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Coffee Bitch #89, Two before Ten, Civic

By Stephen Peacock - 27 November 2013 14

coffee

Two good things with this very busy coffee place; it’s open at 7am, and they roast coffee.

However, not much point roasting your own if your going to burn the milk.

There is a spacious open kitchen feel to this venue with glass folding back down one whole side of the cafe, over a bar cafe style counter with stools outside and inside. There are some more intimate tables inside and a sea of stools and some small tables out in the sun.

The service is snappy, but the milk is burnt.

Like I say, this one is very popular, with many office workers and civic walkers dropping in.

The cakes look pretty good, but as usual, too expensive.

Somewhere behind the palate shortening singed milk is an open woody flavour of fresh roast.

Which might have been good.

3 Beans

three beans

[ED – This review is a continuation of the long running Coffee Bitch column on Culturazi]

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Coffee Bitch #89, Two before Ten, Civic
c_c™ 12:03 am 29 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

c_c™ said :

Dude, when I see the staff member pour three lattes and the third is an inch or so below the rim while the others were full, I call that lazy on the part of the cafe. Nothing more.

Did the customer order a “3/4 full” latte? They are very popular. For a while I was actually deliberately using a 6oz glass so that it was easier to make a 3/4 latte (standard size was 8oz).

Nope, just standard coffees. Happening for a long time at heaps of places and it really is just as simple as I’ve said it is, they have heaps of orders to complete, fill a jug and don’t quite make enough milk. On some rare occasions customers have called them out on it and asked for a top up. I haven’t, but on a couple of occasions staff have realised they really are short and asked if I wanted the full cup… to which I reply of course I do. Just bad training and too in a hurry.

staria 7:25 pm 28 Nov 13

ah crud. I thought I’d be clever and clean up the quotes… and failed miserably. Obviously I meant to quote pajs 🙂

staria 7:02 pm 28 Nov 13

c_c™ said :

You might be better off ordering a piccolo made at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of coffee to milk, still based on a 30ml standard espresso shot. If you want them to really heat the milk, at least there’ll be less of it.

I don’t get why people ask for really hot coffees. You can get good coffee flavour from 68 degrees up to the high 70s & things go downhill with water temperatures over 80 for a lot of brewing methods. With milk, 82 degrees is the scald point. You start to denature some of the proteins at that point, which means you’re going to not get the same foam forming as you do with milk at a lower temperature. Flat whites need the silky texture from microfoam (bottom of the jug style). Higher temps can mean you don’t get that, but get watery/milky textures instead. Add scald flavours on top of watery texture, plus making the shot or two really dilute by putting heaps of milk in and you end up with something that isn’t much fun to drink. For my tastes anyway.

Yeah maybe, but asking for a strong hot flat white with less milk just seems to be quicker with less explaining. Why hot? Who knows how it happened but over time my heat tolerance has gone up. If it’s not hot enough it starts to not taste nice and I finish it in 5 seconds flat.

The good thing about Australia (and Canberra in particular) is that as long as you have a barista who knows what they are doing, you can get your coffee any darn way you like. That way no one can or should proscribe how anyone else likes to enjoy their beverage of choice (including weirdos who like soy and sugar 😉 )

BimboGeek 5:49 pm 28 Nov 13

c_c™ said :

Dude, when I see the staff member pour three lattes and the third is an inch or so below the rim while the others were full, I call that lazy on the part of the cafe. Nothing more.

Did the customer order a “3/4 full” latte? They are very popular. For a while I was actually deliberately using a 6oz glass so that it was easier to make a 3/4 latte (standard size was 8oz).

Of course there’s always the possibility the barista was trying to punish the boss or get fired by deliberately doing a crap job.

c_c™ 3:25 pm 28 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

c_c™ said :

I’m wondering, was the photo taken after sampling the coffee, because it looks like they’re shorting you. And they wouldn’t be the only ones, I’ve noticed a few coffee shops are happy to regularly pour three cups from one jug of milk, and if you’re unlucky number three, your cup isn’t filled as much by quite a margin.

I’d doubt that. There’s usually enough for four. What you’re observing is that the foamy milk gets poured first, so out goes a cappucchino, frothy and full to the brim (although it will settle) then out goes a latte, then finally the flattie which if it’s been poured with only 2mm of microfoam is going to be hard to carry so there’s no option but to leave another mm or 2 from the top of the cup.
OP does appear to be drinking a flat white. This particular one appears to have sat a while before being photographed. Goodness knows why a coffee afficionado would be drinking the milkiest coffee available or making a mess of it before photographing but I just dunno.
Maybe the beans were just too fresh. Then the flavour won’t extract properly and the crema will settle too quickly, leading to the exact experience he describes. I hate having to work with too-fresh beans! It’s so easy to avoid beans that are too old or new by controlling your stock levels and rotating properly!

Dude, when I see the staff member pour three lattes and the third is an inch or so below the rim while the others were full, I call that lazy on the part of the cafe. Nothing more.

pajs 3:12 pm 28 Nov 13

staria said :

BimboGeek said :

c_c™ said :

I’m wondering, was the photo taken after sampling the coffee, because it looks like they’re shorting you. And they wouldn’t be the only ones, I’ve noticed a few coffee shops are happy to regularly pour three cups from one jug of milk, and if you’re unlucky number three, your cup isn’t filled as much by quite a margin.

I’d doubt that. There’s usually enough for four. What you’re observing is that the foamy milk gets poured first, so out goes a cappucchino, frothy and full to the brim (although it will settle) then out goes a latte, then finally the flattie which if it’s been poured with only 2mm of microfoam is going to be hard to carry so there’s no option but to leave another mm or 2 from the top of the cup.
OP does appear to be drinking a flat white. This particular one appears to have sat a while before being photographed. Goodness knows why a coffee afficionado would be drinking the milkiest coffee available or making a mess of it before photographing but I just dunno.
Maybe the beans were just too fresh. Then the flavour won’t extract properly and the crema will settle too quickly, leading to the exact experience he describes. I hate having to work with too-fresh beans! It’s so easy to avoid beans that are too old or new by controlling your stock levels and rotating properly!

What’s wrong with being a coffee afficionado who drinks flat whites? 🙂 I can’t tolerate black coffee anymore, but I hate foam! So that leaves strong flat whites… and they have to be as hot as they can make it, hopefully without burning the milk. Admittedly I do ask them to not put as much milk in to make it less milky.

And then you need cake to go with the coffee.

You might be better off ordering a piccolo made at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of coffee to milk, still based on a 30ml standard espresso shot. If you want them to really heat the milk, at least there’ll be less of it.

I don’t get why people ask for really hot coffees. You can get good coffee flavour from 68 degrees up to the high 70s & things go downhill with water temperatures over 80 for a lot of brewing methods. With milk, 82 degrees is the scald point. You start to denature some of the proteins at that point, which means you’re going to not get the same foam forming as you do with milk at a lower temperature. Flat whites need the silky texture from microfoam (bottom of the jug style). Higher temps can mean you don’t get that, but get watery/milky textures instead. Add scald flavours on top of watery texture, plus making the shot or two really dilute by putting heaps of milk in and you end up with something that isn’t much fun to drink. For my tastes anyway.

puggy 12:27 pm 28 Nov 13

dtc said :

Go to Harvest, its much better. Never got the 2 before 10 thing and I was working in the building.

The quality at both waxes and wanes and of course, is very much dependent on what time you go, how busy they are and who is behind the machine. I’ve taken to switching back and forth.

Someone mentioned they like the “uni students trying to run a coffee shop vibe” at Harvest. It’s basically a chain store! But, the coffee is good, so who cares.

Pitchka 12:11 pm 28 Nov 13

astrojax said :

three words: strong long black 🙂

Sounds like you are referring to a porn flick.

dtc 11:17 am 28 Nov 13

staria said :

What’s wrong with being a coffee afficionado who drinks flat whites? 🙂 I can’t tolerate black coffee anymore, but I hate foam! So that leaves strong flat whites… and they have to be as hot as they can make it, hopefully without burning the milk. Admittedly I do ask them to not put as much milk in to make it less milky..

Well, as you will know, the taste difference between a black coffee and a milked coffee is very significant – so much that they are virtually two different drinks. Which is not to say that you cannot enjoy either or both, but adding milk to coffee is a bit like adding a mixer to a spirit. Perfectly fine drink but its not the same.

Go to Harvest, its much better. Never got the 2 before 10 thing and I was working in the building.

EvanJames 10:22 am 28 Nov 13

I like a good flat white too, but a nice strong one with a bit of bite. Got one-such at the national library the other week, of all places. It was bloody good. The one at Two Before Ten though was a coffee milkshake. LIke you get at Michel’s and Gloria Jean and such places. I think the ladies like them like that.

The people who set up the trestle coffee stand at the Kingston Markets know how to make a flat white.

staria 9:29 am 28 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

c_c™ said :

I’m wondering, was the photo taken after sampling the coffee, because it looks like they’re shorting you. And they wouldn’t be the only ones, I’ve noticed a few coffee shops are happy to regularly pour three cups from one jug of milk, and if you’re unlucky number three, your cup isn’t filled as much by quite a margin.

I’d doubt that. There’s usually enough for four. What you’re observing is that the foamy milk gets poured first, so out goes a cappucchino, frothy and full to the brim (although it will settle) then out goes a latte, then finally the flattie which if it’s been poured with only 2mm of microfoam is going to be hard to carry so there’s no option but to leave another mm or 2 from the top of the cup.
OP does appear to be drinking a flat white. This particular one appears to have sat a while before being photographed. Goodness knows why a coffee afficionado would be drinking the milkiest coffee available or making a mess of it before photographing but I just dunno.
Maybe the beans were just too fresh. Then the flavour won’t extract properly and the crema will settle too quickly, leading to the exact experience he describes. I hate having to work with too-fresh beans! It’s so easy to avoid beans that are too old or new by controlling your stock levels and rotating properly!

What’s wrong with being a coffee afficionado who drinks flat whites? 🙂 I can’t tolerate black coffee anymore, but I hate foam! So that leaves strong flat whites… and they have to be as hot as they can make it, hopefully without burning the milk. Admittedly I do ask them to not put as much milk in to make it less milky.

And then you need cake to go with the coffee.

BimboGeek 7:49 am 28 Nov 13

c_c™ said :

I’m wondering, was the photo taken after sampling the coffee, because it looks like they’re shorting you. And they wouldn’t be the only ones, I’ve noticed a few coffee shops are happy to regularly pour three cups from one jug of milk, and if you’re unlucky number three, your cup isn’t filled as much by quite a margin.

I’d doubt that. There’s usually enough for four. What you’re observing is that the foamy milk gets poured first, so out goes a cappucchino, frothy and full to the brim (although it will settle) then out goes a latte, then finally the flattie which if it’s been poured with only 2mm of microfoam is going to be hard to carry so there’s no option but to leave another mm or 2 from the top of the cup.
OP does appear to be drinking a flat white. This particular one appears to have sat a while before being photographed. Goodness knows why a coffee afficionado would be drinking the milkiest coffee available or making a mess of it before photographing but I just dunno.
Maybe the beans were just too fresh. Then the flavour won’t extract properly and the crema will settle too quickly, leading to the exact experience he describes. I hate having to work with too-fresh beans! It’s so easy to avoid beans that are too old or new by controlling your stock levels and rotating properly!

astrojax 9:27 pm 27 Nov 13

three words: strong long black 🙂

c_c™ 6:38 pm 27 Nov 13

I’m wondering, was the photo taken after sampling the coffee, because it looks like they’re shorting you. And they wouldn’t be the only ones, I’ve noticed a few coffee shops are happy to regularly pour three cups from one jug of milk, and if you’re unlucky number three, your cup isn’t filled as much by quite a margin.

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