First off, a warning, this is a coffee-only post. Much as I would have loved to have tasted the smoky bacon, the aromas which waft past me as I take a seat on the homely leather couch, or many of the other great sounding food offerings on the menu, I have a sole mission of coffee tasting today at Bean Drinking, Crows Nest.
Bean Drinking has been a stalwart of Crows Nest casual dining scene. As long as I can remember coming to Crows Nest, this café has been a beacon of great coffee on the lower north shore. In fact, Bean Drinking has been in operation since 2005. There’s an eclectic mix of seating options. As I sink into the leather couch, there’s tables, a bar style setup, tables outside and even a grassy bank to take in coffee and some rays! It’s always busy, whether its the mothers and fathers brigade during the weekdays, or young couples on the weekend, so you need to get in early or be a little patient. I am here on a Sunday morning with some gentle jazz in the background, the quiet of hum of diners, the sizzle of pans, and the clanging of the portafilter as another shot of espresso is completed, makes for just the perfect mood for a tasting flight.
Bean Drinking is serious about coffee. Their Slayer espresso machine is mighty impressive, and the attention to detail of how the team go about preparing, presenting, and talking about their coffee, is impressive.
As I alluded above, today it’s all about the tasting flight and when it arrives to the table, I am impressed with their classy presentation – very sophisticated – that I feel somewhat under dressed! The service staff are extremely helpful and I ask for suggestions on the tasting order. It’s suggested I start off with the cascara. A tea? or coffee? A refreshing summer beverage? Funnily enough, it seemingly fits in all those categories! The cascara is fruity, floral and quite a bright coffee with a prominent cherry flavour and lends itself perfectly to a summer drink. It is a very lightly textured drink and a unique coffee experience.
Next up is the cold drip. I am excited about this tasting as I have heard good things about it. I adore the cute little retro medicine style bottle the cold drip is presented in. As I pour it over the rocks and take that first sip, I notice the step up in intensity over the cascara. It’s beautifully refined and so smooth to drink, owing to the many hours its taken to produce. The flavours are still subtle but they all work together so harmoniously.
Finally, it’s the nitro coffee to finish off the tasting flight and it’s akin to taking sip of your favourite stout. Firstly, I am struck by its aroma. It so reminds me of beer, so strange, yet enticing. As you plunge in, you will be struck by the creaminess of texture, very different from the cold brew. Again, there’s more intensity with some rich berry flavours coming through, the nitrogen adds a cleansing sensation and really cleanses the palate. I also think the nitrogen adds body and structure to the drink. A fitting way to finish a fine flight of coffees.
From a light tea textured cascara to a full bodied nitro coffee, Bean Drinking delivers an amazing coffee experience. If all of this nitro, cold drip and casc-what? is throwing you off, don’t worry you are well looked after with equally good lattes, cappuccinos and espressos. Make for Crows Nest and Ernest Place to Bean Drinking for an exciting coffee experience.