Sod the Coffee, Pour me an Absinthe.
I enjoy life in a near perpetual state of ‘caffeination’ I find it more conducive to driving than wine, and my children seem so much nicer after my first cup of the day. I also like my coffee shops like my love life, pretty vanilla. If you happen to be under 30 and ‘sans enfants,’queuing in a tiny, hole in the wall café for ten minutes is no biggie. It may be exceptional coffee, (each bean ground by rescued pangolins ) a wonderful vibe, and an excellent Barista, but in my world the piped ambient jazz and fudge collagen bars are less of a selling point. I’m looking for more. Do you provide colouring sheet and crayons? How high is your bar stool? (subtext: how severe a head injury will be inflicted when one of my brood falls off it?) and is your table bigger than a side plate? When I do end up in the city in one of these joints, I am usually like an exhausted cattle dog by the time I reach the counter, due to the constant herding of my kids into a straight line. Every time it always goes down the same way.
Perky counter girl: What can I do for you today?
Me: ( How nice of you to offer, please amuse my children for a couple of hours, whilst I get a foot massage.) Can I get a latte please?
Ms Perky: A latte?
Me: ( Is there an echo in here? Of course a latte, look at me woman, I am a middle aged disheveled lady with three children, and an egg stain on my sweatshirt, I am paying you with a handful of change from the bottom of my handbag. The chances of me ordering a warm, soy, turmeric and beetroot concoction are pretty slim today.)
Me: Yes please,
Ms Perky: suurrrre, regular, skinny, soy, or almond milk?
Me: (Do you have yak milk please..I was raised in a yurt in Mongolia..I would love a taste of home?) regular is fine thanks,
Ms Perky: Suuuurrre, de caf, extra shot?
Me: (can you just not.) No, just normal please
Ms Perky: small, regular, large or Max luxe?
Me: Max Luxe? (Max Luxe?)
Ms Perky: Max luxe?
Me: What is Max Luxe please?
Ms Perky: It’s like an Extra large.
Me: ( Then just call it an extra large woman…you are messing with a me at 8.30am in an unusual and cruel manner …I am a hormonally challenged mother of three, who has not had her first coffee…just waterboard me and have done with it ffs.)
In my opinion, when cafe doors are opened at daybreak, the coffee should be lined up in paper cups on trays. In a similar fashion to tables of water during running races, so weary mothers can just drive their strollers past, slow down and chug down a few cappuccinos on the move. In fact just let them chuck their change in a bucket on their way out, without having to utter a word to anyone. We don’t want to talk excessively, not even to our own offspring.
Love Us With Coffee
I have found Dome to be a reliable half way house on the coffee landscape.Reasonable coffee but not too intimidating. Dome is an unusual Perth Coffee house franchise. It claims their cafes are styled in the manner of the cafes and coffee houses of Europe. Having visited numerous cafe establishments in Europe I can firmly state, No. They are not. Not in this century anyway. The closest style I can detect in decor is by likening it to the illegitimate and ugly love child between a Freemasons lodge, and an 1860s Absinthe Den. Am I being a little unfair? You be the judge.
Freemason Guild USA
Absinthe Den, Paris
Don’t get me wrong I love dome. It has comfy sofas, child friendly booths, activity sheets and magazines galore. Everyone enjoys looking out of the windows, chilling out, and pondering the big questions in life, like why Dome chose to represent a map of the world, in meat, in a fresco on the ceiling. However, lately Dome has got a little too weird for me. I am beginning to suspect they may be gas-lighting me.
Last week I was delivered extra napkins with my coffee, not one or two but about fifty, How thoughtful you may say, for someone to supply extra napkins for sticky fingers…except I was alone. Then in an unrelated Dome incident someone asked if I would like my Garden salad… warmed. WARMED.. What the actual? The only time a garden salad should be warmed, is if its growing in an actual garden in Singapore before being prepared.
The other strange incident involved a complete stranger coming over to my table and shoving a hand full of sugar and a tartare sauce container in my bag before winking conspiratorially at me and then leaving. Did I look like a homeless person? Had I unwittingly been drawn into a smuggling ring? Was she now waiting round the back for her naive sauce mule to hand over the goods?
Be My Sugar Mule
I began to wonder if there was a dark web of smug baristas out there, Identifying those coffee shop mums who had crossed the line or held it up with their broods of children and their java ignorance. Those unimpressed by hearts carved in foam on their lattes. This seemed a little far fetched until last night in Kwinana Dome, when I was asked if I needed a straw for my coffee. Wait, but what? A straw?. Do I look like I could do with a straw? I quipped in a non threatening jovial fashion. “Oh a lot of people prefer a straw, its kind of in”. Really?? How does this even work. How does your straw not melt..or your tonsils? Do you get a bigger caffeine hit? Is it like sticking two in your alcho pop when you were seventeen and trying to suck up the lot in a single breath? I had to go home and google this. Sadly my fears were confirmed. I could find no such craze sweeping the nation. So, I am left with the sneaky suspicion I just looked like a ‘drooler’ and she was on table wiping duty. On the upside I did discover what IS the latest fad on the Perth coffee scene, and I can confirm I will be abandoning Dome to have a go at this one. Anyone want to join me for a coffee served inside a CAKE! Damn yes, make mine a triple red velvet,extra full fat, triple cream, double shot….In fact make that sucker Max Luxe!