Review: Tupelo Coffee Co, Civic

A few weeks ago it was one of those lazy Fridays where I don’t make lunch myself and decide to go find something to eat during my break. I’d heard a lot of good things about Tupelo so decided to give them a try. I knew roughly where they were located but, as it turned out, they weren’t where I thought they were and I accidentally found them just as I was about to give up. What’s worse is they’re actually located at the interchange and really aren’t that hard to find at all.

Tupelo outside eating area.
Tupelo outside eating area.

As with most cafes these days, the outdoor (and indoor) seating is unusual shaped tables with uncomfortable seating. In this instance, milk crates with wooden boards on top of them. Not only are they quite solid but VERY low. It was quite a bend down to reach them. While I enjoy the influx of little cafes around town, I can’t wait until some of the more hipstery elements (milk crate seats, mason jar glasses, wooden boards instead of plates, etc.) have had their time and are no longer on trend.

Tupelo Menu Boards
Tupelo Menu Boards

The inside of Tupelo is quite tiny and the furnishings quite sparse. They have 3 blackboard menus that I believe get updated fairly often (the jaffle component anyway). The range is quite limited but my understanding is that people mostly come for the coffee not the food. As a non coffee drinker I can’t say if it is any good.

Iced Chocolate ($6.50)
Chocolate Milk ($6.50)

I decided on a jaffle with a chocolate milk (I actually asked for an Iced Chocolate as I misread the menu – as pointed out by ‘bigphilwalks’, a bit snarkily, in the comments below). Given I was expecting an Iced Chocolate I was a bit let down but now knowing my mistake it makes a bit more sense! It’s actually quite odd for somewhere to offer chocolate milk where it isn’t just a carton of chocolate milk. Anyway, it was quite strong (as you can see from the photo) but wasn’t overly sweet, it tasted like a low sugar/sugar free drinking chocolate mixture so it was more cocoa-ey than expected.  I would have hoped for it to be more mixed in but it’s likely the type of powder used is more designed for a hot chocolate – in my experience some of them don’t mix into the milk very well. It was tasty but for the price I’d be hoping for more than a chocolate drinking powder mixed with milk.

Jaffle - Chorizo, Mozzarella, Mustard and Hot Sauce ($8)
Jaffle – Chorizo, Mozzarella, Mustard and Hot Sauce ($8)

I was a bit concerned with the Hot Sauce component of this jaffle but unfortunately, they are made in the morning and you can’t alter them. For an $8 jaffle I would have hoped to be able to change out the ingredients if I wanted. Fortunately, the hot sauce wasn’t hot in the slightest. I’m not sure how they can call it a hot sauce considering it’s more like a sweet tomato chutney. In the end I’m glad I chose not to remove it as it was quite nice and went well with the other ingredients. For those that don’t know what a jaffle is, it’s basically a toasted sandwich except a jaffle iron seals the edges. Where this sandwich is concerned it struggled to seal because of the delicious chorizo oozing out of it. If you’ve never had a jaffle before, my number one tip is: Don’t eat it straight away! The cheese will be like lava and try to burn your face off if you try.

It was a fun experience having a jaffle again. They were quite popular to have at home in the 90’s but went out of fashion until recently. I even considered buying a jaffle iron so I could do this at home. The above sandwich would cost much less than $8 and I could sit on a comfy couch while eating it.

If I were to go back to Tupelo again I’d probably just order the jaffle takeaway, not worry about a drink and find somewhere comfortable in the sun to go eat it.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Tupelo Coffee Co, Civic

  1. Interesting review.

    One important point though. If you look CLOSELY at the blackboard menu in your 2nd photo, you will see “choc milk”, not “iced milk” as you have said in your review.

    Here’s an essential tip for reviewers like you – get your facts right, especially if you are going to be critical. Simple errors like this really question the integrity of the rest of your review.

  2. I secretly love coffee shops but since the hipsters have taken them over I stay away from them. The seating is a cute idea, but it would fit a kids area so much better. The local coffee shop I used to visit a lot offers loads of drinks and just as much food – they have a big menu and you’re able to change around things. Not being able to take something off is just odd – what if you’re allergic? And I know all about jaffle! I have one of the presses that was my grandma’s.

    1. If you’re allergic, then you don’t have it. Simple. Why do places have to try and cater for every single allergy and whim people may have? It’s neither cost effective nor efficient for a small business to try and cater for everyone who walks in their door.

      Places like Tupelo have picked what they want to be good at and are striving to be the best at what they do – excellent coffee and a few little snacks. Don’t go to a little shop like that expecting a full sit down lunch and a great non-coffee drink because it’s obviously not what they do.

      1. Obviously you wouldn’t have something if you were allergic and they were unable to change it but it would be nice to have the option. In my case I wasn’t requesting that anything special be added and that they have additional ingredients required ‘just in case’ but to have the option of removing ingredients for whatever reason. I’d expect this to be more efficient as they would, potentially, have less wastage of unsold items than if they made them on a by order basis.

        In regards to what they sell, I didn’t know much about Tupelo before walking in, other than that they were a place that was selling jaffles. So I had no idea about the coffee specialisation or what else they would (or wouldn’t) have available. Much the same as any other walk-in customer off the street. I would expect that, if they were unable to cater for sit down lunches or non-coffee drinkers they wouldn’t provide indoor and outdoor seating or non-coffee based options other than bottled or canned drinks.

        I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be disappointed by a menu item because it isn’t the establishment’s speciality. If they can’t do it well (and I’m not saying that was the case in this instance) than why offer it at all?

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