Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 26/40
Bean: Allpress Coffee
Coming from the inner west, it always amazes me the hive of activity which can be found in other suburbs of Sydney in the morning, more so at just on 7am. This morning finds me back in Kirribilli, trying out what must be one of the more popular cafes in this ever popular suburb.
Ricky’s cafe under the bridge is a very popular cafe, you can tell this as it’s 7am on a Wednesday and people are lining up for a table. Perhaps it has something to do with its station proximity, or maybe the cafe’s cool look, but I would give it more credit than that, people will walk a long way for a good coffee.
I stealthily grab a table as a couple leaves and sit down. Service here is incredibly fast and just as I’ve settled, a girl has come over with a menu. “Just a coffee” I say, a look of irritation passes her face instantly and disappears just as quickly, I get it, I’m causing problems, just a coffee on a busy morning. A smile is on her face again, “latte thanks” I reply, “sure thing” she replies.
To give you a typical idea of the type of customer here at Rickys – the couple beside me sat down, the waitress came over, they looked at her and said, “we know what we want” and then without the use of a menu gave a huge and quite bespoke breakfast order.
The coffee arrived soon after I’d ordered.
While I could see it made in front of me, on the counter I was a little disappointed in the presentation. No effort had been made to the coffee’s art. Pour consistency was ok, although it layered a little light. Heat right up there, close to, to as hot as you can drink it levels. I reckon my ‘for here’ got treated as a ‘take away’ as these are all elements you’d not mind or even look for in a take away espresso.
The coffee on tasting I found to have a reasonably nutty flavour, and it did blend with milk creating a balanced and mixed flavour. Although, it should be said the heat of the milk disrupted the more complex nature which can be often found in the Allpress bean. There was a lingering flavour, what i would describe as a weight to the roast, which, once you been drinking it for a while, really makes you feel like you’ve had a coffee, it’s a lingering after taste.
While waiting for my coffee to cool down, I had a look around the place – it’s a nice space, interesting industrial feel, with some bright and vibrant colours. It works really well with the industrial ‘under the bridge’ feeling.
Having let the coffee cool, allowing the flavours to have steeped into the milk, the drink improved significantly. The steeping process brought forward an interesting cafe con leche / caramel type flavour (which does, I must admit come from the highly heated milk) with some slight nutty undertones to it which does give a slight punch to the drink.
Overall, like Ripples down the road, I’m walking away not totally sold on this place. The space, music and staff make for a wonderful morning atmosphere. It is a place full of energy and life. The coffee however is the killer, with little attention put into ‘have in’ during a rush, it is a let down. One can only hope when things quiet down the presentation and attention to detail would come to the surface far more.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 5/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 11/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like):
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 26/40