It was a Friday afternoon and the office relocated to Portside for an afternoon of beverages, team building and beer battered chips. The venue was Cafe Chez Laila at Portside and I opted for the coffee.
Portside is on the Brisbane river, just down from Racecourse road. It is a great location, with a number of different cafes, bars and restaurants, some of which are right on the river. Cafe Chez Laila was not. But you could still see the river from where we were sitting outside the cafe. The kitchen closed before we could get a second batch of beer battered chips, but they still served us drinks.
It was an OK cafe, and the coffee had a strong flavour. I can not comment on the, as I never really saw it. They chips were good, but mostly, Cafe Chez Laila is about the location. That afternoon there was a pleasant breeze coming off the river, and in the failing light of the afternoon, it was a great place to just relax.
At work we have just gotten a new coffee machine from Delight Xpresso. Due to the relatively low demand for coffee, the office has swapped the old machine for a new one. The New Pod machine uses satchels of pre-ground coffee instead of fresh beans, and requires a little more effort.
More flexibility, fewer buttons
Gone is the one button cappuccino and flat white. Now the coffee you end up with is determined by the length of the shot (pre-set or otherwise), and how frothy you want the milk.
I have actually found that the coffee tastes better with this one. This could be due to more control over the quantity of coffee, higher pressure, sealed coffee rather then what ever had been in the hopper for a week, or just because the older one needed to be descaled. Whatever the reason, or reasons, I do prefer the coffee.
So whats the point in all this?
I would choose this machine first knowing what I know now, but there is a learning curve, more of a gentle slope, but there is always someone who won’t bother getting the hang of it.
As a part of my job, I was sent down to the Gold Coast for the day to take some video and photos for use online. It was a long, hot day, and I really do not like sand. However, I did find something that I liked. There is an Illy caffe on the Gold Coast.
I found it on Surfers Paradise Boulevard situated amongst the fashion shops. It has been a while since I was able to visit the Illy caffe on Eagle Street in the CBD in Brisbane, so I was very eager to take a break and grab a long black.
And why this matters
Illy does a very nice coffee blend, and their branded cafes are very good at demonstrating this. Their look and feel are also very polished, and while their menu is also very limited, there is a real emphasis on good quality ingredients. So, an Illy cafe is usually a very safe choice if you are after a good coffee.
There is not a lot you can say about a $1 coffee. The price point serves to both set expectations and define user experience, at least if “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely is spot on. I am sure that this was not the idea when Xpresso Delight were asked to bring the machine in. The price point was set to cover costs.
The coffee machine is very straight forward. It can produce a coffee without milk, and a coffee with milk. The milk will be hot when it comes out. I could not spot the difference between pushing the flat white button and the cappuccino button. To be fair I never actually tried them either.
The coffee is drawn long and drunk without sugar or milk. It does the job, and for a $1 coffee, it sure beats what I used to get out of a plunger.
What should you care?
If you work somewhere without a cafe in walking distance, there are options. If a coffee machine is too much of an expense, get one in like Xpresso Delight.
I have recently started a new job working for Greyhound Australia as their Online Marketing Coordinator. Understandably, as a part of my first week, I needed to spend sometime with the IT department, to get a better idea of how things work and what systems they have in place. The IT department is in Toowoomba.
With a ticket for a Greyhound bus I was off that morning to the Roma street Transit Centre. There are not a lot of cafes in the Transit centre, but there was one called the Dancing Bean. The coffee was not too bad, and they had an extensive range of cakes. I did not see the coffee beans that they used, but the coffee was not bad. It kept me going for most of the day until I was taken to this small cafe in Toowoomba called Coffee, Tea and Me.