At iBrothers, we love a good coffee almost as much as we love our technology. There is something special about a good brew to accompany a tech shopping trip, catching up on news and RSS feeds, general web surfing or partaking in the social networking game of your choice. If the venue has a decent selection of food it’s even better.

As a new addition to our blog, we will be sharing with you our picks and discoveries of great venues serving food and coffee whom also share our passion about quality and consistency.

LaManna Direct is a new addition to Essendon Fields. Marketed as a new kind of supermarket, it offers pretty much what you would expect from a supermarket with a twist. As well as what most supermarkets offer, they also present a selection of cakes and meals made on the premises.

The business is family owned and run with most of the staff working there seemingly part of the family, or close friends of the family and you can see this translated in the friendly greetings from staff as you enter to the selection of food and produce.

Recently, LaManna have opened their café and of course, we are never far away from a new venue offering coffee in the area.

General impressions

Friendliness is first and foremost with the barrister Derick, whose consistently good coffee has made this place one of our favourites, always courteous and quick to remember your regular order. The staff are always ready to offer a smile and despite the busy feel of the place, we are never left waiting. On the inside, the café opens up to the supermarket allowing the feel of the place to blend and makes you feel a part of what is going on. There are also tables outside which offer a view of the planes but at no stage is this ever obtrusive.

Coffee

The coffee served is what we would consider excellent and the prices respectable. It’s never too hot or cold and they manage to balance a large coffee for flavour and strength the same as the regular size.

The presentation feels homely and generous. The choice of cups are a plus.

Food

The food served is the same as what can be found at LaManna’s supermarket. Generally a selection of wonderful cakes is available and is again, of an excellent standard. Don’t expect the usual stale muffin here though. The cakes are made on the premises and are of the Italian variety.

If you have never tried a Sospiri (pictured) you are missing out. We found the standard of cake to be exceptional and coming from an Italian background ourselves, that says something.

The café also serves a light lunch menu.

Internet

Sadly there is no free Internet of wifi on offer and I am sure on our next visit we may leave some information about Internode’s free wireless hotspots with them. The location makes connecting to your mobile carrier of choice very simple with strong signal strength available.

Summary

Good coffee, good people, a friendly atmosphere, easy parking and a decent broadband signal make this an excellent venue for a coffee and a bite with the added benefit of a unique place to do your regular shopping too.