So coffee ignites a passion in you? It does with us as well, not to mention thousands of those who cast their vote in the Lexus of Adelaide ‘Best Coffee in Adelaide’ poll. Lexus wanted to know what made a really good coffee and through your facebook votes, came up with the top 5 places to get a great coffee in Adelaide.
The five top cafes, in order of votes, were Felici, Taylor Blend, Coffee Barun, Bar 9 and Cibo on Rundle St.
All that was left now was to conduct a taste test and ensure that the voters of Adelaide knew what they were talking about! So, armed with a Lexus IS 250C convertible, and three professional baristas, we took on the challenge of testing the coffees that these 5 exclusive venues had to offer. Someone has to do it right?
Myself and our glamorous photographer Leah McQueen were chauffeured to the coffee venues in a Flame Blue Lexus ISC convertible by none other than Glam Adelaide director Kelly Noble. I must admit, I couldn’t help checking myself out in store windows as we drove by. With the top down on a glorious 27 degree day, we certainly got a few looks.
John Harnett, General Manager of Lexus of Adelaide was driving a Graphite Lexus ISC convertible with our three coffee judges, Brian Raslan, Bill Comley and Sineenart (Fiefy) Anuwatanaphorn. These judges certainly know what they are talking about as Brian is the owner of the highly successful Caffe Buongiorno in Modbury as well as the owner and operator of the SA Coffee Academy. Bill is the Vice President of the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association and Fiefy is the South Australian Barista Champion. With the expertise and passion of the judges, we were sure to learn a thing a two about what makes a good coffee.
So what are the judges looking for when critiquing a coffee? In order to judge fairly, each of the judges was given a cappuccino without chocolate and an espresso at each venue. They gave scores for each of the coffees based on how the coffee feels when in the mouth, the colour, the aroma, the taste and in the case of the cappuccino, the temperature and the milk texture. A score was also given for service and ambience of the cafe.
First stop on our coffee adventure was Bar 9, 91 Glen Osmond Rd, Eastwood. Bar 9 is renowned for its organic coffee and with rustic furniture and blue walled interior to compliment the specialist boutique atmosphere. The baristas, always ready for a joke and a chat, impressed with their latte art that incorporated leaves, multiple leaves and love hearts. They certainly know how to make a girl feel special! The judges noted that their coffee was particularly floral and very aromatic but we won’t give too much away of the judges’ opinion, not yet anyway.
Next stop was Taylor Blend, 34 Hallet Rd, Stoneyfell, a great location surrounded by native trees and overlooking a reserve. The ambience was fantastic with a welcoming child and dog friendly atmosphere ensuring that people can relax whilst enjoying their coffee. The judges commented that the milk in the cappuccino had a beautiful silky texture.
Stop 3 was a bit further from the city at Coffee Barun at 221 Main North Rd, Sefton Park. Mark Barun, the director, was on hand to show us around the cafe specialising in fresh premium coffee. Coffee Barun offers ample seating areas, with the tables inside hand crafted by Mark himself with coffee beans encapsulated under a glass top. Roasting their own coffee beans on premise really adds to the atmosphere of Coffee Barun, with Mark introducing us ‘coffee novices’ to the syphon bar – a total coffee experience.
Now completely wired after our huge caffeine fix in a short period of time, we headed back to the city, where we tried the coffees at the ever popular Cibo on Rundle St. A popular destination with the cosmopolitan East End crowd, Cibo is never quiet. Cibo offers its customers a little bit of Italy with a great selection of sweet and savoury delights to help enhance the flavours of the coffee. Our judges were very impressed with the espresso that Cibo offered as it had a great colour and balance.
Last stop of the day was Felici at 261 Rundle St. Stunning interior made up of clean lines, suits its location right in the middle of boutique fashion outlets such as Lisa Ho and Zimmerman. With outside dining available, it’s a great place to do a bit of people watching with customers made to feel welcome and spend their time enjoying their coffee. Felici’s coffee had great body as well as smooth texture to ensure that customers were left wanting more.
Every single cafe we went to made a fantastic coffee with great service but as was our goal of the day, we needed to determine a winner. Back at Lexus of Adelaide on Glen Osmond Rd, the judges deliberated and tallied scores.
After installing a professional coffee machine at Lexus of Adelaide, I enquired with General Manager John as to whether he had always had a passion for coffee. While admitting to not being a professional, John certainly appreciates his coffee as well the experience of drinking a great cup.
“If you have the time to relax over a coffee, it really is a great experience. Now that I know the intricacies of what goes into a good coffee, I know what to offer our customers while here at the dealership”.
Drum roll please…. the judges’ decision and the winning cafe that made the best coffee on the day was…Taylor Blend. While the scores were extremely close, the judges made special note of how fresh the coffee was, which came out in the taste.
Congratulations Taylor Blend and to all of our finalists for making it a truly memorable coffee experience. And driving in a Lexus ISC convertible was certainly a way to do it in style!
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