Update: In-Cog-Neato have switched to Botanica, the fairtrade and organic coffee beans offered by Belaroma Coffee Roasters.

If you are at or near the GOMA and State Library precinct and looking for a coffee option other than the ones on offer head for a little stroll down Melbourne St. There is a little spot called In-cog-neato just opposite the milk factory. It has been in operation for 12months. I am generally not a big fan of Aroma coffee but the lure of organic, fair trade coffee drew us in for a morning cuppa. Inside we were greeted by an ‘old school’ interior notably an old kitchen cupboard that came from a guy’s Grandma’s kitchen. We ordered coffees to have at In-cog-neato which were served in retro cups with a tiny teddy :-). In a sense it feels like having a coffee at your Grandma’s house, warm and homey in comparison to the sterile environment of the GOMA precinct.

In terms of the coffee, the barista told us something that we vowed we would not include on our blog! She said, “it has hints of caramel [nooooo…there we said it]. It is not a very strong blend and suits a broad palette.” Her description was on the money. The mild coffee flavour added to the coffee at Grandma’s experience. It certainly didn’t grab the palette with any degree of excitement but it was a suitable coffee. In-cog-neato was committed to the advertised fair trade and organic blend. Although promoted as fair trade and organic coffee on the chalkboard, we could only find an organic blend available through Aromas. Following contact, Aromas confirmed the blend was organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. You may like to know that Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certification are different.

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The barista said that Aromas was a great company that looked after her really well. She visited their factory at Murrarie to see and smell the “huge array of teas and coffees. The smell was amazing!” Aromas also supply the La venezia machine used on premises. The machine provides a reliable tool for busy coffee shops and has not caused the barista any grief. There is a cool alley available for you to enjoy your cup, however the queue of people we were behind mainly purchased take-aways, so there was plenty of space. It can be a bit noisy when the milk trucks roll past but they were sporadic. It’s well worth a stroll if your keen for a different experience to the GOMA precinct offerings or prefer organic and rainforest friendly coffee.

We have given 5 organic beans out of 10 – bit concerned about the “fair trade” aspect … let us know if you choose coffee based on ethical or environmental factors. Do you think we should alert you to our concerns?

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