Week 3 was a good representation of the current local coffee demographic; I definitely got to experience the best, the worst and the average of what Perth has to offer. There were various peaks and troughs throughout the week and it did honestly make me feel like throwing in the towel at one point. When a bad coffee is combined with bad service, it really puts me off. Even with good coffee...if the service doesn't match up, chances are your customers will find somewhere else in a similar location, at a similar or better price and choose to go there instead.
Do note that as previously mentioned - for the sake of testing consistency, scores are representative of the experience I had that day, irregardless of how much or how little I have enjoyed previous experiences.
DAY 15 - THE TENTH STATE
Coffee Beans: Five Senses
Notes: There's always a slight hint of salted caramel amongst their Mochas, I'm not exactly sure why. They don't skimp on the chocolate here and Day 15's was especially rich. On normal days I get an extra shot for the sake of it but even without, it does give me a good enough punch to get through the day. Amongst all the coffee along Hampden Road, in Broadway or on the UWA campus - I would always much rather come here. The service and the vibe wins out over other places every time.
Monday - Friday from 7:00AM - 5:00PM, Saturday from 8:00AM - 1:30PM
I love that this place doubles as cute little concept store that entices you to open your heart (and pockets) up to nifty doo-dads and some really good looking kit. I've been a fan ever since it opened up and will nearly always pull in for a 7:45AM pick-me-up before a long day. I also really dig the fact that it's open till 5PM on weekdays and that it has such a cool back room sit down area.
The cupcakes were a little bit of a let down but I know for a fact that they make a mean chocolate and almond croissant.
DAY 16 - TOASTFACE GRILLAH
Coffee: Long Mac, topped up full.
Coffee Beans: The Northbridge Coffee Roasters.
Notes: Possibly one of the best discoveries of this entire project. I like that Toastface not only do great sandwiches, but their coffee actually makes a statement. Sure, the venue's namesake is grilled cheese but now I will remember this place as the perfect afternoon pitstop. The coffee makes the experience; it had a perfect temperature and texture, but best of all it was strong enough and various dark flavours hit my palette with every mouthful. Well sourced and well made; we stayed for a second coffee and I would gladly keep coming back.
DAY 17 - ELIXIR COFFEE SPECIALISTS
Coffee: Long Mac
Coffee Beans: Elixir House Blend of El Sal Miravalle, Colombia Bruselas and Hondura Chocopa.
Notes: Very smooth, boasting an array of earthy and rich tones. It was noticeably strong and yet left a light overtone. I was ready for another cup by the time I had finished my first. I expected it to deliver and it did - this is a coffee that has the ability to put your day right.
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday from 07:00AM - 4:00PM
This was my pick for last year's best #CoffeeOfPerth. Elixir has a great reputation for consistently good coffee. I always feel at home here and the service is extensive and the staff are knowledgeable without being pretentious. I would happily ask for a recommendation and this is definitely still one of my very favourites.
DAY 18 - HOOPLA ESPRESSO
Coffee Beans: Dark Horse Blend
Notes: I was expecting a lot because word on the grapevine was that Hoopla make serious Mochas. The coffee flavour mildly came through; it was slightly peppery but unfortuantely there wasn't much richness from the chocolate.
Monday - Friday, from 7:00AM - 3:00PM
Saturday from 7:00AM - 2:00PM
DAY 19 - COFFEA FINE ESPRESSO
Notes: In all honesty, I left the cup alone after my first few mouthfuls. It was a very disappointing coffee that managed to be burnt and yet have no strong flavours simultaneously. It surprised me because the cafe has a good reputation, was packed and looked great upon first arrival. This was the lowest point of the entire search and I left the cafe feeling very disheartened.
DAY 20 - HALO ESPRESSO
Coffee: Long Mac, topped up full.
Coffee Beans: House Blend
Notes: It was hot and it was strong - good enough to restore some faith back into my search after two rather mediocre days. The strength would probably knock me sideways most mornings but the flavours remained one-dimensional. Unfortunately, the service wasn't too crash hot and the wait was a lot longer than I expected that it would be considering that it wasn't a very busy afternoon.
Monday - Friday, from 6:00AM - 3:30PM
Saturday, from 7:00AM - 3:30PM
DAY 21 - SMALL PRINT
Coffee: 3/4 Long Mac ($4.00)
Coffee Beans: El Salvador, Finca La Fany
Notes: Fruity character, bold and lingering. This was my first time at any of the Print Hall establishments and I was thoroughly impressed. The coffee was beautifully complex, smooth and expertly made. It's a great fit out and I can imagine myself coming often.
My only criticism - waiting 10 minutes for a takeaway in the CBD isn't acceptable. Especially when the cause of the wait was baristas joking around together and handing out leftover food to a friend over the counter. It's fine when you don't have customers waiting and orders piling up but otherwise it's unprofessional and not something I would expect from such a highly acclaimed CBD coffee spot.
If we're basing this week's judgement on coffee alone, I would say that the best is a three way tie between Toastface Grillah, Elixir and Small Print. However, I do think that after Week 3, I was getting pretty tired of consistently bad service. As I mentioned in the first post, this project is a long term investment that aims to seek out cafes that are worth visiting and how staff treat customers does impact on the overall experience.
Here's hoping the final week is a good one!
If you can't make it to the OnWilliam Coffee Crawl this Friday, fret not! I'll be live feeding the entire event through Facebook - so stay tuned by thumbing me up at www.facebook.com/dinewhitme
For those that would still like to join in on the charitable fun, get yourself a ticket by clicking through here!