Those of you that have been following my humble little blog with know that a lot of what I’ve written about has been focused on how much Perth has changed for the better, and there’s no doubting that over the past few years our fair city has improved in a great number of ways. However, not all change is necessarily good change, and as evidence to support this claim I submit for your consideration the case of Foam Coffee Bar in Leederville.
Now I’m not saying that Foam is a bad café by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just that it doesn’t measure up to what it used to be, and by that I mean Café 130. For those of you new to town or unfamiliar with that neck of the woods, 130s (as us hip regulars would call it) was a great, trendy spot and a pioneer of what I guess would now be termed Perth’s “hipster” coffee scene. It had that whole cool, eclectic vibe; music gig posters on the walls, milk crates for outdoor seating, action men hanging from the roof and a ceiling that was half collapsing and kind of fallen through. The coffee was always great and the food plentiful, tasty and pretty well priced. If one were given licence to make an analogy (and one has been because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I damn well please) I’d equate it to a treasured old paperback copy of your favourite book. Sure it might be a little dog-eared and worse for wear, but that ends up becoming part of its charm because you love what’s inside it. They were open late too, so manys the evening in my student days that I’d sit there nursing a flat while for several hours while playing connect four or discussing the art-house film we’d just watched at Lunar in the most pretentious way possible.
But alas, my beloved 130s is no more, and while venturing for a drink in the sunshine a couple of weekends ago I noticed that Foam had opened in its place and so decided to head in and check it out. Now I know that my rose-tinted glasses were always going to make comparisons with Café 130 a slightly unfair proposition, but I did my best to muster my journalistic integrity and remain impartial. Yet it seems such efforts were in vain, but here I go anyway. Part of what made 130’s so great was that it had a load of character, and while Foam is nicely decorated in a minimalist sort of fashion, at the end of the day you could pretty much be in any coffee shop anywhere in Perth. Add to that the fact that they’re menu was pretty underwhelming and only served till two, and things weren’t looking good at all. However, the final nail in the 130’s coffin was the coffee. I’m pretty willing to overlook most shortcomings if a place can serve me a killer brew, but alas the double shot flat while I got at Foam was bitter (due to over extracting the coffee shots) and the milk a bit too hot and lacking in texture.
So, RIP Café 130, we had some good times together you and me, and I’ll always treasure the memories. As it stands, I’ll just have to drink my post-movie coffee down at Greens and Co (it’s owned by the same people). If you go in there look out for me, I’ll be the bitter old man sitting down the back, muttering into a double shot flat while playing connect four…alone.