If you don’t enjoy coffee, don’t bother visiting Melbourne. Of course I’m exaggerating to make a point, but quite frankly, good coffee is what the city seems to be fixated on these days. We’re living in a time where your average Joe Bloggs is spending a big chunk of his money more on haute drink pleasures than on things like say, apparel or gadgets; subsequently, Melbournian café culture is thriving. On that note, here’s a list of four must-visit coffee locations in the city.
As the competition heats up for the 4.20AUD latte, it becomes all about the details. At St Ali North’s, Matt Perger says the process starts from the farm: “We don’t buy ‘regular’ coffee. We go to the farm [in Brazil]. We fly there and talk to the farmers, taste their product, and make sure that they’re getting a fair price for it”. Some of the more senior baristas at St. Ali North’s are able to join in on these trips to truly understand the coffee trade.
Then there are those who are obsessed with the quality control of the roast, and such is the way at Wide Open Road; they roast on site with Giesen small batch roasters, creating their own Bathysphere blend, consisting of Kenyan, Brazilian, Costa Rican and Ethiopian beans. A cupping session is carried out each morning and it can look like a bizarre coffee ritual to an outsider – the roasts numbered and systematically laid out on the table with a strict system for smelling, tasting and recording of details for every batch to ensure the customer is getting the finest roast.
At Brother Baba Budan, a branch of the Seven Seeds Family, they are focussed on the single origin bean for the espresso roast. Located in the CBD, this bustling little joint is harder to get into than most bars in the city, and the boys at the coffee machines are not dissimilar to hip DJs in their booth, with everyone vying for their attention.
If you head just around the corner you will find a tranquil spot to stretch out and enjoy your flat white. This lovely place is Manchester Press, a café that feels like your very own New York-loft. Predominantly white in colour scheme with distressed interior accents, this converted gallery space is a haven for the Melbourne coffee aficionado who wishes to escape down one of the cities’ infamous laneways.
Whether it’s drip coffee, latte, espresso, flat white, long black, pour-over, filter, single origin or the latest trend – a tea-like beverage called cascara – Melbourne has plenty to offer when it comes to quality, innovative coffee destinations. And the passionate and informed people of this community are what make it so special.
Manchester Press | 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne 3000 | (03) 9600 4054
Words: Lauren Dietze | Photos: Rahel Weiss