Tuesday, August 17, 2010

coffee : green tambourine cafe

sometimes things aren't bad, they are just not to my taste. and sometimes things are bad.*

i was excited to learn that a new cafe was opening on albion street but didn't get around to visiting until today. it's got a cool name: green tambourine. i like green, i like tambourines.

they have lots of green things on their menu: green eggs and ham, pea fritters...err...other things. the menu is green too. and the tops of the chairs.

but the decor is unappealing, it's almost sterile. it has a real Ikea vibe to it. now, i am a melbourne wanker, but i don't need mismatching chairs, or milk crates (ahh, i do love you, a minor place) but i felt like i was in a a trying-to-be-funky school caf. perhaps once the cafe has had more use it will seem less so, but the place didn't say "welcome" to me.

the staff were friendly, though. until the girl who made the coffees coughed on us when we were paying.

the coffee was awful. it turned up looking all weak. ended up tasting like milk with essence-of-burnt-coffee flavouring. apparently, my friend betsy jane's strong latte was equally as milky. we couldn't drink them.

and then this was the kicker: a flat screen tv. in a cafe. where i am expected to read the paper and do my work and write my novel.

i don't think i'll go back.

a minor place, i am so sorry i cheated on you. but you were closed today. please never close again.

*other people have thought that this place is good. maybe you wanna trust them instead. i won't be offended.
UPDATE: i went back and tried the coffee again, you can read about that here.


  1. a tv? in a cafe?
    yeeesh. if i wanted to watch telly i would have gone to the pub, watched the footy show and bonded with the drunk old blokes in shorts!

  2. I think the sterile look is due to its newness. Once it has a few pictures on the wall and a few more people at the tables, it will probably look friendlier. Personally, can't bear TV in public places. If I wanted to watch telly, I'd just stay home.

  3. The TV is troubling me. While I can accept TVs in the local pub on footy night (not that I'd be watching), they're so not what I want in a cafe. Pea fritters, though... interesting.

  4. You are right Kate.o.d. you are a wanker i have been to green tambourine a few times and the tv has never been on ,i dont know what you dont like about the decor i think the place is welcoming and the coffee and the staff are great unlike the other place you mentioned

  5. Hey Kate, I know the place you are talking about. I went there over the weekend. Its funny you know, I was impressed with the decor and surroundings particularly the fire place, I enjoyed the warmth and cozy seating arrangements. I am also a veg and the menu appealed to me. I had two coffees which were smooth tasting and the vego breakfast, it was yum. The forest mushrooms were delicious. I would go back just for them!!! As for the TV I actually haven't seen it on so I don't think the idea is to have it on generally but for special occasions. I'll be there for the grand final - that's for sure, I hope they have it turned on then. Guess it depends on what you like but I was excited when I found out there was a new place and I will definitely be back.

  6. robyn - i think you're right, the place just needs to settle into itself and seem less new.

    anon2 - oh yes, the fireplace! i can imagine it would be nice and cozy. it wasn't lit when i was there. i noticed the mushroom dish, cuz i'm veg too. glad you found it tasty.

    i find tvs in cafes just so tacky. you're right though, for sports it could be good.

    but honestly, my coffee was awful and so was my friend's. perhaps it was just a one-off (two-off?). it's curious, because they use five senses coffee, which i use in my plunger at home and is really nice... a good barista is the most important thing for a new cafe.

    so i think this this place is just not for me. which is sad, because (like you) i was so excited that there was a new cafe opening

  7. Hey Kate, I'm Anon2, fair enough re your comments. I think you should have told them about the coffee, as I am sure they would have been happy to give you another free of charge and make sure you left satisfied. I was very particular with the way I wanted my breakfast (I am a fuss pot, that's why my other half doesn't like coming out anymore lol) and they got it on the mark. As I have been a small business owner previously, I think you should given them another go and give them the feedback. I am sure they will really appreciate it. They have gone to alot of effort to make sure customers enjoy their experience. Just a thought! Take Care!!!! p.s. I too love five senses coffee!!!

  8. will do. i know, i should have said something. thanks. maybe i'll see you there!

  9. Hello Kate, my name is Adam owner of Green Tambourine. I was made aware of your post recently. I was disappointed to hear of your experience and I would like to invite you and your friend in for a complimentary coffee. I do hope you accept my offer and pop in again. Just ask for Adam.

  10. hi adam. thank you for the offer. i do think your cafe is nice and welcoming, there's lots of room for families and your food looks very nice. i have come back since, actually, and while the coffee was better, it wasn't the kind of coffee i like. i'm sorry.

  11. Hi Kate, That's really strange as I have had some great comments about the coffee and as you know its five senses. The Barista's that work there have been in the coffee business for years and trained from some of Melbourne's coffee experts including courses that they are sent on. Yes, I love coffee and I am passionate about getting it right. Thank you for your feedback, it gives me something to work with which I greatly appreciated. Without such feedback, we can't improve. In the event that you are ever around, please pop in and say hello or if you have any further feedback for us please come in and let me know. Thank you once again.

  12. All this chat has got me curious! I will visit there tomorrow and let you know!!!! Watch out Adam, I have 3 kids in tow. CF

  13. Hi i visited the cafe a few days ago and i would like to praise the management there, it was a really warm environment and the staff were very friendly to me and my children, the food was great and the coffee was very nice, ill be coming back again especially for them forest mushrooms.... yummy!!

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