The Gloria Jean’s Valley Experience

Black Coffee at Gloria Jeans
Black Coffee at Gloria Jean's

I thought it would be best to start with a joke. An Italian, an American and an Englishman were going to meet in the Valley for a coffee. The Italian could not make it. So they go to Gloria Jean’s instead.

The Gloria Jean’s shop on the mall in Fortitude Valley has nice chairs, a few couches and air conditioning. They also charge $4.25 for a regular long black. The stores are similar to Starbucks: all coffee is served in disposable cups with an ironic ‘Rainforest Alliance’ logo (take that evil trees!), they offer a wide range of syrups and substances to add in, and if you order a black coffee, it usually is not that great.

The coffee smelled burnt in an interestingly worrying way and was too hot, which was almost certainly the cause. It was also one of the more watery long blacks I have had recently. Even the McCafe coffee compared favourably to it.

Like Starbucks, Gloria Jean’s is not really in the business of serving black coffee. Just one quick look around the store and it is obvious that they sell far more milky coffee flavoured beverages than black coffee. With the market they cater for, and the range of syrups and interesting interpretations on the theme of ‘coffee’ on the menu, maybe a sugarless black coffee is not what they had in mind.

TL;DR

  • Nice franchise stores
  • Coffee is not really their thing

Gloria Jean’s Fortitude Valley Mall
Gloriajeans.com
McWhirters Urban Market
Fortitude Valley, 4006

Do not Install Minecraft on your Mobile

Towers in Minecraft Pocket Edition
Towers in Minecraft Pocket Edition

Just don’t. You will lose hours of your time, run your battery down and if you just get the free demo version, probably buy the full version. Finally the mobile version of Minecraft now works with more handsets. Minecraft, as you probably know, is a popular indie game that features an 8-bit aesthetic and gameplay options that range from vicious survival to peaceful sandbox.

Until just recently, the only mobile version was optimised for Xperia, and as I have a Samsung Galaxy S, that was not very useful. Fortunately this has recently changed, so now if your phone is running Android 2.1 or higher you can run it. Both paid and demo versions of Minecraft Pocket Edition let you build whatever you want in a sandbox mode. Neither version has the survival mode, though the paid version has more blocks to build with, and the ability to save worlds between sessions.

Aside from some very occasional tearing, the graphics looked good, and the game ran smoothly. Minecraft’s visual style seemed to work well for the limited capabilities of mobile. It did kill the battery, which should be no surprise considering the load it puts on both the screen and the hardware, and given how easy it is to lose yourself even in sandbox mode, this is not a game you should play when you are more than an hour away from being able to charge your phone.

Should you get Minecraft Pocket Edition?
Should you get Minecraft Pocket Edition?

If you have an Android mobile, and you enjoy 3D world creation games with a sandbox mode, you should get Minecraft Pocket Edition. If you prefer to not run your battery down at the worst possible moment, because you just had to finish that castle while waiting for the bus, then you might want to avoid it.

TL;DR

  • Addictive and fun game
  • Devours time
  • Murders battery life