Down Some Suburban Laneway

Off the main strip on an unknown street stood an unnamed café with a reputation that reached me last Saturday. 

Ambiguity, the epitome of cool, I’m obviously not in the know because the name was nowhere to be seen.

Word of mouth brought me in from the heat plus an ex-barista from Caffeine had raved about the coffee. It was Atomica, so it took me a while to make my way in there.

Nothing against Atomica, one of the four fathers of Melbourne’s roasting explosion, but we serve their blend so on the weekends I tend to seek out different tastes.

Down the suburban laneway was a beautifully set up café, tightly spaced with meek lighting and a relatively rude staff. Food was travelling at the speed of light, table to table, and I was squashed between a register and old school San Pellegrino memorabilia when I ordered my takeaway latte.

“Strong soy latte thanks.”

“That’ll be four dollars.” I glanced at the menu twice to make sure it was really that expensive. It was.

I searched my purse for the acceptable amount of twenty cent pieces then went to wait for what I thought would be ten minutes.

Thirty minutes later I received an awesome coffee, I was impressed, it was fabulous. They used a different blend than we do, it was Atomica’s Den blend, very smooth. But a half an hour for a takeaway, c’mon now, I do have a life outside the café!

I accept taking time out to make a perfectly crafted beverage, especially if it’s over priced, however, there should be a rule that takeaway coffees come first.

There is a lid on a to go, so latte art is unnecessary. That’s thirty seconds gone. Also, people that come in to sit and have a chat with a friend should not take preference. They’re planted, ready to take their time. Minus ten minutes thirty seconds.

So the wait time could have been nineteen minutes, still too long. Yet I have found when getting takeaways from an assortment of cafés that this is the usual alotted time.

It takes about a minute and a half to steam milk and 18-23 seconds for a perfect shot of espresso to pour. That’s roughly two minutes to make a coffee, thirty minutes is absolutely unacceptable.

I know, I shouldn’t complain, the coffee made me stop in the middle of the street and forget about the oncoming traffic, I immediately wanted another.

Unfortunately, I had other things to do than feel awkward waiting in a cramped unknown bar.

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