Taste Baguette, The University of Sydney

Short and sweet:

coffee 14/20 (good)
cafe: 28/40 (good)
bean: Campos
university: best place for sit in coffee
Universities have typically been thought to have, and really have been, plagued for years with bad coffee and shit food. As I still have 4 weeks of subjects left at the University of Sydney, I thought it would be best to review some of the coffee places on campus to prove or disprove this hypothesis.In a lunch break down with nerd 2, I headed for Taste Baguette, within the law building, just a short walk down the from quadrangle. Taste, is perhaps what one would call, a post-modern Sydney coffee chain, in that it’s a chain, but looks good and individual. Taste, or Campos on campus as it is sometimes named, has been highly popular since its arrival and churns out take away and sit in coffee, freshly baked pastries and fresh and creative baguettes.

I head for the table service section (yup classy for a uni) and am quickly greeted by one of the staff who quickly provides me with a menu and a glass of water. I do my usual thing and order a flat white while I wait for nerd 2 to come out of her law class. This café, especially in the seated, more expensive section, is filled with posh law kids, academics and the occasional arts hipster. Many students sit here, like myself on their laptops desperately writing to meet a deadline, or doing a reading before a tutorial.Looks wise the café is cool, with really interesting mix heavy wooden benches and tables, random pot plants and bird cages sitting around and some low hanging lights. The café is very bright, as it opens up well to the outside seating and grass section, however a little fish bowl like, to those lounging on the grass.
The coffee comes a little slowly, but its not unreasonable given the huge takeaway line outside the café. Looks wise, the coffee is pleasant, with some effort having gone into the design of the smooth and silky foam and on the downside the cup is a little dirty, but clean enough for student standards.

The café uses the now Sydney famous Campos beans, it is a really pleasant espresso roast. The aroma of the drink is fantastic with a rich spicy, nutty smell to the drink.
The coffee, itself is made well, with a reasonable job in proportioning the milk to foam levels. Taste wise, there are the typical campos flavours, which many have come to love, however I find that my coffee is a little under extracted and more milky in its taste then I would have liked. The drink is not unpleasant to drink as it gets cool at all and does develop in flavour.

Nerd 2 shows up and orders a chicken salad of some sort, which looks pretty amazing when it comes, and I get a Portuguese chicken baguette on dark rye, which is very tasty, which is lucky, given the cafes name! The café over lunch and beyond serves beer and acts and an unofficial quiet bar, which is great comprimise for those wanting a coffee, while your mates wanting a drink.
I really rate this café for its dine in experience especially so as you have to remember this is a uni campus. For the usyd student its great place to get an assignment done, do some last minute reading or just browse the web on your laptop or ipad over the free uni wifi. The down side is, that is it really expensive, compared to normal cafes on campus and around the local area even if you present your uni ACCESS (discount union) card, and out of reach for those on the cheap, although they provide you with other options (see below).
how i rate it:

coffee: 7/10

style: 7/10

total coffee score: 14/20 (good)

service: 6/10, (I had to deduct one point for the price!),

attitude: stylish uni hangout cafe.
do i like it?: 8/10
total experience score: 14/20,
total: 28/40 (good)

-Take away-
To completely review this café I went back the next day to get a take away flat white. Typically, the line for this café is about 10 to 20 deep, however as I have a 10am class I was here at 930am, and found the line to be very short.
The enjoyable thing about takeaway here is you get to see the great looking pastries in the long counter, and the smell of freshly baked bread can be very enjoyable.
The take away system works on a name calling system, which works quite well. In rush times they have 2 coffee machines running so drinks are mass-produced with reasonable pace. There was chance for banter from the staff, which is sometimes the best part of a take away coffee experience.
They have a choice between small and large, and with a ACCESS card the price becomes very reasonable at 2.55 (5 cents seems a little bit of a scam to avoid stocking too many 50 cent coins.) In line they ask me whether I want sugar in my coffee, which I don’t but it’s a great option if you do as it dissolves far better.
Once I get my coffee, I find, yet again, a well-proportioned, smooth and creamy looking drink. The taste is not too dissimilar to my last coffee, with some nice nutty flavours to the espresso blend used. However one of the major disadvantages of the coffee was that, given the lid, the nice aroma is quite masked, which is where some of the enjoyment of the drink came from.
Looks wise, coffee shops today are trying to do more with their cups, you find this one, hosting the typical Campos brand cup, which is reasonable attractive.
My major fault with the drink was that it was a little cool. It’s a touch call to make however, as it is better, in my opinion to have a well made drink which cools quickly, then a burnt drink which stays hot longer.

My major fault with the cup was in the writing of my name on the lid, they use a marker, which is fine, however the ink ended up on my nose, which is amusing, but not fantastic if I wanted to impress!
While not as good as their sit in coffee, Taste does provide a good quality, good looking, competitive cup of coffee for any student looking for that morning, mid-morning, lunch time, afternoon, early-evening, evening pick me up. The take away part seems to close at 6pm.
So it’s a decrease in quality of the coffee and the experience, however an increase to service rating.

how i rate it (take away addition):

coffee: 6/10
style: 7/10
total coffee score: 13/20 (good)
service: 6/10
attitude: classy bakery law cafe that knows what’s going on.
do i like it?: 7/10
total experience score: 13/20
total: 27/40 (good),

NOTE: Given so many students get take away, I thought it would be fair to judge all on campus cafes from a possible a sit in and take away options.
When ordering, I will ask for sit in option to start, If no sit in option is provided, I will judge from normal sit in standards, regardless if all they have is takeaway, although I will note it was a take away coffee.
Take away standards I judge differently, when looking at the style rating. Service and experience should be similar in scoring.
However, if a sit in option is available, I will judge the coffee shop on both sit in and take away scores and average between the two. I will leave in, sit-in scoring for readers information, but will score from the average score.

how i rate it (total average)

total coffee score: 14/20 (good)
total experience score: 14/20
total: 28/40 (good),

Likes: Cheap take away, great places for a stop between classes, has beer and food which means a mix of options for all students.

Dislikes: expensive sit in prices, long lines over break times

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