Coffee Culture – travel & lifestyle

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

DeClieu

DeClieu_webOn the corner of George and Gertrude streets (part of the Gertrude Street boutique/shopping strip) is a smallish café which is part of the Seven Seeds stable [run by Melbourne coffee don Mark Dundon] curiously named De Clieu. Not so curious perhaps when you look into the taxonomy of Mark’s other café names [Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan] and see that they derive from the colourful history of coffee and its discovery.

The original De Clieu was a french naval officer who is celebrated for his claim to have introduced coffee to the French colonies of the Western Hemisphere in the 1720s. According to l’Année littéraire of 1774, he arranged to transport a coffee plant (or perhaps several) from the greenhouses of the Jardin Royal des Plantes [which had originally been given to the French King from Holland] to Martinique in 1720.

The story goes that water was rationed on the voyage and De Clieu was so dedicated to his mission that he shared his ration with the seedlings. The story may be apocryphal, but most sources do in fact credit De Clieu with the introduction of coffee to Martinique & thence the Caribbean.

But enough of history – De Clieu is a funky spot where everyone seems to hang out in black jeans [& black jackets, shoes or whatever] but this belies its class – it’s trendy, but it also serves good coffee and very good food.

The menu reveals an elegant simplicity as would be expected from the kitchen of Steven Carr (previously of the Healesville Hotel) and offers a slightly exotic take on otherwise prosaic items – our Pork Neck Roti [sweet roasted pork neck on a spring onion roti, with a fried egg and hoisin-flavoured BBQ sauce] was exquisite.

And the coffee – we had one shot which was excellent and one which was [only] good, which given the general state of espresso coffee, is still very good overall! Definitely recommended.

De Clieu
187 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy
(03) 9416 4661



Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Kenya – The Far End

Part 1 of the Coffee Discovery Series

Kenya_Cupping_KenyaBy Paul Golding

The first visit to a favourite origin is always something of a personal epiphany. Kenya was one such visit for me, when I went with a small industry group to Nairobi in February this year to catch the end of the harvest season. Getting out into the countryside to see the crop and meet the people who produce it can really help shed some light on a coffee’s unique flavour and character. (more…)



Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Cafe Cities of the World – Wellington

Havana_CoffeeWidely regarded as New Zealand’s arts and culture capital, Wellington or ‘the windy city’ as it is colloquially known, has a wealth of museums, art galleries, theatres and festivals. There is an innate confidence here, be it borne from the fact that this is New Zealand’s capital city, or perhaps from its role as a cultural and artistic epicentre.

Although a city with a population of little more than 300,000 Wellington has the cosmopolitan vibrancy of a much larger city. This is, in the main, due to the fact that the CBD of Wellington is principally structured to be accessible by foot and, with a civic policy of discouraging generic malls and outlying shopping precincts, it draws a communal breath into its restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, giving a pulse to its streets and a beat to its heart. Venture out on a Friday or Saturday night and you will be greeted by the buzz of the city’s populace in its myriad of  forms, all congregated around the restaurant and bar precincts of Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. (more…)



Friday, April 15th, 2011

Brisbane’s Best Cafes 2011

Cup Specialty_Brisbane_webLike any large Australian city, Brisbane has a wide range of cafes from the simple ‘mom & pop’ café to those where the focus is on excellent business lunches and great food. However, Brisbane has a large coffee purist element that is bubbling underground and is beginning to show itself to those who are seriously interested.

And the good news is this: from an espresso coffee point-of-view, the Brisbane espresso ‘scene’ rocks, supported by many enthusiastic young professionals eager to share their coffee knowledge and passion. One quick note: it’s not in necessarily in the CBD itself, but in the inner suburbs that you find the best coffee… suburbs like West End, New Farm, Spring Hill and even the formerly seedy Fortitude Valley! (more…)



Friday, March 25th, 2011

Room 10

Room10_webWith the increasing tendency of hip new cafes to use ‘boutique’ coffee brands to make their coffee, it’s probably no surprise that Room 10 uses Mecca [see Sydney’s Best Cafes 2011]. It’s a compact space with no separate kitchen – the kitchen is actually a dedicated area of bench space on the right [as you walk in]of the café. The space is dominated by two things – one a bicycle curiously mounted on the wall at the rear and secondly a shiny La Marzocco espresso machine at the front. It’s not always guaranteed, but it’s usually a sign that they’re serious about their coffee and in this case, the coffee didn’t disappoint, although there was some variability, depending on who was behind the machine. They offer a limited food menu and in spite of the size of the kitchen [or lack of it!] the food was actually pretty good, and if you can get a seat [especially in Summer] the little outdoor tables are a nice option. Room 10 brings a new dimension to otherwise ‘good-coffee-denuded’ Kings Cross.

10 Llankelly Place
Potts Point NSW 2011



Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Coffee Profile – Brazilian Daterra Cerrado

Coffee_homepage boxby Rob Stewart


I have often wondered what would happen to the world if Brazil stopped producing coffee – perhaps a catastrophic melt down! The price for coffee per kilo would go up, making a cup of coffee cost more than a cocktail at a night club, sounding the death knell of the majority of cafes and coffee companies.  Shift workers, parents, students, productivity, and Italy would all come to a grinding halt. It would affect our economy and our way of life, leaving everyone with one giant headache.

(more…)



Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Espresso, Cardamom and Mastic Pannacotta

For our recent Winter 2008 issue, Crema Magazine invited Stefano Manfredi, celebrated Australian chef, restaurateur, and coffee lover, to showcase some of his espresso inspired desserts. Above and beyond the call, however, Stefano decided to take it as a challenge to create an entirely new selection of desserts. “Kitchens love a challenge and so the challenge of creating new espresso desserts was a pleasure and one we simply had to accept” said Stefano. The pleasure is, of course, all ours as we bring you one of the four exquisite espresso desserts created expressly for Crema Magazine by Stefano Manfredi.

(more…)



Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Cafe Cities of Europe – Florence

by Gary Try

FlorenceThe splendour of Florence can be overwhelming and a ‘soft-entry’ into the city from the surrounding hills is a delightful way to ease into the onslaught of renaissance art, culture and architecture. Here, as part of our continuing series, Gary Try gives us his personal perspective on the city and its cafés.

There is such peace and serenity to be found in an olive grove. The tranquility that these gnarled old trees express falls over you like a soft cloak, gently caressing and relaxing. Dappled light falls from the intense blue sky above, through the silver-green leaves of the olive trees, creating a dance of millions of radiant ballerinas moving slowly across the grove in a never-ending ballet, staged on the rolling Tuscan hills. Below lies the river Arno, snaking its way through the valley, neatly defining the city of Florence, locally known as ‘Firenze – La Gioiello di Tuscano’ (the jewel of Tuscany). (more…)



Sunday, June 29th, 2008

East Timor – Fair Trade Coffee

BrothersJo Jouin, former director Sydney’s Toby’s Estate Coffee made a visit to East Timor in late 2004 to look at local conditions. Crema magazine asked Jo to tell us of her experiences.

From the moment we stepped off the plane at Dili airport on the northern side of East Timor we were struck by the warmth and friendliness of the Timorese people.

The children were very accepting of us and we quickly learnt some basic Portuguese language skills – ‘Bon dia‘ for hello and ‘obrigado for thank you. Initially most people were very shy but as we took some polaroid photos and showed the magic of developing the photos, the ice was broken and laughter rang out.

The extent of the poverty really became apparent as we moved up to the mountains. We were invited into the traditional thatched home of one influential and important family from the guerilla movement. There were no possessions. Nothing, just the clothes on their back and a mat to sleep on. (more…)



Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Vietnam

Hoi-An VietnamBy Melissa Rimac

Unique, rustic, and ready to lure with its gentle captivations and warm smiles…

Having, throughout recent and distant history, fought hard to maintain its sovereignty and unique identity, Vietnam today remains proudly defiant and seemingly set in its own very charming ways. Whilst much of the rest of Asia surges headlong into the 21st century, to form a blur of bright lights, skyscrapers and incessant buzz that blitzes the senses, Vietnam, especially in the north and central regions, bewitches with its gentle, slow and subtle captivations.  (more…)