A latte is a combination of the warmth of the glass in your hands, the taste and the aroma. There is a relaxation, a transporting to a more relaxed dreamy feeling, when suddenly WHOOSH , there she/he is with that dreaded bottle of cleaning fluid waving it around over a table and filling the air with that antiseptic enemy of coffee. I have tried explaining how it spoils the enjoyment of my drink; I have explained how easy it would be to wring out their little cleaning cloth in a small basin of something out the back and how that would be sufficient for wiping down tables. I’ve agreed that I know all about health and safety regulations. I’ve even walked out and left a barely touched coffee behind. Perhaps it’s just me. But I cannot enjoy a delicate latte if it has to compete with the smell of cleaning fluids or petrol fumes. Ah, it’s spring, let’s throw open the windows to that T-intersection with its constant flow of cars and trucks. And let’s smellywash the floor an hour before closing time. The trouble is that it happens in the places which have skilled baristas and because of their convenient locations I keep going back and resign myself to the occasional bad day.
Fortunately there are plenty of cafes with impeccable records in my book. One such is situated on the Barwon River and as you reach the door there is a series of three stepped fish ponds. So soothing.