Oh, dear. I’ve got a lot of strong feelings about coffee. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? Aren’t these strong coffee feelings subjective? Yes and no (mostly yes), but this is my blog and I never said anything about objectivity. I’m probably going to do more than one post about coffee and Hobart because I can’t limit these feelings to one of each. I just can’t.
Just right: Villino & Ecru Coffee.
Jaime Lannister has it wrong about a few things but he’s bang on the money when it comes to coffee. Ok, his actor is bang on the money. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was spotted at Villino around a year ago when he was holidaying in Tasmania (what a legend) and I just found this article about that event that features a hilarious quote from me, noice.
Villino was on my radar when I moved down here and it’s stayed on my radar since becoming a local. I don’t frequent it, but I know that if I ever stop by, my coffee’s always going to be excellent. Villino roast their own, and have takeaway beans available for home drinkers too.
To be perfectly honest, I visit Villino’s little takeaway brother Ecru (a couple of doors down) a lot more, because Villino’s often a little TOO cosy inside (small shop, many people!). I was a semi-regular at Ecru for a while, thanks to their prepaid coffee application and my running late and not having time to make myself a coffee before work. I could load up Rewardle, order my coffee, jump on my bike and a few minutes later have a delicious takeaway in my hands. As well as the prepaid feature, Ecru give you a free coffee every ten coffees through Rewardle. Nice! The only trick is making sure you’ve got some prepaid credit already sorted at Ecru, because there’s no preordering if you’re at $0.
Ecru’s also open on Sundays now thanks to the Farm Gate Market having relocated to the end of Criterion St. I love the market but I love Ecru’s coffee more. Wait… their Facebook page says closed Sundays… maybe it’s just during warmer months? Rats. Quit playing games with my heart, guys.
Anyway, long story short—these guys have got the goods.
Overhyped: Doctor Coffee.
Call the doctor, this coffee is burning my fingers. Why does the Doctor’s coffee take so damn long to brew? Why does everybody rave about it? Does anybody actually rave about it or do I just think that they do? The Doctor is my very last resort for takeaway coffee, one rung above McCafe. I will only go to the Doctor if forced. They’re open most public holidays when nowhere else is, and I guess their Sandy Bay cafe (the newest of the chain) is ok (the wallpaper is so great and the staff are nice and the coffee doesn’t seem to take a million years to make like it does at Salamanca), but after getting burned one too many times (figuratively and literally?) at Salamanca, the Doctor leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If you’re around Salamanca, there are way better options. See below, for example.
Underhyped: Zimmah Coffee & Parklane Espresso.
Zimmah beans are my jam. A friend first put me onto Zimmah via Yelp review and I was in for a penny, in for a pound… of coffee beans. I’ve watched the Zimmah space evolve from coffee dungeon (when it was pretty much just a bench space in a garage) to cosy hangout space (with pillars of books!), and while I do wish they’d start doing breakfasts (because they’re a stone’s throw from my place), I’ll take what I can get and if I’m just feeling like drinking a bunch of coffees and writing the next great novel, Zimmah is the perfect place to do that.
Dane entertains my coffee fussiness for both takeaways (flat white, milk around 60°C ie not too damn hot) and beans (filter, light and sweet, floral notes best). I’ve even sweet-talked my way into a home delivery of beans once, which was definitely above and beyond. Zimmah does a handful of regular blends, all with amazing label designs and fun names—my favourites are the two lighter blends, the Artful Dodger and Dutch Courage, because they work the best in my Aeropress at home.
Parklane gets a shoutout in here because they use Zimmah beans and they’re a trustworthy and delicious coffee haven in the middle of Salamanca (hidden in a corner of Salamanca Square), particularly on Saturday mornings when the market’s on. So many awful coffee vendors at the market. So many poor tourists. If only they knew…! The Parklane guys are lovely, their coffee prices aren’t ridiculous, they’re quick with their pours, and they even have a “perfect” size. I feel like a smug jerk every time I order a perfect flat white. Sorry, not sorry.