! I’m usually the slowest eater in the room but I devoured this in minutes.

It got in my belly

It got in my belly

Food: 9/10 *small portion size

Now to what I really came here for COFFEE

I ditched the usual double espresso and went for a filter.

Cold Drip – Rwanda ‘Nkara’
Washed 100% Bourbon
Red apple, melon , cherry

Served in a medicine bottle with a giant cube in the cup. It was a real punch in the face cherry flavour! (in a good way)
It had a pronounced fruitiness and intensity. It was clean with a subtle aftertaste and a nice rounded body, just like a cold drip should.

Tasting Notes: Red Apple, Melon, Cherry

Tasting Notes: Red Apple, Melon, Cherry

Coffee: 10/10

Total rating 9/10

Overall it was an amazing adventure and I’m not so easily pleased. You can always excuse the coffee or food at any place if the service goes above and beyond. Axil staff are great this place comes highly recommended.
Until next time.
Peace out
CH

Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Road Hawthorne
Open 7 Days 7am-4pm

Let the adventure begin!

I’m Charliey, little girl in the big city. Melbourne, Australia to be exact. I just moved from Sydney in to a brand new shoe box apartment on the bustling South end of the city.
I’m an Illustrator, photographer and coffee geek. I’ve worked for the best cafe Sydney has to offer and now I’m trying to get in with the real big boys.. And it’s been a shit fight to say the least. But I won’t give up!
This isn’t your average coffee blog. Non of this it was bitter blah blah blah taste burnt blah blah blah. No this one is the real stuff, the science, the technical side. It’s not going to just contain the big names around here, it will cover just about anyone who uses specialty coffee, anddddd some art that I do or come across! Any who stay tuned, comments and suggestions welcome.
Peace Out
CWH

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