A LOVE LETTER TO ICED LATTES
It’s during the weeks circumnavigating the Tour Down Under that Mother Nature in all her fury decides to crank it up. Not only does the weather beat down upon Adelaide throughout January, but the rising sun is what waves to you each morning, welcoming you into the hills and a slight if barely noticeable escape from the soaring temperatures.
When aiming to stay cool, heading indoors could be a good option, and really should be considered the only option. Unfortunately for us and many who had travelled across land and sea for this week of bike racing, making the most of our reason for being present required us to be outside. Enter microdosing.
Taken from a week long study likely to get us banned from any and all UCI level races across the next 12-18 months (~damn~), here is a love letter wrapped up into a comprehensive guide to our chosen alternative approach to air-conditioning when it comes to beating the heat: microdosing on the frosty bois of the arabica variety.
Latte, long black, brew, and if you’re after a dose equivalent to a can of NOS coupled with a 2 YEAR UCI DOPING BAN: cold drip. These cold brews helped our bold crew through the hottest week we experience every year, and so, as romantically as possible we saw fit to conduct a performance based analysis of microdosing these iced coffees across their various forms. What we didn’t do was take on any real scientific studies into the properties and abilities in regulating body temperature, not did we deep dive into whether drinking a heap of caffeine on a 40ºC day does your body and its fluid levels any favours at all.
What you can absorb are the following facts and figures in this series of reviews as the crew slammed down some coldies in the name of pioneering #science. May the loose, anecdotal and not very rigorous evidence of how they enhanced our particular day on the bike help educate on the process of microdosing caffeine for your own athletic efforts.
“A winning combination of great coffee and bagels in creatively converted garage.”
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The perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD, and any potential peloton sized lines for coffee during TDU, let us introduce you to Tell Henry. Gallery and studio in the back, coffee shop and café in the front, this has all the makings of a hell cliche romcom between two very artsy types. There has definitely been a cheesy playlist or two handed over within these walls, and there has most definitely been innuendo filled conversations about the raunchiness of Century.
All x-rated history aside, this place does as the tagline suggests. They sling some wild bagels with some hectic toppings to choose from, these boiled and baked joys coated in a generous layer of cream cheese will kiss your tastebuds with such passion you’ll completely forget about the person who rejected your playlist-driven advances.
Park up inside at the tables and stools, or grab a teeny tiny chair outside and kerbside dine. Let the staff, so completely “hot as shit” that they must have been hired from a modelling agency take care of your morning wake up. Fall in love with the freshly brewed iced latte, send your heart a flutter with breakfast on the street, go slack jawed when the hot staff members ask you cash or card. Let this place be that perfect spot to kick off a big day of riding in the Adelaide Hills, The Parade and Norton Summit not all that far away.
STIRLING CELLARS & PATISSERIE
“Sleek cafe and bottle shop with pendant lights and a marble bar, for specialty coffee and wines.”
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A stage rolling through Stirling was the first ever stage we witnessed as Young Soup Boys, and since then any stage running through the leafy greens of the area instantly becomes a fav. A mad scenic and rather lumpy route normally offers up really good racing, but the off-course vibes and one place in particular gets us weak at the knees every time.
If the stage finished in Stirling, we always make sure to kick back at the Stirling Cellars & Patisserie until well after the punters have left, ensuring a solid post ride sesh followed by a Campbell Flakemore x Hubbard collab-free journey down the old freeway back into town.
When the stage is simply passing through on towards other pastures, we still ensure our race watching itinerary centres itself around a visit to the very same place, and despite 20km between our first coffee stop of the day and Stirling, we made sure to swing by for iced latte’s, 1.2L worth of Solo: The Thirst Crusher, and a curated selection (what was left in a raided front cabinet) of pastries.
Here we were nestled nicely in the coffee shop side of what is effectively a super nice bottle-o. Listening to the Jurassic Park theme song and applying it to freshly curated memes that brought together cycling and “what are those?” culture, we happened upon the venues Chief Sommelier Massimo Hendér.
Renowned for his extensive product knowledge, hands on capabilities and deep, rich Italian Passion, he provided us with a completely unsolicited wine lesson. Having spent a few months of 2018 in prime Prosecco, Valpolicella and Soave country, he was in his #elemnt showcasing the sultry curves of each curated bottle, and like we were at a fashion week after party introduced us to the velvety tannins and complex bodies of Stirling Cellars fine Italians.
“Formerly a Bank of Adelaide, Crack Kitchen is now focussed on quality food and coffee, serving time-poor office workers during the week.”
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Like the iconic Dave Chapelle meme this cafe may or may not be named after, we couldn’t have come back fast enough for another hit. In 2018 it played host to our breakfast almost a handful of times, and it wasn’t before too long that we were back on the alfresco stools for another opportunity of wilding out with the staff, and taking onboard some freshly iced brews.
The table-wide choice of cold brews paired perfectly with a morning bircher that was spring manifested onto a plate. The freshness of each spoonful mixed with the cooling sensation of our cold brews cooled us into a morning already heating up, while the caffeine gave us enough perk to slowly build motivation to jump aboard two wheels.
DUTCH COFFEE LAB
“Coffee, cheese and bikes: the Dutch Coffee Lab has all three, though sadly the bike hanging on the wall isn’t for sale.”
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Sure so far we have proved that early and mid morning microdosing can certainly help with motivation and body temperatures, but what of its abilities for post ride recovery?
There were no better testing grounds than Adrian and Finn’s shelled bodies, slumped across a couch outside a Dutch inspired coffee shop in Port Adelaide. 65km ridden in temperatures mostly around the mid 40’s meant their bodies were beginning to slow roast over the tarmac coals, while the contents of their bidons were primed for cooking pasta.
A lifesaving combination of shade, a comfy old couch, butter cake and a drip fed iced coffee proved to be the clincher in being able to make it through the rest of a day that wasn’t showing any signs of cooling down.
The addition of ice cream AND cream accelerating the overall process of brew-injected performance enhancement, while the butter cake so enriched with butter clogged arteries, meaning that hot blood was trapped, allowing the newer, cooler blood to flow around the shaded torso.
It’s science; look it up.
“Snug cafe with a minimalist fit-out and ceiling-high windows, for filter coffee and light bites.”
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It takes a special space to count multiple SBC visits on the same day, but Exchange Coffee has been able to have that in its books for a few years running now. This trendy spot sits at the top of a pyramid of other coffee shops within physical view, its popularity come TDU never waning.
Say it’s an Adelaide equivalent to Midtown if you’d like, but they serve up an excellent frosty boi, and one that was much needed before the slog out to Glenelg to see the start of the days stage. Served in a rotund glass, this combination of Blend 43, milk and love has to be one of the best in the city. Change our minds, but remember we were back for a second dose a few hours later.
“A Parisian-inspired café favourite has metamorphosed into something special. Say hello to Hey Jupiter”
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The most French hole-in-the-wall type place you could imagine Adelaide having just so happens to be conveniently located across the street from Treadly. Sit down on the stupidly French woven cane chairs outside and transport yourself to the streets of Paris with a wine list that has just about every single French wine AND croquet monsieur varietal. Let your order be taken by the very French owner who probably has a handful of stories filled with heartbreak to tell you, and who now has the demeanour of someone who was a pack of day smoking Parisian poet in his early 20’s.
Now he’s just a brooding brasserie owner, but damn his establishment is a fine one. The coffee’s are tiny for the price, or perhaps its in the hope his summer love from the romance of 1988 comes back to cradle a cup in her dainty hands.
Because the coffee’s are so small, splash out and grab the café au lait as it’s probably what Romain Bardet would do, and he’s France’s best coffee-drinking cyclist, leave Alaphilippe to his 4 cans of Monsteur before stepping outside every day. Just know the authenticity of the place will have you hearing echoes of Edith Piaf each time you take a sip from your glass, and you’ll be tempted to throw certified stud Olivier Giroud up as your phone wallpaper background for the rest of the week.
HOME GRAIN BAKERY
“The finest breads, pastries and sweets from scratch alongside locally roasted Villere coffee.”
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What microdosing list would be complete without a single, very humble country bakery. You can ~thank~ Melbourne coffee culture for bringing coffee to mainstream Australia, otherwise everywhere else outside of Fitzroy would still be on that International Roast. And so we have the Home Grain Bakery in McLaren Flat, one of 3 locations south of Adelaide.
No doubt the cornerstone to many semi-regional hitters launching an assault on the bike races in the big smoke, they serve it up quick and damn cold, the paper cup absorbing as much energy from the ice cubes as possible to ensure your hand has a nice little cooler long after the drink has been finished.
Paired perfectly with a big donut fresh out of the oven, in the case of McLaren Flat it’s the perfect antidote to listening to Matty Boi, and an ideally timed feed zone on your way to Willunga Hill.
Now obviously we haven’t hit every single coffee spot in Adelaide, hell Tripadvisor advises us that there are 297 which means if we hit all of them, it would be a South American, single origin take on a famous Spanish operation as opposed to cold, calm and calculated microdosing through cold bevs.
Got a fav? Let us know, god knows we’ll be needing all the cups of cool-down our hearts can muster during TDU 2020.