It's true - all good things do come to an end. I've had mixed feelings all throughout this 30 day challenge; mostly due to the varying results and maybe even somewhat due to the total caffeine overdose. To be honest, I'm also not sure of what will come out of drawing my own conclusions either. Some may question, "you're not a barista" or "you don't know anything about coffee", and to what degree can they trust my opinion. It's true; I'm not a barista by trade, but it doesn't mean that I know nothing about making a cup of coffee. I trust my palette and I trust my own experiences, but I also recognise that I'm by no means some Master Shifu of Coffee. It' something that I love, it's something I take seriously - it's something that I'll find any excuse, reason or occasion to enjoy.
I began this project in a way to find some sort of inner peace between myself and the bad coffee experiences I've had and I believe that I've found a good handful that I can proudly list out as the best of what Perth has to offer. There are many more contenders beyond the 30 venues that I've experienced over August and I know that this initial search is just the beginning. Too many cafes, so little time - but I'm determined to get through them one day!
General reminder: The verdict is based on what I try on the day, despite how good or bad my previous experiences have been. You can ready up on the previous weeks of #CoffeeOfPerth here:
DAY 22 - KAHAWA CAFE
Coffee: Long Mac ($4.50)
Coffee Beans: Fiori
Notes: Fiori beans have been used by some top contenders during #CoffeeOfPerth and yet the vast difference in the experience is always interesting. It was well made, no doubt about it - but for me it could have been stronger. The latte art is definitely one of the best in Perth, but by the time it reached us, the coffee was a little cold. (Naturally, I understand that I have a long name!)
Tuesday to Friday, 6.30AM - 3:00PM
Saturday and Sunday, 7:00AM - 3:00PM
DAY 23 - GUSTO FOOD
Coffee: Mocha ($4.60)
Coffee Beans: Saccaria
Notes: If you were getting a beer at the bar, would you be happy if what you paid for turned out to be almost 50% head? For the first few mouthfuls, alI I got was foam - and for the next few mouthfuls, it was the unfortunate case of drinking warm milk instead of actual coffee.
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 7:00AM - 4:00PM. Sunday, from 7:00AM - 3:00PM. Closed Mondays.
On another note, like I experienced in the previous week of #CoffeeOfPerth, the Gusto Food staff placed more importance in their own conversations behind the till than on being attentive throughout our visit. Menus were strewn rudely across our table upon arriving and the service that we did receive was very abrasive - despite the food being quite hearty and memorable, the whole experience just didn't leave a very good impression.
I was a big fan of the gluten free "nachos"; they were really tasty and would definitely make a great permanent fixture on the menu; it would be such a tasty sharing entree! The burger was really juicy and cooked perfectly medium rare. The servings are really generous here and I was very much so looking forward to trying their breakfast menu too - it's just too bad about the poor service!
DAY 24 - THE IMP
Coffee: Long Mac ($4.20)
Coffee Beans: Fiori
Notes: The Imp is probably my best bet for a reliable cup of coffee in Vic Park during Perth's "Monday Blues". It was rich, complex and unique - just the way a good Fiori should be. Although The Imp has been a little inconsistent in the past, today was definitely a good day and it was essential in putting the spring back into my Monday afternoon step.
Opening Hours: Daily, from 7:00AM - 10:00PM
Although I'm yet to sit down to a proper meal here - The Imp's opening hours are very accessible and I'm sure that it's only a matter of time!
DAY 25 - TEA FOR TU
Coffee: Long Mac ($4.10)
Coffee Beans: Rewind's Bomba Bold
Notes: This was my first (knowingly) try of anything by Rewind and I have to say that I really enjoy the strength and body of the Bomba Bold. It was a satisfyingly rich and very well made cup of coffee that I'd definitely come back for again.
DAY 26 - LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
Coffee: Long Mac & Mocha
Coffee Beans: Single Origin Roasters
Notes: I've been a Love Thy Neighbour fan ever since they opened and last year openly professed that they were my number 2 pick for the best coffee in Perth. However, this time - I was surprisingly disappointed. The Mocha just tasted flat and there was no depth in the espresso, which is very unlike LTN. The Long Mac too, paled in comparison to what I've tried in the past although it retained a great smoothness and texture.
DAY 27 - THE LITTLE CONCEPT
Coffee: Long Mac ($4.00)
Coffee Beans: Di Bella
Notes: Having experienced "the story" about how The Little Concept came to be on my previous visit, I was already expecting great things. True enough, TLC came through again - the flavours were strong, dark and carried a slight hint of molasses and a light lingering aftertaste.
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday, from 7:00AM - 5:00PM and Sunday from 7:00AM - 3:00PM.
What I've liked about TLC since my first visit was how they do things differently. I was a big fan of their chai first time around and I'm elated to discover that they've turned it into a gelato. Word is, that Red Espresso and Mörk Chocolate gelato will be released along with the Chai for summer and I can't wait!
DAY 28 - OOTONG AND LINCOLN
Coffee: Long Mac ($4.00)
Coffee Beans: Crema
Notes: I love a good cup of Crema - whenever I see Crema displayed on the shelves of a cafe I know that I'm likely to be in for a good one. There was a lot of depth, a lot of complexity and it went down a treat. The temperature and textrue was perfect and the warmth between my fingers was just what I needed after a regrettable walk in the rain!
The setup inside is spacious and rather adorable! I'm more than willing to return for breakfast or lunch and definitely, more coffee.
Opening Hours: Daily, from 6:30AM - 5:00PM
DAY 29 - POUND COFFEE
Out of all the days of #CoffeeOfPerth, this was my only time at a local roastery - it's something that I'd love to do more and something that leaves me feeling inspired, enlightened and buzzing with coffee by the time I leave. Justin and Irene of Pound Coffee are to date probably some of the most down to earth, generous and knowledgable duo that I've met in the industry. I loved listening to Justin talk about everything from the origin of the coffee and every process there after. It's always a joy to watch someone in their element, who clearly is working with something that they're so passionate about.
The roastery itself can be found at 3/14 Zeta Crescent in O'Connor, but Justin and Irene also set up shop at Western Farmers Markets on Sunday mornings.
I bought a bag of Fincas Mierisch - Limoncillo for Father's Day; Dad was really impressed and has incorporated it into his afternoon coffee routine...that speaks volumes in itself!
My most recent experience with Pound Coffee was at Mary Street Bakery. This visit was more so for enlightenment, rather than for judgement. I've included Pound Coffee in #CoffeeOfPerth as an example of how wonderful it is to learn from and experience the process behind your morning cuppa.
There's so much to learn about this wonderful product; it never really is "just coffee"! I use to avoid drinking espresso as a kid because I couldn't take the bitterness - in more recent years, I've definitely been enjoying it more. I may be able to tell a good coffee from taste, but there is so much to discover and I sincerely aspire to do just that.
DAY 30 - TYPIKA
Coffee: Mocha ($4.50)
Coffee Beans: Typika
Notes: Having been a big fan of their Long Mac on my last visit, I wanted instead of give their Mocha a try. Typika is known for being a little fancy and at times a little arrogant, but it was actually my first time experiencing rudeness here. After being seated at 2:55PM, I was informed by 4 different wait staff that I could no longer order off the lunch menu (which ends at 3PM). It would have been much appreciated if they could be more flexible, considering it wasn't exactly 3PM yet. I settled with coffee and something from the fridge instead. This place may be a photographer's dream daytime venue, but the coffee just did not measure up against my first visit. It carried that "powdery" aftertaste that I loathe in Mochas/Hot Chocolates and none of the beautiful coffee notes that I once enjoyed rang through.
Daily, 7AM - 4PM.
Breakfast till 11:30AM on Weekdays, and 3PM on Weekends. Lunch from 11:30AM onwards.
It seems quite fitting that I'm writing down my final thoughts on August's challenge on the last day of September. I feel incredibly fortunate that I'm able to share my thoughts through being a food writer. I write what I write out of love and passion for the dining industry - it's always been about collating the true essence of each experience and expressing my own thoughts down to the very core. #CoffeeOfPerth has surprised, frustrated, angered and elated me beyond what I ever thought that a project could. Now that it's all over - I can't wait to do it all again!
Perth is growing and I'm proud of how it has been doing so - there are so many places to discover, share and experience! I'm honoured to be able to do what I do and I cannot wait to add more wonderful places to the "Best of" #CoffeeOfPerth list. Enjoy the food you love, drink the coffee that makes you feel alive and share it with the people in your life that matter!