On Saturday I went to 2 wonderful cafes ... but that's becoming the norm for me really... what I didn't realise was how many I have actually been to ! In the craziness of it all I had somehow lost count, thinking I had been to around 30ish, when to my surprise I counted (and recounted three times) 40 cafes since beginning my challenge in January. OMG nearly half way there and its only just April, I nearly fell out of my chair (well car seat in fact).. i think I did do a little squeal of excitement and a quite possibly a little dance with my arms (again luckily I was semi concealed in my car) !
Its not like I have won the jackpot, or bought a house or found out some other life changing news.. put simply it means I have had 40 coffees... Not really much to celebrate huh?!?!? Yet this means so much more to me than just tasting coffee, this is what I have achieved on my journey so far:
- I have stepped out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions ;
- I am on target to actually accomplish a goal (who knew I could do it!)
-I realise if I put my mind to something I am a very very determined and motivated person and have the ability to be knocked down but pick myself up again, dust myself off and keep going;
- I am learning that coffee in Melbourne is an amazing business and maybe one Id like to pursue as more than a hobby down the track;
- I am meeting some rather interesting, wonderful and inspiring people;
-and I am broadening my horizons and seeing parts of Melbourne I have not ever seen before!!
Wow...... not bad for a pretty daggy challenge! Imagine how much I will have grown by the time I hit 100!
I have decided to slow down next week and give myself a rest ! Plus I don't want to hit 100 too soon and then have to find a new goal!!
OK so now on to my weekends coffee adventure.......
I decided yet again to head over to Brunswick, my mum had hijacked Darby for the weekend, so I footloose and fancy free, so I was going to embrace it as much as I could. I ended up driving around aimlessly and couldn't decide on a place to go so flipped a coin and drove to Pope Joan http://popejoan.com.au/, in Nicholson St East Brunswick, where I have already been earlier in the year. The experience I had there was part of the reason I decided to start this blog, I wanted to share how wonderful my experience was then with other people (They were delightful in helping me out of a 3 year old tantrum situation) ! The location of the cafe is in a rather odd spot, it is not with a strip of shops, just there all by itself!
Picture Perfect! My Pope Joan coffee
I arrived around 10 and it was getting busier, their clientele was a very eclectic mix , from baby boomers, to young families to muso types.. anyone could feel welcome here .. I felt that twinge of envy again, having lived so close to here just 6 years prior, I imagine it was nothing but a derelict shop front then, how times have changed.
I sat at the bench seat overlooking familiar Nicholson st and ordered my coffee from the lovely waitress who greeted me on arrival . They use All Press coffee here which from memory I don't think have tasted. My coffee came fast with an oh so pretty Rosetta on top. The crema was dense and rich with ever so slightly bittersweet flavours leading to a smooth finish. The heavy black cup gave it the allure it deserved . The food being cooked in the open kitchen looked amazing especially the home made hot cross buns sitting by the coffee machine. I was tempted but resisted! The decor is very Retro with 70s nick nacks on shelves and the decor is well thought out with an adjacent undercover outdoor area to sit. (and apparently a new bar is going to open next door as well called Bishop of Ostia-the Catholic in me loves the names ) Their are glimpses of Pope Joan from the church pew lodged out the front and the stain glassed church windows in the far corner to the books on the counter about Catholic religion! Without doing any research on the Middle Ages, I'm guessing Pope Joan was pretty significant woman in her time. I think this place will be pretty significant too.....
As I was leaving I suddenly realised I had no money on me.. just a few cents, but not enough to pay for my coffee, very very embarrassing. I cornered one of the waitresses and asked what i could do, she basically said don't worry about it, or pay another time , and would have let me go with out paying ! How sweet! I insisted so she let me put the $3.50 through on my EFTpos card, which probably cost them money to do!!
The service I have had here both times has been above and beyond what I expect at a cafe and this will always keep me coming back (until that differs!) ! Even if I do have to cross town (and feel so envious that I don't live around the corner anymore)
After my coffee I went for a walk down Lygon St whilst I decided where to go next for my next shot of java! I stumbled upon a fabric shop http://www.gjsdiscountfabrics.com.au/ that I haven't seen before - it was material heaven!!! I spent about an hour in there pining and procrastinating over the most beautiful fabric I have ever seen in one place! Going here convinced me I need to take sewing lessons.. and enlist the help of Janine to teach me again! The fabric was to die for! I walked out with out a purchase .. but I'm sure I will be back! From there I drove to Fitzroy North and to Growers Espresso http://www.eurekacoffee.com.au/ on St Georges Rd... I as usual managed to get lost and go in the completely different direction! Just when I thought I was getting better at my map reading I took 2 steps backwards! Ahhh
I ordered a Soy Piccolo from the barista (I'm sure he looked at me thinking 'that girl has no idea what she is asking for, and when he asked whether I had one or two shots ... I piped back 'just a single' with the confidence of a seasoned coffee drinker!
The petite cafe is serious about coffee with several different roasts on offer this week and plenty more available to take home . The cafe has a small food menu and it seems to serves mainly organic food. Yum!
I contemplate asking about their cupping sessions and I seriously consider enrolling in one pronto.. They seem to know their stuff about coffee from what I could overhear from clientele chatter , and I am a fan that they have Australian grown coffee as well as fair trade and organic coffee beans from around the globe...wow.....
My Piccolo arrives and looks very strong but has lovely fruit flavours and is actually quite sweet with no trace of bitterness. It is very easy to drink and gone within a few minutes! Ill come back here with anyone who wants to have a serious coffee experience!!
A great coffee morning over by 11.30 - a job well done and time to slow it down a tad as I head towards my 100 goal! (I'm feeling like an elite athlete training hard, having a rest for a little while and then picking up from where I left off, fitter, stronger and more determined to succeed!