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

Flying Fox Bar

 

The Flying Fox Bar is located in the departures lounge at Avalon Airport. At 5:00am, any coffee is good coffee but that said, it is an airport departure lounge and so, you would not expect the world’s best coffee.

The coffee is served in one of those not quite cardboard, not quite plastic cups which, of course, have the capacity to burn the tips off your fingers when picking the cup up. The texture and strength of the coffee were both as you might expect from an automatic machine more so than a barista brewed coffee – even though, there was a barista making the coffee.

But, that said, when you are up before the sparrows and heading off on a flight, maybe an average cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all. And so it was with this morning’s brew.

The message is clear – don’t drive out to Avalon to try the coffee. If you’re out there catching a flight, the Flying Fox Bar’s is certainly better than nothing.

 

Address: Avalon Airport Departures Area
80 Beach Road
Suburb: Avalon 3212
Web Site: www.airport.com.au
Telephone: Not available
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.10
Coffee Suppliers: Lavazza
Headline: There’s a little bit of “beggars can’t be choosers” going on here. The coffee is average but at 5:00am on a Friday morning, it has to be better than a “coin in the slot” coffee
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

The Boatshed Cafe

 

The Boatshed Cafe is located in a space at the end of a large electrical appliances store on Moorabool Street, almost down to the river in South Geelong.

The coffee, presented in a yellow cappuccino cup, lacked any decent crema and as is usually the case with coffee sans crema, lacked any great flavour. I really do think that many baristas drink their coffee in one milk-based form or another and, as a result, simply don’t understand what makes a long black coffee a long black coffee. If they DO know and they present coffee like today’s and every other one that I’ve been critical of, they should be pretty disappointed in themselves

And at the risk of inciting a region-wide chorus of “Bah Humbug”, we didn’t really need schmaltzy Christmas songs to be played while having our morning coffee. And if we really DO need them, we absolutely didn’t need them at the volume that they were being played. Seriously, if I had been with someone else, I would have struggled to hear them over Michael Buble.

PS: Why do we “walk in a winter wonderland” when it is 30 degrees outside?

 

Address: 531 Moorabool Street
Suburb: Geelong South 3220
Web Site: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Boatshed-Cafe/216676025030433
Telephone: 03 5221 0557
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.50
Coffee Suppliers: Two Seasons
Headline: Coffee only fair. Music too loud. Not much more to say.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

Soul Fuel Cafe

 

The preview information on SoulFuel Cafe’s Google listing says “The best coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and wood-fired pizzas in Torquay”. I’m sorry to say that, based on my visit today, their coffee sits well behind my previous two coffee reviews in Torquay.

I know that the coffee was made by a barista because I could hear the machine behind me but seriously, if someone had brought the coffee to me and told me that it was Caterer’s Blend instant coffee, I would not have been surprised. The coffee was grainy and had that bitter taste that I associate with the cheapest of instant coffee – the stuff the make you drink at training courses and parent-teacher nights.

The coffee was served in the wrong cup and the crema was virtually non-existent. The favour was bad and, to top it off, the time I had to wait to (a) place my order and (b) to receive my coffee was unacceptable, given that the cafe was only about one third full.

With the bold claim that it is the best coffee in Torquay, it sounds like I should give them the benefit of the doubt and do a revisit at some stage in the future.

Sorry, Torquay – your average rating has just fallen from 4.5 stars to 3.33 stars, just like that.

 

Address: 57 Surf Coast Highway
Suburb: Torquay 3228
Web Site: www.soulfueltorquay.com.au
Telephone: 03 5261 4999
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.50
Coffee Suppliers: Bertoncello
Headline: The first time that I can remember tasting real coffee that actually tasted like instant coffee. Served in the incorrect cup and virtually no crema.
Coffee Rating: lessthanthree

Box Office – Revisit

 

Box Office was one of the first venues that I reviewed as part of the Geelong Coffee project. At that time, I mentioned that I was pretty disappointed with the breakfast that I had – “there didn’t seem to be anything startlingly special about the bread used and the eggs were too hard for my liking”. I could have easily been talking about today’s breakfast as well. It is unlikely that I will be returning to Box Office for breakfast in the foreseeable future.

At least, last time, I found the coffee satisfactory – more so than startling. I have had experience with Axil Coffee Roasters in Melbourne and here in Geelong and until my visit to Box Office last time, I had struggled to find a good cup of coffee made with Axil beans. I used to work less than 200m from the Axil shop in Hawthorn and would walk at least another 500m past it to get coffee that I could enjoy. Interestingly, all of my workmates who drank their coffee with milk and sugar would rave about the flavour – not so those of us who drink our coffee black.

Anyway, today’s coffee was rated a full star less than last time and underlined my disappointment with coffee made with beans from Axil. Maybe coincidence? Maybe barista training? Maybe the beans? Who knows?

Personally, I don’t think I’ll risk it again.

 

Link to previous review: Box Office – May 2015
Address: 77 Preston Street
Suburb: Geelong West 3218
Web Site: www.boxofficecafe.com.au
Telephone: TBA
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Axil CoffeeRoasters
Headline: In the last review I said “A touch industrial. Doing Axil Coffee better than Axil themselves!” This time was disappointing – once again I found an Axil brew that lacked any great flavour, as has been my experience in a number of outlets that use Axil beans.
Original Coffee Rating: Three and a half stars
Revisit Coffee Rating: lessthanthree