Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Grounds of Alexandria

Coffee, with its distinct aroma, one-of-a-kind taste, spirit lifting and energising qualities, is top on my hit list every morning.  Nothing beats waking up to a perfectly brewed cappuccino and so, I devote many of my lazy Sunday mornings finding the perfect grind!

So what makes a good cappuccino?  It requires the perfect marriage of a number of factors including, having well blended coffee, achieving the perfect grind and successfully steamed milk.  

A well blended coffee for me must have an earthy taste to it, is rich and not be too bitter as I don't drink my coffee with sugar. 

The perfect grind is important because it can ruin even top quality beans and because it is so easily affected, I think this step distinguishes a good barista from a bad barista.  As a general rule of thumb, the grind should be set on extremely fine but different machines, water pressure and humidity means that the settings should be adjusted accordingly, with one sole purpose - to achieve extraction between 20 and 30 seconds.

One may wonder how you could unsuccessfully steam milk.  Easy I say.  Successfully steamed milk is rich, creamy and heated to the right temperature (and not burnt).  The foam must be ultra fine with no visible bubbles.

Here at The Grounds, I found consistently quality coffee.

Good coffee needs to be complemented with good food.  I am quite a fan of the lunch menu here because it has a good variety, the ingredients are fresh and presentation is exquisite. 

I ordered the House Cured Ocean Trout on Sourdough with sliced cucumber, soft boiled egg and edible flowers.  It was beautifully presented, tasty and refreshing.  Loved it!

We also ordered the Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Rocket Salad.  A little light on the dressing but well presented and fresh.

This is not the first time I have visited The Grounds, and all in all, my experiences have never been disappointing (be prepared to queue a bit on weekends though).  The venue is situated in an old converted pie factory on Huntley Street and Burke Road, Alexandria.  With its black and steel frames and vintage wooden tables, much of the rustic and industrial characters from the old factory have been preserved.  The cafe also opens out onto The Ground's own garden of self-grown vegetables and fragrant herbs, picked every morning and used in the cooking.  To the left of the garden is even a little chicken pen where you will often see families and children gathering around to spot the chooks.  This is a place that really will fascinate everyone, from the young to the old.


The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A, No.2 Huntley Street
Alexandria  NSW  2015

The Grounds of Alexandria on Urbanspoon

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