Slinging coffee at Mistress Mabel

Cultural Heart People of Adelaide At Work

There's something comforting in having your order taken by confident barista, perhaps it's knowing your coffee will be served strong, balanced and fuss free. That's what you can expect from Jacob Booth — owner and founder of specialty cafe and luncheonette, Mistress Mabel. Located on King William Street in the heart of the city, Mistress Mabel has earned popularity with locals thanks to its excellent customer service, affordable and delicious toasties, and exceptional coffee. 

Moving from Brisbane to pursue his coffee career, Jacob opened Mistress Mabel in late 2018 and ever since he's been slinging the best cups of coffee and plates of toasties to nine-to-fivers. His urban explorations of Adelaide's backstreets led to his decision to bring specialty coffees to the main street — and aren't we grateful!

What inspired you to open Mistress Mabel in Adelaide?

"I love walking around the city and this is always a little part of the city that I felt was really lacking, especially in regards to specialty coffee. In the back streets, a bit further back [from the main streets] there are a lot of good operators. But if you're walking down the main street of town you want to be able to grab a bangin' coffee.

"I saw a gap in the market and I jumped on it."

- Jacob Booth, owner / operator of Mistress Mabel

What's a must-have for any new customer who walks in?

"Anyone who comes in should definitely grab a three-cheese, three-mushroom toastie probably with a long black. We sell about a million of them a day! And also a nitro cold brew — I don't know any other places around town that do it as well as we do. I first tried it [nitro cold brew] while I was traveling the States several years ago. I came back to Australia and no one was really doing it here so I spent a little time working on it and put it on tap and it's gone gangbusters."

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The crowd's favourite: 3-cheese, 3-mushroom toastie

What's your most interesting combo available at Mistress Mabel to date?

"We do an avocado espresso smoothie, which is next level. It is super tasty and if you are ever hungover it's what you want!"

What makes a really good cup of coffee?

"Consistency and measure — if you don't know what you're putting into it [a cup of coffee], how can you try and decide what you want out of it? That's one thing that I really enjoy about specialty coffee, is that it's all measures and ratios, and as long as you follow the recipe it's always going to be good. For people who don't know what specialty coffee is, it refers to a few different things: it refers to the grade of the unroasted coffee that you purchase so anything that's scored by professional tasters about 80 to 85 points is considered specialty, and anything below that is considered commodity. 

But as well as that, specialty goes further than just the cupping score of green beans... it translates through to cafes and how you serve and prepare the product. So we [Mistress Mabel] do consistent sizes for dine-in and takeaways. The one thing I really enjoy is following the correct ratio of milk to espresso — when you're serving a one to five ratio so if you're getting a you know six ounce dine-in take away it's going to taste fantastic, you should be serving six ounce takeaway so the coffee is gonna taste the same whether you get it dine-in or takeaway."

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Specialty roasted coffee beans are available for purchase at Mistress Mabel, along with a variety of coffee makers.

Who is Mabel? And why is she your mistress?

"Mabel was the name of my motorcycle that I left up in Brisbane when I moved to Adelaide. Brisbane has 362 days a year of summer and three days of not summer so you can ride a motorcycle in t-shirt and shorts for 362 days a year. When I moved to Adelaide, it was May 2017 and it was my first winter experience - though it wasn't even winter but autumn. But it was the first winter experience I had since living on a ski-hill in Canada, and it was cold... chilly... so I didn't bring the bike down. But I obviously missed my motorcycle so I named my cafe after her! 

It's also named after a song by a Scottish indie band called The Fratellis. The song speaks volumes about how I personally feel about the hospitality industry."


Mistress Mabel

Shop 3 108 King William Street Adelaide, SA, Australia 5000