Friday, April 21, 2006

NZ Coffee Review

You might say that coffee is another hobby of mine (I've got semi-commercial machines at both home and work [Wega Mininova & Faema Compact]) so I was amused to stumble across a site purporting to be the "New Zealand Coffee Review"

It's very Christchurch heavy, but there are a smattering of Wellington reviews. My fav: the dissing of Fuel at the airport by the 'Coffee Monster', who I think should stick to his Robert Harris ;-)

Ha! They got the bit right about the smell, tho.. every time I walk through there, I have flashbacks to dirty baby nappies. It STINKS. Extremely unattractive odour...
I doubt that a true coffee connoisseur, which I cannot claim to be either, would use cappuccino as the standard for assessing quality or refer to flat whites having "foam". I also had to laugh at the assertion that you could go to Starbucks in Lambton Quay to "look at all the trendy people". Oh that's right, they're from Christchurch.
Can you clarify Tom? You're saying that you can't claim to be true coffee, nor a connoisseur?

Astonishing revelation ;)
Well, I guess I haven't smelt that many dirty nappies... but to me, it just smells like coffee.

(It may be the use of the cleaning solution that they use on the group heads which might smell a bit like bleach?)
I'm not sure. It's a real ammonia/urine kinda smell. Never experienced it in any other café. Possibly chalk it up to my oversensitive olfactory capacity ;)
That is true, I'm neither true coffee (more a chicory substitute) nor a connoisseur of same.

I'm not sure about nappies (thank god), but there's sometimes a distinctly cloacal miasma around the Midland Park Magnetix. I think it comes from the discarded grounds, though the reek of pigeon guano from the other side of the park might have something to do with it.
I love Supreme and Mojo. They're on the sweet side. Havana and Cafe Laffare seem a bit too burnt for my liking. I always did have a sweet tooth.

Think you're right about the cleaning solution. Our work one (Jura) is a bit like that when it's been decalcified.

I'm the developer / admin behind, and the author of about half of the reviews there (you can blame me for anything by "Coffee Monster"). I'm a Christchurch boy, which is why the site gets that bias, but it's looking a little more balanced now, with plenty of cafes listed from Wellington and Auckland.

The idea behind the site is that anyone can come in and add cafes and reviews. The result of this is that most of the reviews are by "ordinary people". If you want to change that - or at least provide some more educated comments - you're welcome to sign up and add your own reviews. I'd love to have some "true coffee connoisseurs" posting reviews.

In response to the post & comments:

To the_sifter: Argh, Robert Harris! No way I'm going back there again. Fuel at the airport was a surprise. It's got the LOOK of a good cafe, but the coffee didn't measure up - at least the cappuccino I had there didn't. Next time I'm in Wellington I'll give it another try and see if I just had bad luck the first time.

To tom: I make no claim to be a true connoisseur. Maybe once day... but for the moment my reviews aren't going to be that helpful if you're trying to decide where to find the absolute best ristretto in town. I hope it can be useful for others like me, though - who know a little about coffee, and want to find new places to drink it.

I've been told off for reviewing based on cappuccinos before; the reason was that apparently it's easy to make a good cappuccino, as the milk can disguise the taste of a bad espresso shot. But I find that many cafes CAN'T make a good cappuccino (try one from Robert Harris to see what I mean!). There's no way I'll tell the difference between an 8/10 cafe and a 10/10 cafe by drinking cappuccinos, but I can certainly tell the difference between a 3/10 and an 8/10 :-)

Also, I'm afraid that the comment about going to Starbucks on Lambton Quay to "look at all the trendy people" was made by a Wellingtonian - hah!
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