If you’re going to set up a cafe in close proximity to an existing one with a great reputation, you better have “do a bloody good job” in your business strategy. Sadly, the owner(s) of Black Gold Espresso do not appear to have considered this.
The cafe is locate on the corner of Epsom Road and Mentmore Avenue at Rosebery, less than 100m from the head office, roastery and cafe for Allpress Espresso. I actually skipped a coffee at Allpress to try this place.
The space is clean, light, airy and modern. Approximated 20 average-sized cafe tables are generously-spaced inside and out. Some of the outdoor tables are offered shade from the black umbrellas with distinctive green Campos logo.
First impressions count. Unfortunately, visitors are given no indication whatsoever that it’s an order/prepay at the counter affair. Like many of the people around me, I made the mistake of sitting at the table for almost five minutes before marching up to the counter. Failure to have some signage is one thing, but having staff stand back and repeatedly watch customers make this mistake borders on systemic and institutionalised arrogance.
The young woman who served me may have smiled once or twice in her life, but it wasn’t today. She mumbled her way through my order (coffee and lunch) and she left me less than assured that I would receive what I had ordered.
The fear was misplaced. I got the food and coffee items that I ordered. But I wished that I’d asked her for a “good” or “great” flat white because the default seems to be “average to mediocre”. For a coffee made with Campos house blend, the flavour profile was downright insipid. Super-heated milk (almost at boiling point) from a professional barista was most disappointing.
Come for the (excellent) food and have a fruit juice if you want a drink. This place is going to struggle to stay alive if coffee is in any way central to it’s plan for success.
[This review is also on Beanhunter]