Thursday, 24 May 2007

The Search Part 1

The Search began today!

I went into Parramatta (the official search area) after dropping Kate at work. I had one hour for $1 at the parking station to get tasting...

The only suggestion (sort of) I'd had was from SamR and that was the cafe that's started in place of his old tamping ground 'CT's' on the corner of Macquarie St and Horwood Place. They were pretty busy as they have a '$2 take away before 10am' deal which I took them up on for a short time... before I tipped the tasteless, Aero milked, over heated liquid down the closest gutter grate and dropped the cup in the bin. Not a great start :(

Not to be defeated I looked up and across the road I saw a beacon of hope, a Toby's Estate umbrella outside the unusually named (and logoed) Sea Food Connection. I walked over and met Ernest, the barista and co-owner, a Filipino bloke who chose Toby's because it was the best. It's not a busy cafe by any stretch of the imagination (I was there for about 40 minutes and he did 4 coffees). I ordered a latte first, which he served in a tall slim white mug (not a great choice) - it tasted ok but the milk was a bit rough. He then cranked out a couple for some customers as I cringed at the milk he poured into their paper cups. We talked coffee for a bit, I let on that I was a fan, he offered me a crack at the machine, I pulled a shot a bit fast and covered it with some passable art, he was impressed. I watched him make a another coffee, offered my (maybe not so) humble advice - tamp harder (slow down the shot) and practice his milk. I had to leave while he out the back taking deliveries but as I coughed up the $6 for my two coffees I noticed a Bible verse magnet on the register - definitely a topic of conversation for next time. Not the end of my quest but he has potential...

The Search will continue! Stay tuned for more updates...

4 comments:

michelle said...

Good luck searching. Completely unfamiliar with the area, so can't offer any advice. Will say this though: a couple of cafes up here on the Central Coast are using Toby's and I think it's a very forgiving blend they've got happening. Even when all the signs point to a non-brilliant shot (too fast/slow, not much crema, pale crema etc) it can still tast ok. Not brilliant, but ok.

SamR said...

I enjoyed reading this post Matt - keep it up.

Sorry to hear that the real estate where so much gold was poured now is home to such rubbish. Sigh.

Sounds like you'd better move to the inner west if you want to have good local coffee...

Guthers said...

i agree michelle... even my old mans been doing ok on the tobys woolloomoolloo...

ive been working my way through their single origin stuff. On the PNG kimel(?I think?) at the moment.

Good luck with the search Tooska. Look forward to hearing more

Matt & Kate said...

Thanks for reading and commenting guys. Welcome Michelle - you're right about Toby's being a forgiving blend.

I'll be sure to enlist your help in moving Sambo.

As I was running back to the parking station I saw a few promising candidates - one using Grinders Coffee (Melbourne) of which I used to be a fan but haven't bought for ages. The barista was a young Chinese bloke and looked pretty comfortable / confident behind the machine.