Coffee: 12/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 25/40

Wet weather draws Newtown’s residents to cafes like flies. This Saturday was unexpectedly no exception with grey clouds looming overhead. So like the rest of Newtown, Nerd 2 and I found ourselves walking between awnings and down pours along King wondering where to go where there was space to be had. Serious times do call for serious measures. One café, which we had never tried, is Twelve, not because it does not look appealing, but precisely the opposite it has that far to restraunt like feel which led us to think it would be well out of our price range.

Luckily, for us, for the first time, we had a read at the breakfast menu (and pricing) and found it’s menu temping enough and pricing near identical to the rest of King Street, so walked on into the cool looking space and grabbed two seats at the last free table.

Twelve I must say looks great, painted and unpolished cement floors, industrial lighting with red power cords leading to the light bulb, black walls (chalked on, of cause) and random bits of greenery (otherwise called plants) on shelves and tables. It’s easy to assume that this is more expensive then the typical Inner West favela cafe.

It did not take too long to track down a waiter and order; I went latte and Nerd2 a tea (we also got breakfast). Once we had successfully made this order I took a look around, many people in the café were drinking wine and having lunch, which surprised me until I remembered it, was 12:40, I was reminded again, I’m not really a morning person.

The coffee took a little while to come out, but then again, the café was maxed out, so we can forgive that. From first viewing, the coffee was a little disappointing (especially when compared to Nerd 2’s cool tea set up – Detox form T2); the coffee looked a little pale in colouring (shades of brown were, however, quite evident in the foam) all of which led me to a quick assumption that it would be quite a milky and dusty (in texture) coffee. The size, on the flip side, was (for me) a positive with the drink leaning more on the piccolo size scale then the gallon mug size. The Foam was a little lacking in quantity, but was still sitting within that ok latte zone. Art was minimal and it was evident from this overall look and feel that this was more a get-it-out-quick kind of pour rather than a seeing the coffee as an art canvas.

The aroma was balanced more upon the roast than the bean, roasted tones (a little like Vittoria – my coffee nemesis) ruled the aroma with little tones of chocolate and some sort of berry occasionally breaking out.

Taste wise, Twelve’s coffee, even with its smaller sizing was as I predicted a little on the milky side. On a positive, the flavour was far more evident than the look would have given on. The drink had a rather simplistic yet robust flavour range, like the aroma – based on the roast – it did bring through a few of the more fruity flavours then that French roast style typically lets in. The milk, even with those flavours, still played far too much of a role for my liking, leaving it as the dominant aftertaste. Letting it sit for a bit brought out some respite with increased acidity that countered the dominant milky flavours.

Overall, while service may be a little slow and coffee not amazing, you’ll be coming here more for the café then the coffee experience. It’s size, space (and size of tables) are unusual in Newtown and this lets you not sit shoulder to shoulder in a ghetto like environment with the people next to you. It’s also licensed and serves breakfast late so you can, without to much guilt, go coffee easily while others go a wine. And while not often considered by this nerd, it also seems far more children friendly the most spaces in Newtown. Oh, it also serves up food a good prices and with a simple and filling breakfast menu which, is a winner for me.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 12/20

2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): modern Australian café meets ad agency
Cool?: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Cafe: 13/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 25/40

Twelve on Urbanspoon

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