By Amanda Hoh
Simon Leong tips a small paper cup upside down and when the foam stays put, he concludes “this is a good babyccino”.
Sitting in a small espresso bar in Maroubra on a Saturday morning, the foam test is just one of many Mr Leong applies to his search for “the best babyccinos in the world”.
He usually has his one-year-old daughter in tow but on this particular day she has fallen asleep in the car and missed out on her weekly treat.
The Sydney graphic designer started a food blog in 2008 and turned his attention to reviewing babyccinos after his eldest daughter was born.
“When I started ordering them for my little one, I started to notice a big difference in the ways they were served.
“When you’re a parent and you have limited time and you’re trying to have a coffee, there are things that come up that make a good babyccino and a bad babyccino.
“I wanted to tell parents where the best ones were in Sydney.”
The marking criteria
Mr Leong rates the babyccinos out of five stars and posts his reviews on his Facebook page which has a loyal following.
His top criteria is how “baby-friendly” the babyccino is.
“Sometimes they’re served in a glass or ceramic cup and if they’re dropped that’s going to break,” he said.
“But if they serve them in paper and plastic then that’s not going to make any damage and you’re going to feel more relaxed.”
The next criteria is the froth-to-milk ratio; one point is awarded if there is all froth “to avoid accidental spillage”, while the cafe gets zero points for mostly milk.
An accompanying marshmallow, biscuit or chocolate will receive a point, while the “wow” factor is also under scrutiny.
“If the barista does a smiley face on the top, or makes a smiley face out of marshmallows or does sprinkles on the sides, or gives extra marshmallows, or they also serve colouring books and pencils with it … then that’s the wow factor,” he said.
“There’s only two places in Sydney so far that have received five out of five stars.”
The final criteria is the cost of the babyccino, with anything over a dollar being a “rip-off” and too close to the cost of a cappuccino, Mr Leong said.
While he does have to test whether the babyccino is too hot to drink, Mr Leong does not actually do any taste testing.
That part of the process is left to his youngest daughter now that his four-year-old has “graduated” from babyccinos.
“I think I might have to start reviewing hot chocolates,” he laughed.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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