Note: this will likely be more of interest to those located in Adelaide but the concept is likely on the rise elsewhere, so if it interests anyone out there, have a poke around to see if there is anything like this where you are.
Last Friday Henry introduced some of us to the somewhat new trend of Coffee Outside. It might not be a revolutionary concept, being more of a bringing together of things that people already do into one activity, but it’s a nice way to get away from trying to rack up KOM’s and the general competitiveness of cycling (even if it’s just with a bunch of mates).
Today was a slight variation of the all-too-familiar, go for a ride, stop for coffee, go home routine. It was coffee inside, but with a twist.
As you probably know by know, Adelaide is blessed with more than a few pretty good places to ride a bike. Point yourself in almost any direction and you will find yourself on a beautiful coastline, or in beautiful countryside full of rolling hills (and extremely pinchy ones), vineyards both big and small, orchards, cellar doors, a vast network of reasonably quiet roads both sealed and unsealed, a fine selection of cafe’s and bakeries in which to refuel and, usually in my case, over-fuel, while flapping your gums with your mates.
As is probably similar to most groups of cyclists, one of our crew takes it upon himself to organize a more formal ride once a month (which we all appreciate more than we probably indicate), meaning a route is planned in advance rather than roughly decided upon when we meet up, and usually ends up with most people grabbing a coffee and a bite in town after the ride before everyone heads home. Today we shifted the coffee stop to the middle of the ride, which, again, is nothing new.
Because there are cellar doors everywhere here, cyclists will sometimes ride out to a vineyard and have a tasting before carrying on for the remainder of the ride. This is essentially what we did today, but rather than head to one of the many vineyards, we headed out to a reasonably new business and a relatively new concept for a cupping: a coffee tasting.
Dawn Patrol Coffee is new on the scene, but they’ve made a good start. Located in Kangarilla, SA, they source the best, ethically grown, single origin beans they can get their hands on, roast it in-house, and offer tastings in the same style of their neighboring cellar doors. Kangarilla is carpeted with vineyards as far as the eye can see, and nestled amongst these vineyards is Dawn Patrol’s small cellar door where they do tastings on Sundays, which conveniently happens to be when we usually ride together.
After a warm start to spring with temperatures in the mid-thirties, this morning was cool and misty, so a warm cup was definitely going to be appreciated. Dawn Patrol is a little out-of-the-way, and in fact I almost rode by it (some of us did) before we realized we were there.
Let me clear one thing up. I don’t drink coffee. Hate it. Love the smell of the beans and fresh grinds, but drink it? No thanks.
They serve tea, if anyone else feels the same way, and have a really nice little selection of incredibly yummy treats. With that said, I had a taste.
They didn’t make a convert out of me, but I can attest that the tasting process opened my eyes (or taste buds) a little to the nuances of coffee. I did bring home a small bag of beans for my coffee drinking partner, which, as it happens, fits nicely into the back pocket of a jersey…
There is plenty of seating outside, and a more intimate space for coffee inside, where Dom, the front-man and our barista for the morning, made us a selection of fine coffee, prepared black and with care to let the beans speak for themselves. It’s got a pretty chilled vibe going, the inside feeling like someone’s basement lounge, complete with actually really good music wafting from the speakers via their record player.
The warming effects of the tea and the dribble of coffee having worn off and the temperature seemingly dropping from earlier that morning, we set off, beans in tow, back to Adelaide. I suddenly felt pretty good up the climb out of Clarendon, which I’ll choose to attribute to the caffeine kick from Dawn Patrol’s black elixir (and maybe the pistachio brownie and almond croissant…).
A good morning out, to be sure, even if one or two of your party isn’t into coffee.
So, whether it’s coffee outside or coffee inside, there is more than one way to pair a ride with the java juice than the usual ride/cafe/home routine.
Header image: source, all other images The Sticky Bidon