Coffee @ The Cupping Room, Hobart

The Cupping Room, Hobart It’s billed as “a team of coffee pro’s doing what we do because we love it. Here you will find all things coffee done the way we like it. We think you will like it too. :-).” It’s 3rd Wave coffee in Hobart so I had to try, but I left feeling a little bit underwhelmed. The Cupping Room is so close yet so far to being a great ambassador for the specialty coffee movement.

The setup is great. A huge warehouse with room for plenty of beans, roasters, a cupping station and a great open feeling cafe. The fit-out is well done, great furniture, some classy light fittings and some nice street art keeping the atmosphere light. There is a huge blackboard listing around 50 single origins that are stocked with the available beans highlighted. Taking this classy setup down a notch is the gold stencil of “The Slayer” on the back of what is a beautiful looking piece of hardware. Tacky.

The service though is left lacking, the decision not to provide table service confuses me at any cafe. But here, when the product is a new way of experiencing coffee which the public is not familiar with, it is all but criminal.

The Cupping Room, HobartSpecialty Coffee is complicated and confusing but at the same time it is very rewarding for the drinker. The price of a great cup of coffee is downright cheap, but someone new to the experience just needs a little pushing. A specialty coffee menu (like a good wine list) can be intimidating and an uninitiated customer just wants a latte or a flat white. They don’t care about the Tanzanian Peaberry or the Mexican HG Chipas. But with a little staff guidance they could become an easy convert.

The biggest let down though, was the execution of the coffee. To be fair, my double espresso a Tanzanian Peaberry was good. Rich fruit flavours with a hint of bitterness. The 2 lattes on the other hand were a disappointment. The first latte was well presented, but the milk was watery, completely lacking the creamy richness which I expect from a good coffee shop. I suspect some of this is to do with the milk itself, I spotted a bottle of Pura Full Cream on the counter.

The Cupping Room, Hobart

The take-away machine

Finally, I made my way again to the counter for a take-away coffee to make my walk through Hobart bearable. A take-away latte with the Mexican single-origin didn’t seem like too difficult a request but you can imagine my surprise when it was turned down. Apparently they don’t make take-away coffees through the Slayer and the waitress told me perhaps that they would if there weren’t so many coffees up. Apparently people drinking take-away coffee don’t deserve the same choice as dine in.

It didn’t matter, the latte was passable, definitely not good. It had an earthy flavour and the same watery milk. I walked away with sub-par coffee and the opportunity for the Cupping Room’s coffee to redeem itself was wasted.

I’ll be back to give it another go, but there’s other coffee in Hobart I hear is worth trying. So I won’t be rushing.

Thanks go to Nola for pointing me in the direction of the Cupping Room. Her review (with food) is here.

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61 Responses to “Coffee @ The Cupping Room, Hobart”

  1. Nola commented:

    Pop into Pigeon Hole cafe if you have time, It’s on the corner of Molle and Golburn Streets in West Hobart. Go when you are hungry and have a panini too, they’re excellent. Pigeon is my favourite.

    You know my thouhgts on the Cupping Room from my review. So no need for me to comment here. I wonder if a bunch of Anon commenters will question your ability to review coffee also?

    Good work. I hope Tasmania has treated you well.

  2. Steve commented:

    Hiya Michael, it was a pleasure to meet you on the weekend. I am keen to check out the cupping room myself on those rare occasions I get to the big smoke, Hobart that is!

  3. Carlos commented:

    I am not anonymous. My name is Carlos, and I would gladly challenge you to do a cupping with us. I certainly do question your ability on ANYTHING coffee.
    We will publish your abilities to taste coffee properly for everyone to see.
    Game on?
    And Nola, why don’t you step in to the ring as well?
    Carlos
    The Cupping Room.

  4. marley commented:

    you’ll never get take away coffee on a slayer fast anyway because the machine is flawed and a show peice !! there i said in it’s just not practical pre-infusion only on 1 group at a time, seals don’t hold and only a few can truly work one hence not many around and those who have wish for a paddle mazzoco good luck to both of u and knowledge well lets fight that out because flavor is perception and nola could be a supertaster and or pregnant at that and you’ll be screwed in a cupping contest givin shes got a basic knowledge of coffee but the real problem with this is your response to challange and profess your amazing knowledge come on people like your are the reason coffee is so many miles behind the wine industry to many wan@@ers telling everyone thery are alkl that rather than listening

  5. Finntroll commented:

    You all suck.

    I am no coffee connoisseur but I like my coffee and the cupping room’s coffee is in a different league to any one else I have been to.

    I have only one non positive comment. The two guys who make the coffee, the slightly older one that is in the pictures above. Every coffee from him has been fantastic, I have noticed though the younger guys coffees just weren’t as good. Still good just not fantastic. He has been slowly getting better and better, I just finished my morning coffee which was made by the younger guy and it was fantastic, seems like he is now par with the older guy… well nearly :P

    The only one that is close it oomph, the coffees made by the younger guy at first where very much like oomph’s coffees. I think the main difference is in the milk, the older guy at the cupping room his milk is not as hot and they are really nice and creamy, oomph their coffees are much hotter, the milk tastes more watery and it has that kind of burnt flavor.

    Like I said I am no coffee connoisseur, I just like to drink coffee and to me The Cupping Room make it just how I like it so I will continue going there every day. Apart from Monday as it’s closed which makes me rage…. Monday should not be a coffee free day any I refuse to buy other shops coffee as it tastes like cr@p in comparison.

    On a site note:
    Nola, I read on your review “As a photographer, I always believed that given the worst camera in the world, a great photographer would still take a great photograph. And given the best camera in the world, a bad photographer would still take a bad photograph.”

    I am software developer I have never owned a camera in my life. How about I take the $80,000 hasselblad camera from my work and take a photo and you can take a mobile phone and take a photo and see who’s is better.

    Also you photos on your site are shocking, they are very grainy, colours are all vague, contrast is horrid. I am unsure how you call your self a photographer.

  6. Marinus jansen commented:

    Checked this site as the slayer is on eBay. We have four slayers in our stores and five and six on the way, seven if we count one of our customers in the field, busiest 3 group does 120kg a week. Not Saying it’s a busy machine, but you can move volume and they are the best machines we have bar none. Biggest prob with slayer is it brings out the actual skill level of a Barista, if you can’t cut it slayer is your nemisis. Alternatively if you can it’s unbeatable. We love em. We also spend enormous amounts of time on our staff training and cupping. Slayer made us do that again and more importantly in a very measured and balanced way.

  7. Clarki commented:

    Up until recently I would generally agree with all the many positive and effusive comments made about The Cupping Room – the food is tasty and the coffee some of the best in Hobart. However, recently my food and my coffee have been incredibly slow to arrive, and the doe-eyed young staff equally slow to respond to beckoning clients and pointedly checked watches. Today, when I went in there at 3pm there were plenty of said young hipsters floating dreamily about, and few customers to serve. However, when I politely queried the length of time taken to produce my latte, I was told in no uncertain terms by the belligerent young man to “not come back”. Maybe he was offended by my lack of appreciation for his latte art; or maybe he was just a jumped up little prick, but he followed that up with a “I’ve got four places in Hobart and I know what I am doing” comment guaranteed to raise any well-meaning customer’s ire further. Levity aside, it is displays of rudeness and downright aggression like this that lead to the failure of so many hospitality operations in Tasmania. Unlike cities like Melbourne and Sydney, Tasmania has no service culture of which to boast, which, combined with a prevailing over-inflated sense of entitlement as displayed by the young barista at The Cupping Room today, is sadly discouraging of any improvement in the future.

  8. Jules commented:

    Carlos seems like a dickhead. Not planning on ever going to The Cupping Room. Plenty of good coffee elsewhere without owners challenging patrons to Cupping Duels and questioning taste.

  9. Tim commented:

    What’s the relationship between The Cupping Room and the ‘Soul Church’? (www.soulchurch.com.au)

    I like my Coffee but I don’t want to inadvertently support a ‘Happy Clappy’ God bothering new age cult.

    Coffee can be a religion however, I don’t want the beans disturbed by deluded twenty something’s who have confused being a compassionate person for religion.

  10. Michael commented:

    Thanks for the comment Tim. It amazes me how the plot is thickening.

    I’ve never heard of the Soul Church before but I’ll keep my ear out and it certainly seems that they and the The Cupping Room are hand-in-hand in one way or another.

  11. Tim commented:

    Reply from Owner of The Cupping Room:

    Dont worry Tim,

    you are not supporting a happy clappy new age cult.

    There are no deluded 20 somethings here except as you would find anywhere else that serves coffee.

    There are no members of the Soul Church that work at Cupping Room.
    The Soul Church are a Presbyterian Christian group that have asked us if they can use use the premises for their meetings.

    I have said yes to that. They are a wonderful group who are doing good things for the community and I wholeheartedly support any such groups.

    I hate cults, and if there were a cult looking to use our place I would certainly not allow it.

    However, if you have a problem with bible believing Christians, then you are going to struggle as there are plenty of those about. Thank God.

    Carlos.

  12. Emma commented:

    The Cupping Room looks so promising, a bit of garage chic. Unfortunately it stops there. I’ve tried the coffee a few times, each time hoping that the previous coffee was the fault of a tired staff member or bad bean, but alas. Life’s too short for bad coffee, and there are much better places to spend your coffee dollars at, like Pigeon Hole or the newer Pilgrim on Argyle St. Life’s too short for bad service too – and on two of my three visits, the customer service was significantly lacking.

    Oh and Carlos, if you are really the owner of the Cupping Room, judging from your comments, I’m not sure that you’re the best ambassador for the business.

  13. stef commented:

    They are rude cunts! I just went there with a friend for coffee, and asked if i could please have a cappuccino with vanilla, since i saw that they had monin flavour syrups sitting on the counter and thats what i like. The woman at the counter turn up her nose to me and said “we don’t do flavoured coffee!” to which i replied “…even though you have flavour syrup right there” her response “we dont do them!”. No explanation or a simple “those are for….”….she was the single rudest hospitality experience i have had in ages. Absolutely unbelievable…..

  14. Luke commented:

    Nice, I typeed “the coffee room hobart” into google and this came up as the first search result. The comments by punters I expected and that wouldnt put me off, but its a bad look for the owner (or claimed owner) to come on and respond in such a way.

    Good site, good to see you are so high in google rankings compared to the venues own site! top work