Have you ever been to a coffee matching meal? Fo’ real! Us either! So when we got invited to a Zomato x Di Bella Coffee meet-up at The Village Cafe in Balwyn North, were were all in! And yes, we purposely refrained from having any caffeine that day knowing we were going to get a significant hit of it that night…and possibly not sleep the rest of the week!
Sam, the owner of The Village Cafe, who’s been in the industry for 28 years and prides himself in turning this once failing cafe into an example of the best of the best in his area, is incredibly passionate about his business. And yet, he doesn’t take all the credit of success for himself, he acknowledged his amazing team, pointed to Moe (their expert barista), gave kudos to his full-time chef (not present at the time) and a significant nod to his wife for doing marvels in the back of house.
Speaking of marvels, our coffee matching evening started with a Citrus Tart (made by Sam’s wife) paired up with Kenya Twiga AB espresso. Hands-down, the citrus tart was our favourite dish of the evening – just sweet enough, just tart enough, just smooth enough. Sam, we think your wife needs to make more of the desert dishes!! 😉
As for the coffee, the kind folk at Di Bella brought along expert Moshi Tawil of International Coffee Traders, who blew our minds with the intricacies of coffee tasting. This international coffee connoisseur dished out a whirlwind explanation about, well, everything coffee! From the green fruit to, to how fair trade actually works, to how this commodity is treated on the stock market; his stories had impact and were very interesting — there was some serious rock star quality exuding from this man!
Now how about the espresso? If my father drank that little cup, he would have said, “Wow, that’ll grow hair on your chest!” ha! 😉 It was an intense but brilliant taste – enjoyed hot, but whose notes change in a good way as it cooled down. And thank goodness we had Moshi there to guide us through this tasting, otherwise much of the Di Bella coffee flavour would’ve been lost in our reaction to its intensity, as opposed to observing its elements.
Were were taught about calibrating ourselves to the coffee and explained that – just like a fine wine – coffee has elements which must be assessed before you can call it a good cup or bad cup.
Moshi’s 5 Essentials to Coffee Tasting:
- Aroma – you know – that thing that drags you out of bed every morning when the coffee machine turns on! Does its aroma make your mouth water?
- Acidity – compare it to the bitterness you’d taste if eating a lemon peel – how strong is the acidity? Just enough? Too weak? Overpowering?
- Body – is it full bodied like a thick hot chocolate? Or thinner and more watery?
- Flavour – can you actually taste a flavour? Or does it have so many flavours you can’t pick it? Moshi confided that a single flavour is actually the way to go!
- Aftertaste – is it pleasant or not?
Okay, onto the next course: a warm and incredibly rich and gooey Chocolate Lava Cake matched with Di Bella’s Tanzania Shiwanda Estate AA, via a long macchiato. Mine was with soy, hubby’s with normal milk – yet both of us were able to taste that intense rich tone through the little layer of froth. A bow to the barista Moe. Although tasty both on the plate and in the cup, course 1 was still our fave.
Our third and final course was a slightly Sweet Kenaffe matched with Di Bella’s House Blend Felici in latte form. The cake was light, fluffy and a nice clean taste after the previous death by chocolate course. The cup o’ coffee? Solid. But after having the more seriously intense flavours from the previous courses, we think its affect on us was less impressive as our mouths were expecting the boldness of a pure, little cup of Di Bella coffee. But, nevertheless, the latte was still yum!
Overall? The Village Cafe has a seriously passionate owner and awesome barista – making the single origin Di Bella coffee go a looooong way for the likes of Balwyn. It’s too bad Moshi isn’t the resident coffee rock star there though; between drinking their bad*ss coffee and listening to his bad*ss stories, you’ll never sleep again! 😀
If you’re in the area, definitely worth getting that cuppa joe – be it on your way in/out of town, or for just a chilling out in their open, airy cafe.
Coffee Flavour: ★★★★★✔
Coffee Quality: ★★★★★✔
Value: N/A – we dined as guests for this evening.
Address: Shop 2 / 74 Doncaster Road, Balwyn North VIC 3104
Tip! If Moe’s making your cuppa joe, don’t be afraid. Order any coffee and you’ll be right! And make sure you try their in-house made sweets, cakes and muffins!