How to know if a coffee shop is worthy

The coffee break is one of the most fun parts of our day. It’s a good reason to get out of the office and go for a walk around Adelaide, and a good brew makes us happy and puts us in a more creative mood.   One of the worst things is getting a shit cup of coffee. Getting a bad dose is okay if it’s a dodgy Nescafe or International Roast concoction because you know what you’re going to get, and they don’t cost much to make yourself. But when you spend your hard earned money at a shop that sells coffee as their friggin business model, you should get a decent result. That’s not always the case and more often than we’d like, you’ll end up with crap.

So we thought we’d come up with this handy guide to help you detect a good coffee shop and steer clear of misery and sadness.  This isn’t fullproof and there are sometimes exceptions but after thousands of cups of cups at hundreds of locations, we think this is pretty well tried and tested!

Super shiny beans sitting in the grinder

Will they serve a tasty cup of coffee? No, shiny beans are disgusting. Aim for a matt finish.

Table and seating looks like it was purchased at Ikea or Bunnings

Will they serve a tasty cup of coffee? Probably not.

The coffee machine

Take a good look at the coffee machine they’re using.  Does it look like a finely crafted and restored Italian vintage car engine?  Then yes, if beans are also decent, then coffee is likely super good.  Does it look like the ass end of a Toyota Yaris, combined with a few hoses and some tacky LED rimmed buttons? Then no, don’t go near it.

Friendly staff

No matter how good the coffee tastes, if the person serving you is an emotionless evil warlord who basically makes you feel like you’re putting them out just by being there, then this has been scientifically proven to turn the flavour into a bog-like stench. One of our favourite places for good coffee and good beans is a place called Dukes in Melbourne.

Shop festooned with Vittoria or Lavazza branding

Will they serve a tasty cup of coffee? No way.

Barista has a huge beard or tattoos of anchors

Will they serve a tasty cup of coffee? High chance that this skilled individual will serve you up something beautiful.

The smell

A busy little coffee shop that’s been grinding good beans should just smell amazing. If it smells good then it probably is good.

Coffee shop branding

If the owner has placed a high level of value on their own branding and the overall vibe of the establishment is inviting, grounded and considered – then there’s a good chance that this attention to detail will flow through to the pour.

Other products

Keep a look out for other products they might be selling.  As you walk in, stare at the plate of brekky that someone might have ordered.  Does it look nice?  Have they just used TipTop bread and the poached eggs are sitting next to it in a pool of eggy biosludge? If so, we advise running for your life.

Decent beans

The quality of the bean is super important and these are some of our favourites. Anywhere that sells these beans will likely make you a decent coffee:

Zimmah Coffee (TAS)
Dukes (VIC)
Two Fish (SA)
Dawn Patrol (SA)
5 Senses (WA)
Caffined Coffee Co (SA)
Market Lane (VIC)
DeGroot (SA)
D’Angelo (SA)

Hopefully this helps save you from a bad coffee experience!