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The Best Coffee in Orange – 2014

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Craig and Malcolm Honeysett.

This year’s Best Coffee in Orange competition was a close one indeed. Between the winner and second place was a miserly 1.5 points, but all the judges agree,  the brothers Honeysett at Dotted Eight have deservedly won the award for the second year running.

Not only did Dotted Eight win the judges choice, they’re also the choice of the people, amassing an impressive 22% of the vote.

It’s not difficult to understand why you’ll find the best coffee in Orange at the Dotted Eight cafe. The single thing that differentiates Dotted Eight from every other cafe is consistency. As in last year’s competition the judges received great coffee, cup after cup. What let other cafe’s down is that on a few occasions the barista would serve up a coffee that was too hot, too cold, under extracted or there was just poor cupping. Some cafe’s made great milk-based coffees but failed with the ristrettos, not here though.

The Honeysett lads quietly go about their business consistently creating fine coffee from their Campos beans. Every cup comes with that familiar Campos logo elegantly crafted atop your cup and if consumed carefully, will make it’s way to the very bottom.

Dotted Eight take their coffee very seriously and have recently installed a cold drip system that for the cofficianados amongst you, will be yet another reason to visit the cafe.

Below are a few of the notes from our judges.

‘I want another one! Strong, bold flavours with good balance. Coffee temperature nice and hot bringing out the darker end of the roast. Milk temp good, care taken to eliminate any large bubble. Very enjoyable coffee.’

‘Woody aromas, smooth body all the way through. Friendly service without over doing it. These guys scored highly last year, and backed it up with a strong performance today.’

‘Good shot, well made, balanced, just lacking intensity and length.’

‘Although the bean (Campos) is mild and not to everyone’s preference, Dotted Eight rolled out consistently excellent flat whites and tasty double ristrettos.’

P1010192Second place: Hawke’s General Store

Hawke’s General Store nearly didn’t make it into the competition, if it hadn’t been for the suggestion of one of the judges, who discovered it when he moved to Orange 12 years ago, the team at Hawke’s would remain that lovely little gift shop on Sale Street. Now though, it will become a coffee Mecca for those wanting to experience what is equally one of the best coffees in Orange.

Where Hawke’s could improve is that old cafe bugbear, consistency. They were let down only by the awful power of the average. Although a real favourite with a few of the judges, Hawke’s just missed out. Hawke’s house blend is a 100% Arabica blend from Caffe Bianchi in Leichardt and below are some of the judges comments.

‘Double ristretto beautiful, great crema, no trace of bitterness, just perfect, and skim flat white just the right temperature and strength with lovely art.  No trace of the stale beans they used to have many years ago.  A surprising and very pleasant re-find!’

‘Slightly too much separation in the milk, maybe taken a little beyond 60C. Smooth, round flavoured coffee with a good nose. Nice dark roast.’

‘Very nice cup of coffee, up there with the best coffee in Orange.’

‘I had no idea that they even sold coffee here, but what a find! Smooth, well balanced with a terrific floral aroma. The temperature was spot on and the latte art was refined without being over the top. I’ve seen the barista elsewhere, here’s hoping he stays here.’

P1010170The one to watch: Scrumptious on Summer.

After the top two there are numerous other cafes all making great coffee, but one stood out at doing just that little bit more to keep what they call ‘The big fella’s’ on their toes.

If you like your coffee black or your milk based coffees on the hot side, give Scrumptious a crack, their ristrettos were judged third in town by one of the judges whilst another who had a long black declared it simply as ‘A lovely cup of coffee.’

There was only one cafe though in the whole of Orange that scored a 10. That was scrumptious in the Appearance section of judging. If latte art gets you going, these guys are masters.

If Scrumptious refine the way they treat their milk, it was pretty much declared as too hot by all the judges, they’ll be a real contender in the future.

‘Beautiful latte art. A fraction too hot, this has been the case every time I get a coffee here. Good balance of flavour for me, heavier on the darker end of the roast. Nice bitterness but still rounded body. Very nice coffee over all.’

‘Long black was a lovely cup of coffee. Well balanced with good consistent flavour.’

‘Nice coffee, a little to bitter at the finish and on the hotter side.’

‘Scrumptious did a superb ristretto but their skim flat white is weak and the texture is wrong, and usually served too hot.’

Category: Eat

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Article by: Mark Logan

Former photojournalist at the CWD, Mark Logan has mixed together his love of technology with his years of experience as a journalist and photographer to develop the Orange Post. The Orange Post is his baby. A baby whose gestation involved countless ideas, numerous bouts of indecision, an infinite number of hours cursing free software and more than one bottle of wine. Whilst he's not trying to cajole people into writing for the Orange Post, he's attempting to sharpen his vegetable gardening skills. He lives in a strangely shaped house in Millthorpe, loves ignoring recipe directions, dabbles in web design for fun, frustration and profit and is constantly in a battle of the wills with his dog Fergus