Scores: Coffee: 9/20 Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 19/40 Bean: di Lorenzo
With the first break in the grey cloud cover for what seems over a week, I made a dash out of my place. I headed for a walk down Enmore Road, to what seems the edge of civilisation (where the shops finish on Enmore Rd), to see what the periphery of Enmore has to offer – it is here I came across Art Espresso – the last cafe.
Art Espresso is as you walk towards Stanmore/ Marrickville down Enmore Road on the left hand side of the road. It’s a huge bright and open space with a very clean look and feel, which is at least different for the area. Art hangs from all walls of the cafe, with many styles all over the place, books are accessible for those of you without iPads or Kindles to check our and even the chairs attempt to make an impact with bright orange and yellow legs.
I took a seat near the middle of the shop, with a great view of the espresso machine and bizarrely a TV and waited. Service came over quickly and asked me what I was after. Flat white was the go, as it seemed like what everyone else was drinking.
Perhaps a side effect of the cafe’s clean look is its customer base. Unlikely every other coffee shop in the area, which is darker and more hipster in one way or another, this one could slot into Balmain or the Lower North Shore easily and as such attracts a far older audience. It’s just so clean.
I had great hope for Art Espresso, in the artistic sense – I’m a huge coffee art fan and with such a name as Art Espresso my hopes where hung high on the look and feel of this coffee.
My coffee came out very quickly, which was good as I was the only order on the books and was presented to me with the name of the coffee shop lettering facing me, intentional or not, good move in style.
All enthusiasm for an artistic coffee was shattered when it was placed on my table. Firstly, the level of the drink in the cup, which was a little low and looked like they ran out of milk and secondly, and more importantly by the total lack of coffee art, what the hell! In a café named Art Espresso I had hoped that some level of effort would have gone into the latte art… Oh proportions levels where ok, although a little foam heavy for a flat white.
Smell wise it’s a rather sharp drink in the aroma stakes and clearly has a chocolate tones running throughout. It’s not a bad smell at all and while did not make up for its sad look was satisfying.
Taste wise this sharpness in smell was still quite evident; most of the coffees experience was concentrated in the front of my mouth. I found whist the aroma of the coffee carried chocolate tones – the flavour was instead lead by a surprise nuttiness leaving the chocolate tones to play a secondary role, kind of interesting. A big positive of the drink was its balance there was very low levels of bitterness, which was very evident in the aftertaste that tends to linger, although I feel I should be crediting the beans more than the barista here.
Overall, I leave Art Espresso far more disappointed then I had walked in. There are just to many elements off about the place. The art on the walls is nice, but little thought has gone into its styling and a TV playing Pack to the Rafters did not add to the art feeling of the café at all and leaves me feeling like perhaps I walked into a retirement village café. The open space is nice but tends to bring in loud kitchen sounds, which is far from ideal. And while the coffee’s aroma, texture and taste were all fine (could be a good take away), the lack of latte art in a place, which calls itself Art Espresso just, kills it for me. It just set itself up.
Note: It has been suggested that there could be an abstract coffee art thing happening here. I do submit that theoretically this may be the case, as art is quite subjective to the viewer…
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 3/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 9/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): A hyperactive artists kid’s playroom
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 19/40