Admiral Cheng-Ho, Abbotsford

Posted on by snoffeecob


This is a tale of a beautiful sunny day punctuated by a very disappointing coffee.

I was heading to the Abbotsford / Birrarung river / Dights Falls / nature park whatever area, and it was roughly coffee time. I happened to spot Admiral Cheng-Ho on Johnston St, and remembered that a few years ago an acquaintance had recommended their coffee. I didn’t recall any details (such as whether this acquaintance had trustworthy taste, or what aspect of the coffee they said was good — I soon came to regret my forgetfulness. Either that, or they’ve changed owner in the intervening years) but thought I’d give them a try anyway.

My first surprise was that I was charged $5.35 for a double espresso (that’s not even for a single origin, because I don’t tend to roll that way). I guess in our current climate of high cost of living and increasing inflation, that’s probably going to be more and more common. I figured I shouldn’t focus on the negative, and instead be thankful that I can still afford the occasional coffee. Plus, I said to myself, this way I’m supporting a local business and presumably buying myself a super-tasty espresso! Yum!

Unfortunately, the espresso was definitely not super-tasty. I could see it would be underwhelming as soon as the friendly server put it down on the table in front of me. The cup was filled to the brim (easily 4x the volume I’d have expected for a double espresso) and the crema was white and foamy rather than a dark rich colour with an oily texture. A self-respecting specialty coffee shop would’ve thrown this out and started from scratch, rather than inflicting it on a customer.

It has been a long while since I haven’t bothered finishing a cup of coffee, but it really wasn’t worth it. It had barely any flavour (vaguely ashtray-like), so I cut my losses after taking this photograph. For all I know, their food might be amazing (beware: I cannot confirm either way), but if you’re just after a coffee, give them a miss. Maybe I was just unlucky with the barista, who knows.

Luckily I enjoyed a beautiful sunny walk around the park and along the river, so the afternoon was salvaged after all.