Apparently, The Bean Barn won the Ballarat Courier Award for 'Best Coffee in Ballarat' - hence my visit and what a truly lamentable experience it turned out to be. Either this business has changed ownership or there is something seriously amiss with the Ballarat Courier's system of allocating awards for 'Best Coffee' ... Both coffees were utterly undrinkable - thin, watery looking crema and a taste so bad, it is difficult to even begin to describe. Thought it may have been the brand of soy milk they were using but the skinny flat white was just as bad. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.....
Made a killer coffee and service wasn't bad from the girl who served me, but some of the staff were arrogant and it looked like they were told not to accept encouragement and praises. If I want a good coffee in Ballarat but without talking to The baristas I will go here, but as a barista I want to talk about coffee and feel uncomfortable doing any more than ordering here. But once again, coffee was absolutely amazing.
I don't enjoy going here really but i will when it is convenient. The coffee is Good but I find the cappuccino slightly too bitter and thin with next to no froth. That might be personal preference. The atmosphere is uncomfortable but I could never work out why. Asking friends I found out that they have a reputation for good coffee with a side of smugness.
I found myself in Ballarat, so thanks to beanhunter- I was able to track down a few cafes to visit. Bean Barn seemed like the best option, and was not too hard to find. This was a major positive for an 'out of towner'. The layout is much like any other small cafe/roaster, with retail coffee available on display as you enter, a lovely little Linea machine at the counter, comfy seats, and the roaster at the rear of the shop behind glass. No toilets are available, which was unfortunate when one has traveled for so long. Staff are friendly, and help describe the coffee available. I noticed signage at the counter indicating that the roaster had won several awards for his beans. So this left me with rather high expectations. I ordered a strong espresso, which arrived within a few minutes. At first glance, the shot was very long and crema was thin. The taste was as expected- being an Indian bean, it was supposed to have notes of various spices. The body was not as full as I would have liked, and while this is not the type of flavour I look for in coffee, it was what the description on the hopper stated.
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