Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 17/40
There is something really romantic about getting on a flight to somewhere, even if it is just for a meeting up in Brisbane. Getting the taxi, ensuring you’ve got the right tickets at check-in. However what is far less romantic is the café options you can find at the airport both check-in side of security and gate side of the security.
My coffee adventure this morning finds me at 8:30am at Azucar café in the Virgin Australia Terminal in Sydney. Azucar, you must have noticed if you’ve been here before, is the only evident cafe option before security.
As you’d expect from the only café in sight before 9am Azucar does a booming coffee trade with people just trying to kill time before their flight or using it as a meet up spot. Myself, as one of these persons I get in the line for a coffee and hope for something magical. A small latte is on the cards.
Table service is a no go here so once my order has been taken, by I should note quite a happy barista, I wait around the pick up zone (like a Starbucks) for what comes out.
The coffee was made quickly. It was presented without its lid, which is nice for a take away, however not very useful as I assume they add sugar before the coffee is poured (or I assume). Overall, it looked quite poured and not styled (don’t do this if you’re going to present without a lid!).
The proportions of the latte were more or less there, I guess. Foam was at a decent level for the drink but really anyone could have done that and heat a little high for what you’d look for (but suited the older clientele).
Looking for a table, I wove around multiple tables full of sleeping persons and busy business people to find an awkward seat along the counter bench. It was a bit of an act aerobatics on my behalf slotting into the table but I felt grateful for scoring one.
Taking a sniff I found the aroma of the coffee to be reasonably spicy with a bit of an acidic thing going for it which seemed to linger, not unpleasantly so.
Tasting wise, I’m going to say this out right, I’m not a fan of this type of coffee. The coffee had quite an intense spicy and acidic flavour to it in the mouth. More so, the hot milk mixed with the bean to produce some sort of unusual almost caramel sweet notes. The flavours were at the basic level a mess. In saying all of this it was a bittersweet acidic lingering aftertaste which I thought was just rubbish. Why? Well to my mouth this kind of aftertaste powdery and just a little unpleasant, it’s just not a taste I want hanging around.
Letting it sit for a while, observing passengers suddenly realise they were about to miss a flight and try run though the maze of seats and tables. I found some of the stronger flavours of the drink tend to settle down and simplify (to the drinks benefit), the aftertaste clearly mellows and it’s a far more approachable drink.
Overall, it’s not often that I don’t finish a drink, but in this case I did (and I should have stayed as the coffee was getting better as it steeped into the milk). To be honest, Azucar coffee is not the worst drink I’ve had or even reviewed, but it was easy to think of an excuse to leave it, it just did not work for me (and was at a disadvantage as I don’t like take away coffee nor the bean). Moreover, atmosphere, this side of security, is a little nervous and the cafe’s tables have been pushed away from the airport action so it’s not even an optimal people watching spot. Ask yourself, how much do you really need the coffee?
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 4/10
Experience (taste and smell): 4/10
Coffee total: 8/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): an airport café…
Cool?: 4/10 (I do like airports, so this score maybe lower for you)
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 17/40