Caffiend: The Olive in Flagstaff
THE SCENE CAFE OLIVE, FLAGSTAFF SHOPPING CENTRE, HAMILTON
The trade: Chiasso Coffee (Auckland)
Price per double flat white: $4.20
On the ground: The Olive foiled Caffiend and the Writer once. They rolled into the Flagstaff shops on the words of Sue from Diesel Mechanical Ltd.
"It's my local cafe and I haven't seen a review as yet - although I could be mistaken," she wrote last September.
"The service is great and so is the coffee, food, ease of parking."
It was closed that morning and Caffiend swore.
This morning, however, it was a hive of humans. He walked in sans Writer and ordered a double flat white. Everyone was smiling. Strange, he thought. The lady behind the counter failed to mark the word "double" in even the faintest way and he asked whether all coffees were double. "Yes," she said, "we don't rip people off here."
Good. Caffiend took a seat on a couch opposite a man eating a muffin and reading a magazine. Soon, he felt awkward and moved to one of two free tables. There were 30 odd people spread inside and out. Most had grey hair. Caffiend watched an elderly man's ear move and wondered how large his own would grow if he got that far. A young girl delivered his coffee. She paused after placing it and peered at the saucer. A little dribble had spilled out and she fetched a replacement saucer. She left Caffiend in peace. He dipped and swirled and sampled. Temperature, perfect. Froth, decent. Taste, strong. An excellent brew? Almost.
Verdict: 7 out of 10. Decent coffee, fine service
Stimulus: Which has more caffeine - a can of Red Bull or a chainstore short black? The energy drink just pips the espresso: 80 milligrams of caffeine compared with 75 milligrams. A cup of drip-filter coffee tops them both with 145 milligrams, according to data from a United States Food and Drug Administration report, Caffeine Intake by the US Population.