Specialist coffee and tea is heading west, and you should, too
Did you know that Ascot Vale has a Hollywood Boulevard for horses? There’s a flagstone star on every corner, each imprinted with the horseshoes of a local trusty trotter. And, as of two months ago, they also have a rather serious purveyor of coffee and many, many types of tea.
Their chosen space is significantly nicer now it’s not a solicitors office, although it's minimalist to a fault. There are sleek wooden tables, polished concrete walls and that’s it. No tatt, just some coffee merchandise.
The caffeine flies thick and fast and only a fool would wade in without a food buffer. Go for the specials – the blackboard is usually bragging some form of garden snaffled goods like fresh figs, loaded up with goats curd and that winning combo of bacon and sticky balsamic. Or how about some tapioca? You get a bowl of those little gelatinous balls, bound together with coconut cream, thick chunks of mango and toasted almonds. It’s like all the best bits from a yum cha dessert trolley.
If you go the espresso route, we can guarantee a silky pour, although whose beans you’ll get is anyone’s guess. They’re being all polygamous and utilizing blends from Axil, Small Batch and anyone else putting down something worth picking up. Make sure you try the cold drip. Painstakingly extracted by dripping cold water through a coffee pack, it’s served over ice in an insulated beaker. No heat means you get all the pure coffee flavours – lots of fruit and zip without any bitter consequences.
Or how about some tea? Each comes with literature pointing to its origin, healthsome perks and ideal brewing temperature – which, for the record, is invariably below freshly-boiled-kettle temp. We like the Oriental Beauty. A blonde, floral oolong from Taiwan that owes its sweetness to being nibbled on by an insect called the tea hopper. Which, in our Saturday morning minds, is part grasshopper, part Winston Churchill.
Specialist coffee continues its march into the suburbs, which for all those who like to wired somewhere peaceful is a solid win.