Well, this was an interesting one. Where to start?
“Briki” is a relatively recently re-opened café near Thornbury Station, at the old location of The Brickie & The Barista. I’ve often cycled past it, and it’s quite conveniently located on my way to work, so I felt I really had to try it some time. Also, while I’d never been to the predecessor Brickie & Barista, I had been told it was very good.
Fair warning: if you don’t like rants, you won’t like this one.
The place looked very promising: a little corner store with a hole in the wall, people from young to old standing around chatting with each other – it generally looked like a vibrant little place with a sense of community. It appears to be an independent business, so I really wanted to like it.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. I’ll start off by giving a rough breakdown of how I got to the final rating.
- Bro-level: 1/5 stars
- Service: 1/5 stars
- The actual coffee: 1/5 stars
Let me elaborate. The first thing that struck me, is that there were two bros doing the coffee work. One of them, the guy running the store, was giving directions to the other one, who appeared to be an apprentice-bro. Fair enough. The other member of staff, the only lady human, was relegated to smiling at the customers over the cash register, and cleaning up the tables. Perhaps she doesn’t know how to make coffees, but it’s such a pattern that it’s hard to ignore.
The service wasn’t amazing. The wait was pretty long, and annoyingly, a brusque fellow customer skipped in front of me just when I was at the head of the queue. They also put the espresso in a paper cup instead of a ceramic I asked for. A bit disappointing. I want to cut them some slack though, because they were clearly swamped with customers, and the dude making the coffee had to direct the new guy too, so that’s fair enough. Everybody has to get a chance to learn, after all!
Anyway, after all, I was more than happy to just have some coffee in my hot little hand and fill myself with caffeine. I opened up the lid of the cup and found a massive amount of liquid. A standard flat white cup, about two thirds full of what was meant to be espresso. It was scalding hot and mostly tasted like burnt water. I’m not going to waste more words on it. It was significantly less tasty than the push-button automatic coffee machine at work. I guess I am spoiled at work in that regard, but still, I don’t expect a $4 freshly made espresso to be bested by any automatic workplace coffee machine anywhere.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ll be coming back here. Maybe it’s teething issues, but with the surly service and frankly poor coffee, I’m not sure there’s much to be done.