Once the scores from the recent “Best Coffee in Orange’ competition began to come in, it become very apparent that it was actually very hard to find a really bad coffee in town.
We didn’t go to the chains like Gloria Jeans and Coffee Club etc because we like to support local independent businesses here at the Orange Post, and their coffee is rarely very good.
Our judges had a field day supping on the various cremas served up to them, some were vicious in the appraisal, whilst some served up pleasantries in the comments but scored much more harshly.
So here are some of the thoughts, quotes and observations from the judges.
The winner of this years best coffee in Orange award won it simply because they were consistently excellent. They never scored below 8 and when a score is based on averages, that kind of repeat performance will tip you over the line. Their dedication and love of coffee making is palpable.
Dotted Eight was the only cafe to not receive any negative comments except for one judge who waited over seven minutes for his cup. The wait was worth it though and he went on to score them a nine.
Overall the Dotted Eight were considered worthy winners and you’ll find yourself licking the inside of the cup to draw out as much delicious coffee as you can.
Bill is without a doubt the man who has single-handedly changed the way we drink and appreciate our coffee.
In 2007 he moved his roasting ovens from Sydney out to the old butchers on McLachlan Street. Five years later he opened the impressive Factory Espresso which yet again showed his prowess with the bean.
The judges were all Bill’s Beans fans and in particular they enjoy tasting the single origin beans. This taste test however was based on house blends, the drink you get when you ask for a flat white.
This was where some of the judges felt let down. The general consensus was that the house blend quite simply was ‘Not what it used to be’ and that there was an underlying bitterness that detracted from their scoring.
Benson’s is where the winners of the competition, the Honeysett brothers at Dotted Eight, learnt the trade. This cafe knocks out well crafted coffee after well crafted coffee to the appreciative crowds and they deservedly came in equal second place.
Using a Bill’s Beans blend the coffee always scored well however the judges also felt that the blend, although unique to Benson’s, was a little on the sour side.
One of the judges stated that it ‘Ticked all the boxes but was just missing that bit of finesse that would make it great.’
Considering that Moshi Moshi are slap bang in the middle of a shopping mall, have plastic play equipment next to them and serve their coffee in paper cups, it’s a real testament to the quality of beans and technique of the barista in them scoring regularly in the eights and nines.
Using Toby’s Estate beans, the owners of Moshi Moshi impressed the judges with their latte art, speed of service and a brew that was technically spot on.
One judge commented ‘These guys are the dark horse in this competition. I wasn’t expecting much but I was delightfully surprised.’
Cafe Latte is one of the grandfathers of the Orange coffee scene. They’re serving Grinders coffee now but for years Cafe Latte was the only place to roast their own beans and they still have the machine sitting on the counter.
Like all the cafes in our top five, indeed in our top ten, they all serve good coffee. Some just more consistently than others. Cafe latte was let down by the occasional coffee that was either too hot, was a bit light in body or just lacked that touch of finesse.