She's one of the best

21:57, Aug 09 2010

Coffee lover Virginia Winder reads and reviews flat whites in cafes around the mountain in search of Taranaki's peak pick- me-up.

Where: Frederic's, New Plymouth (revisit)

Coffee count: 10 out of 10

Barista: Nicole Attrill

Beans: Ozone, Paramount blend

The buzz: When it's a rainy day, taking coffee pictures can become ludicrous. It's all to do with light and using a discreet phone camera, which doesn't handle inside shots well. So, at Frederic's on Saturday, the "discreet" went out the door. When the coffees arrived, my sidekick grabbed a bar stool and placed it under bright lights by a set of doors, which he held firm. Our teenagers kept watch in case anyone tried to enter. The Coffee Cow took picture after picture, aware her cover was blown, and then retired to the corner to taste a perfect flat white. It was a cup of caramel and smoke, sweetness and a hint of chocolate. It was packed with crema, topped with meringue froth and a simple picture. When I drained this temperature-perfect drink, the insides of the black tulip-shaped cup were coated with a brown coffee skin, like over-caked foundation. Then I scraped the bottom with a spoon and thanked barista Nicole Attrill for her top service and great coffee. She's one of the best.

Short shot: Scientists the world over are still researching the benefits of coffee. But it appears all they are doing is giving credence to what people have known for centuries. Back in 1657, when coffee was first imported into England, an advert said it all: "A very wholesome drink that helpeth indigestion, quickeneth the spirits, maketh the heart lightsome, is good against eye sores, coughs, head-ache and the King's evil."

Flat white forecast: A side-on view of cartoon lips has appeared in this week's cup. The message is simple: it's time to kiss and make up. If you are having a conflict with anyone, it's time to sort it out. Don't wait for the other person to make the first move, because it may not come. Away you go, make peace.


Taranaki Daily News