The scene: Beanz and Machines, 1 Hillcrest St, Tirau
The trade: Otobahn Coffee (roasted on site)
Price per double flat white: $3.80
On the ground: Too many choices can wreak havoc on Caffiend's brain. For example, there's Tirau. It's a drive-through coffee town, and everyone seems to have skin in the game there. So many times Caffiend had no idea where to go for a decent brew and, via an exercise of too many choices and too little knowledge, ended up in the wrong place and purchased little more than a bad memory. Then, a recommendation appeared from the ether. Try Beanz & Machines, off the side road at the top of the hill, the message said. It turned out to be a good recommendation. It's a coffee connoisseur's's wonderland of tulip cups, machines, tampers and grinders. Caffiend took his brew away alongside a man of high-level brass. Both cups came with a wrapped bite of milk chocolate, as well as a chocolate-covered coffee bean on top. The froth bubbles had popped a tad too much by the time Caffiend got his camera out, but the taste and intensity did the damage. The brass man gave his an 8 out of 10. Perhaps the note on the cash point summed up the essence of the place best: All our coffees are double shot, it said, and if that's not you, then request a single.
Verdict: 8 out of 10. Docket manners - "Thank you for your valued custom - please call again."
Stimulus:Espresso Stories - The Secret Life of Coffee is now on show at Waikato Museum in gallery 8, telling the historical tale of the bean drink and the emergence of cafe culture in Hamilton. There's also a curator's talk on October 26 for an hour from 11am.