Wild Bean Cafe

 

I feel a bit nasty when I am writing reviews for drive through cafes – they are never going to be able to compete with expert baristas in nice cafes. To account for that handicap, I have created a new category in the menu up top called “Drive Thrus” to allow them to stand alone. They will still be scored against the other coffees in town but will at least be categorised by themselves.

Wild Bean Cafe is a BP brand and the cafes, such as they are, are located inside BP service stations. The lady who made my coffee this morning was also running the entire site – she was recording pump readings when I got to the counter and then had to contend with my coffee and the three people in the queue wanting to pay for their fuel.

As you can imagine the coffee wasn’t really that good – and that’s not a reflection on the poor woman whose job it is to make coffee plus attend to everything else that was going on in the store and on the forecourt.

At least with others like Bean Squeeze (which happens to be next door), they are entirely focused on their coffee, even if it is drive thru.

 

Address: 310 Melbourne Road
Suburb: North Geelong 3215
Web Site: Not available
Telephone: Not available
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Unknown
Headline: Coffee was pretty ordinary. If you need a take away coffee when you are buying petrol, it is better than nothing – but only just.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

Muzz Buzz – Corio

 

Muzz Buzz is another specialist drive-through coffee chain with a few sites around Geelong – I went to the Corio outlet in the car park of the Harvey Norman complex on the northern end of Corio.

I said with both Bean Squeeze and McDonalds Drive Thru, they are what they are. You are not visiting these outlets for a coffee experience – you are typically visiting them for a pick-me-up on the way out of town.

But, comparing Muzz Buzz with the other two drive-throughs that I have reviewed, I was quite disappointed. The coffee tasted weak and poorly prepared. The two attendants simply place my “keep cup” under a menu driven machine and press a button – not dissimilar to what I can do on my trusty De Longhi at home. While waiting, I noticed the milk being frothed for another customer with the thermometer sitting in the jug. To me, if you need to make coffee to such a specific formula or recipe, you might as well automate it completely and get rid of the people serving.

But the real puzzle was the addition of the flex-straw in the top of my cup when I received it back. That’s right – a straw. It appears, having visited their web site, that the straw is something of a gimmick – they have a straw in a cup as part of their logo. what next, I nice paper umbrella and a piece of pineapple on a toothpick?

Give me a break.

I was decidedly underwhelmed by my first and, I suspect, last Muzz Buzz experience. Even acknowledging its format as a drive-thorugh, there appears to be a number of better options available.

 

Address: Cnr Princes Highway and School Road
Suburb: Corio 3214
Web Site: www.muzzbuzz.com
Telephone: 5275 3928
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Unknown
Headline: Another drive-through coffee offering. Not particularly good. Does what it does. Please spare me the straw, though.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

Bean Squeeze – Manifold Heights

 

The aim of this web site is to identify the best coffee experience in Geelong and if that’s what you’re after, you should look elsewhere. You are only on site for the bare minimum of time that it takes to create your coffee and hand it over to you.

Bean Squeeze has set up eight take away coffee locations around Geelong designed to give drivers the chance to purchase a take away coffee without leaving their car. By definition, the coffee is take away and therefore is delivered in a take away cup. You can bring your own “Keep Cup” but make sure you have washed it before you get there – they handed mine back to me for health and safety reasons. I hadn’t washed it since yesterday’s take away coffee.

No-one should turn up at Bean Squeeze expecting a fantastic coffee experience. If you, like many people, like to stop off and purchase a coffee on the way to work or anywhere else, though, and don’t want to get out of your car on a cold morning, your laziness will be rewarded with a coffee that it is better than satisfactory at Bean Squeeze.

Try one next time you’re heading off on a journey …

 

Address: 251 Shannon Avenue
Suburb: Manifold Heights 3218
Web Site: www.beansqueeze.com.au
Telephone: 5222 7164
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Unknown
Headline: It is what it is – if you are looking for an all embracing coffee experience, look elsewhere. If you are looking for takeaway coffee, better than satisfactory!
Coffee Rating: Three and a half stars

McCafe – Norlane

 

McCafe made the bold statement a few years ago that they would become the first-choice coffee chain in Australia. They undertook a nation-wide training program to create baristas for their McCafe – not just people who can press buttons on a espresso machine.

Of course, part of the coffee experience is the ambience of the restaurant, the size of the cup and a range of other factors – this is simply not going to be part of the equation when you use the Macca’s drive through. But, if you are looking for a take away coffee when you’re out and about, you are certainly going to find a consistent offer coming from the Golden Arches.

The coffee itself is more than acceptable – it’s actually not too bad at all. As I said above, you wouldn’t be choosing the Macca’s drive through if you were looking for an outstanding coffee experience. But it is what it is – a good solid, take away coffee that you can depend on.

 

Address: 400 Melbourne Road
Suburb: Norlane 3214
Web Site: www.mcdonalds.com.au
Telephone: 03 5272 2350
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.15
Coffee Suppliers: Rainforest Alliance
Headline: Consistent. Just what you’d expect. McCafe now available via drive through too.
Coffee Rating: Three stars