The visit at Oriole in the CBD was somewhat of mixed cup. The service was amazingly friendly and they were really happy to chat about the coffee and the staff seem very knowledgeable about it. The quality of service was also a surprise as a location like this usually struggles to keep that level of service, so really pleasant from that perspective. Unfortunately the quality of the actual coffee did not at all match the talk.
First a bit about the location though, it is in a mall and office building so not exactly a charming location but they have done their best with the space. There are some really nice seats (the booths) and some decent comfy chairs but the also a lot of more cramped tables and chairs close to the counter. If you are able to snag one of the comfy chairs or booths it is however very nice to sit here for a longer period of time. Wifi was now also available but it was not working that great so perhaps still more a space for a quick cup on the go. It is also clear that it largely caters to a lot of the office workers around here. With that in mind it is also a good place to come after the morning rush but before lunch or in the afternoon as the place then is much calmer.
The coffee sampled was not great. The filter coffee was seriously over-extracted so not at all good enough. The cold brew suffered from a bit of bitterness but was drinkable but not something I would go out of my way to find. The espresso based beverages delivered best quality here as the milk masked imperfections. I would not really be back for the coffee but it would do if in a pinch and I would then opt for something with milk in. In this area I would however rather walk a few blocks to either Jewel or the New Black.
The food was however better and perhaps they are more focused on breakfasts and lunches for people working around here (and possibly lattes for them as well). The breakfast items were good and the lunch dishes looked nice as well so clear that this outlet of Oriole is more focused on catering to people working around here and not so much on high quality specialty coffee. For a better Oriole coffee experience I would opt for the location in Pan Pacific Suites.
So how does it rate:
Coffee quality: 2
Ambiance and service: 3.5
Vs local competition: 2.5