07 October 2012

Not quite John Gorilla - Factory Cafe Review

Yesterday, being a perfectly miserable day, a friend from West Brunswick and I decided it was high time to check out all the fuss about the newest café in the area, John Gorilla. Unfortunately we didn’t count on nearly everyone in the vicinity having the exact same idea as us. Faced with hungry stomachs and a wait over half an hour for a table, my friend suggested we venture around the corner to a lesser known café by the name of Factory.

Cafe review: Factory Café Bar
Where: 453 Victoria St, Brunswick West

Well, it was certainly a different vibe to John Gorilla, more of your trendy warehouse I suppose. I was suspicious at first of the tea selection – initial surveying of the bar area showed only T2 canisters, but on closer inspection 5 large brown bottles of the medical variety containing tea were discovered. Mystery tea then! I do love a mystery so I promptly ordered an Earl Grey. We settled in vibrant green couches by the window to wait for drinks and a spot of breakfast. It felt like it would be a lovely atmosphere to enjoy tea, with the rain running down the window and the dim lighting.

The tea was brought quickly with very pretty and lightweight cups, loose leaf in a metal teapot. My friend asked the waiter if he knew what brand this mystery tea was, to which he replied 5 Senses.
5 Senses the coffee company? My friend and I were quite puzzled by this – she works in the tea industry and as far as both of us knew, 5 Senses didn’t have much to do with tea. Now I was apprehensive. I won’t go so far to say the coffee and tea are incompatible in a company (McIvers are an excellent example of getting it right) but I would not typically expect a dedicated coffee roasting company to put a lot of care in to their tea.

It was…definitely an interesting interpretation of an Earl Grey tea. In our opinions it had an overpowering English Breakfast flavour that didn’t match the bergamot. Perhaps I ordered the wrong tea to taste in this case, being unfamiliar with 5 Senses other brands, but I really couldn’t drink even one entire cup. I was sadly envious of my friend’s cup of Lemon Verbena blend, grown and dried by the workers at Factory. The food was excellent, and I will highly recommend the baked eggs (with haloumi and coriander relish) and Factory itself, but I will definitely be steering clear of 5 Senses’ Earl Grey after this experience.

The Rating
Atmosphere: 4/5
Available food: 4/5
Tea range: 2/5
Tea had: 1/5 (3 for the lemon verbana!)

Overall: 11/20

On a side note: if anyone knows who supplies 5 Senses with their tea or if they import it themselves, would be very interested to know!

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