CHOICE names Australia’s best coffee

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 22nd July 2010

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has awarded Michel’s Patisserie top honours in a review of ten of Australia’s coffee chain stores.

CHOICE brewed and reviewed espressos made from the standard beans used at ten of Australia’s top coffee chains.

Michel’s Patisserie CoffeeMichel’s Espresso beans came out ‘a clear winner’, with a taste test score of 80%. Reviewers commented on the ‘good colour’ of its crema, its ‘smooth’ flavour and ‘pleasant’ aftertaste, with ‘no detectable bitterness’.

Second place went to The Coffee Club’s Certified Signature Blend, with a 75% test score, then Jamaica Blue’s Signature Blend at 70%. Gloria Jean’s took the bottom spot, with the Gloria Jean’s Special Espresso Blend coming in at only 40%, pipping Starbucks Espresso Roast at 45%.

Despite their poor showing in the CHOICE taste test, reviewer Matthew Gee said that Starbucks won points for the consistency of the quality of their in-store brewed coffee, although “if you favour a stronger, bolder flavour, the Starbucks consistency isn’t necessarily going to yield you a great-tasting coffee.”

Michel’s Patisserie Marketing Manager Pia Harrison said an award-winning coffee blend and the team of talented baristas was the key to delivering Michel’s’ quality coffee.

“Our internationally certified professional coffee tasters source the highest grade beans from specially selected coffee growers across the globe. In fact, our unique blend is sourced from a boutique grower in New South Wales, as well as those in Nicaragua, Brazil and Ethiopia.

“This ensures Michel’s Patisserie’s coffee blend is full-bodied and rich in flavour which appeals to the Australian palette. Michel’s Patisserie’s coffee blend is designed to stay away from the North American habit of disguising bitterness with sweet syrup flavorings, and instead to complement milk-based cappuccinos, flat whites and pastries.”

Ms Harrison said all of Michel’s baristas learnt the tricks of the trade at Michel’s Patisserie’s national barista training course to ensure consistent quality and taste.

“Michel’s baristas go through rigorous written and practical training programs before they can make coffee in store. We work hard to develop the skills and proficiencies of all our staff – from making the best soy macchiato to creating the tastiest double short black. Our baristas are some of the best in the town, making great tasting and great looking coffees.”

There are more than 335 Michel’s Patisserie stores operating across Australia, employing about 3,100 staff and serving around 26 million cups of coffee and 9.5 million slices of cake each year. The Michel’s Patisserie franchise network is owned and managed by Retail Food Group (RFG).