Coffee by the Beans (CBTB)

Home made berry crumble
Crumble that’s worth going out of your way for

date of visit: Monday 9 October 2017

Being out at Lockleys at an unholy hour of the morning (especially for school holidays) meant that by 10ish I was on the hunt for the nearest coffee. I was quite surprised that Google offered a very generous selection of quirky, indy coffee places along, or very near to, Henley Beach Road.

CBTB happened to be the nearest and while I failed in trying to convince a small person to walk there we were really lucky and got a park right out the front. On this note – the address is Henley Beach Road and Google tried to send me down Rowells Road, but you are better off turning on to Douglas Street. From here, you will spot the café immediately AND, gods willing, you’ll also score a park.

The café is quite small but seating is maximised by the use of long tables and benches rather than smaller, individual tables. We walked in around 1030 and it was busy but there were plenty of spare seats. About half an hour later, this situation had changed and it was really busy. While a lot of people were waiting for takeaway coffees, I’d still recommend turning up earlier rather than later.

Even though it was busy, the staff were very friendly and welcoming and before long we had a choc-chip biscuit in hand, an order for a babycino and long black underway AND a small slice of homemade berry crumble.

And, if I hadn’t ordered that berry crumble, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. One of my (many) bugbears is cafés that only serve food that comes in portions the size of my head. Sometimes – in fact, most of the time – if I want a snack, I want exactly that. A snack. Something small to tide me over til whatever I’m eating properly next time. So this small slice of crumble was exactly what was called for. What was even better was that it wasn’t ludicrously sweet.

I also liked that, as we were eating in, my coffee came in a proper coffee cup (Master 6’s babycino was in a paper cup – probably to avoid any small child related carnage) AND Master 6’s biscuit wasn’t massive either.

CBTB is not, by a long stretch, close enough for it to be my local, but the crumble alone makes it worth a detour!

Coffee by the Beans (CBTB)
Shop 3, 394 Henley Beach Road
Lockleys SA 5032
ph: (08) 8443 4007

coffee by the beans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Viva Espresso


date of visit: Wednesday 11 June 2014

I have worked in the CBD for almost five years now and never really written about my lunch (admittedly, someone writing about his/her lunch may be as interesting as the same person talking about their dreams …). When I worked full time I usually took my lunch (leftovers for the win!) and while I do now buy my lunch the two days I do work, I have been in something of a rut.

When I started a new job in December last year I had plans to explore new places but that never really got off the ground. However, one of my usual haunts has just put up the price of sandwiches AGAIN and I figure that $9 is far too much to be paying for the same old same old. Time to go hunting for something new.

Viva Espresso is only sort of new because it is actually very close to my work and where I head to buy my morning coffee. The coffee is excellent – I wouldn’t go back it if weren’t – and the staff are super friendly and efficient. You only have to be a repeat customer a few times before both your name and regular order are memorised. Even if there’s a bit of a coffee queue you don’t have to wait long (always important first thing in the morning).

I’d read some good things about the sandwiches so I figured that starting close to home was a good bet. The range of freshly made sandwiches at Viva is quite small (there’s a choice of about 6) but they all sound tasty and you get a choice of bread. I chose the beef and horseradish (with cheese, tomato, salad etc) option, on Turkish bread, partly because I love beef and horseradish but also in part because so often you get a really anaemic horseradish that you can barely taste.

The bad news is that the sandwich at Viva was $9.50, so I didn’t save myself any money. However, the sandwich was excellent. The horseradish had a good kick, the meat was moist and slightly pink and the salad and tomato was all fresh and crispy. I asked for the sandwich without mayonnaise and there was no mayo, so that’s also a big tick. The Turkish bread had good flavour (although I personally could have lived with more texture to it).

While I was waiting, someone near me was tucking in to the red lentil and vegetable soup and that looked amazing. It was a good size portion and that can also go on my lunch to-do list …

Viva also has a good range of sweet things and smaller savoury snacks so you’re well catered for, whatever you’re after.

If you are around Pirie Street, drop in for a coffee and make up your own mind!

Viva also roasts its own coffee and you can buy some to take home.

Viva Espresso
70 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8232 8545

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Product Review: Griffiths Just Fair Coffee


Disclaimer: I was sent the coffee to try.

Once upon a time I drank a lot of coffee. In my previous job, a group of us had a share in our own plunger and ground coffee round and, until very recently, my current employer provided us with a lovely barista grade coffee machine*. Almost 4 years ago, I decided 6 long blacks a day was probably a bad thing and went cold turkey for a while. Now, I have one (very infrequently two) cup of coffee a day. So I like it to be good.

Sadly, coffee is one of those products that is often brought to us by people who aren’t treated very well by the corporate chain in which they find themselves. Personally, I think it’s important to look for Fairtrade products, because in theory the farmers will have received a fair price (and fair treatment) for their raw commodity.

I’m pretty sure we all know that I also think it’s important to try to buy Australian. So while a small amount of coffee is actually grown in Australia (mostly in the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland) it is less than commonplace. Actually, even finding Australian owned, local coffee roasters is pretty tricky but one of these is Griffiths.

Griffiths’ new product is Just Fair, an Australian Certified Organic, Fairtrade coffee that is roasted (and ground) in Melbourne. I was sent the espresso beans to try.

The beans come in a tin, rather than a bag, which is very handy for storage (I don’t usually grind a whole tin/bag at once). They are, obviously, 100% Arabica. All well and good, providing the resultant coffee hits the mark taste wise.

Now, I confess we don’t have a proper coffee grinder at home (I am one of those bad people who uses a spice grinder) and often we find that lighter roast beans will end up producing a rather insipid cup of coffee. I’m pleased that this isn’t the case with the Just Fair coffee. It’s a good strong roast, with richness of flavour and a healthy kick of bitterness. I was very happy and I would recommend this for anyone who likes a strong coffee. In fact, this is definitely a coffee that I’d consider as an alternative to our usual brand.

Just Fair retails for around $12 for a 250g tin. You can buy beans or ground and there’s a decaf option too. For a bit of novelty, you can trace your beans’ journey on the Just Fair website.

* For the record, that machine has been replaced by an awful pod machine.  Productivity has, naturally, decreased!