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Coffee tour Melbourne

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  • Coffee tour Melbourne

    I recently came downunder to visit my family and tried to check out a new cafe every day. I think this must be the specialty cafe capital of the world! Of the places I visited all but one had a Synesso and Mazzer Robur combinations (I am not claiming this to be the only setup that makes great coffee), and several had roasting machines as well. I enjoyed each and every place and even though not every house blend matched my taste buds all coffees were as far as I could see very well made and presented. I didnt take notes so I have had some trouble recalling and describing the characteristics of each house blend.

    I thought that I would just do one review with some brief comments.

    Without exception all staff were friendly and more than happy to chat about coffee. Another common feature was the warehouse style/ rustic look.

    The cafes I visted were:

    1. Monk Bohdi Dharma in Carlisle Street:
    hard to find, a small former bakery tucked in off the main road beside Safeway. Coffee I believe was from Market Lane Cafe but they also have a small roaster in house. The place is small and cozy serves healthy food. I had the house blend in a latte which was smooth but perhaps a little acidic for my taste buds. I noticed in some of the cafes I visited a trend towards more floral tones in the coffee rather than the caramel, chocolate, nutty flavours which I usually prefer. I guess thats just a matter of personal preference.

    I was given a card on which the names and addresses of 12 Melbourne cafes were represented. You might nbeed a magnifying glass to read it! I had previously been to some of the named cafes, inluding Proud Mary and Seven Seeds, so i tried to get to as many of the others as I could.

    2. Omar and the Marvelous Coffee Bird in Gardenvale.
    I was thinking the names are getting stranger :-).
    I think it was the only place I visited with no Synesso. They had a LM Linea and the usual lineup of Mazzer Roburs. There was also a roasting machine and again an industrial look about the place. Coffee was great and staff very informative and chatty.

    3. Willim Espresso on Union Street Malvern.
    Nice cozy and small and a good menu for breakfast and lunch. i recommend the banana bread! Coffee was from 5 Senses and it was probably the blend which most appealed to me during my visit. I tied up the head Barista in a long conversation about everything coffee until I felt guilty and worried that I was distracting him from his job.

    4. Market Lane Coffee at Prahan Market.
    While I was there I saw that they had a cupping session for the public. Great idea. Coffee was delicious and served with a nicely presented card detailing the origins and characteristics of the coffee served. I thought that was a very nice touch. Very friendly and informative staff. They roast their own coffee and supply others as well.

    5. Dead Man espresso South Melbourne.
    This cafe was very busy but service was still friendly and efficient. Coffee again was great and beautifully presented.

    6. Auction Rooms, North Melbourne
    I really like this place ...an old auction house as the name suggests. I stopped there on my way to the airport. I had read reviews about snobby staff but my experience was the complete opposite. Coffee once again was delicious and sevice very friendly. They had a cute little sample roaster on display.

    I ran out of time so on the list for my next visit are: Dutchess of Spotswood, Shop 7, Three Bags Full, The Final Stop and De Clieu.

  • #2
    Re: Coffee tour Melbourne

    You did well on your tour, Danny.
    Auction Rooms and Market Lane are just brilliant and the lads at Omar are quickly developing a wonderful reputation.

    For next time though id add a couple of stops, most notably Proud Mary and Maling Room.

    Proud Mary is just about the pinnacle of coffee in Melbourne, with their usual 9 single origin offering, their breathtaking 6-group Synesso and their endless options (Clover, Pourover, Cold Drip, the works).

    Maling Room doesnt offer the variety that Proud Mary does but theyve always got three different single origins each day (and they always seem to be unique offering that you rarely see elsewhere) and its the home of the outstanding and ever smiling Kirby Berlin, reigning Australian Latte Art Champion.

    Both are in my top five Melbourne cafes and are well worth visiting when youre next in town.

    Originally posted by 50555A5A4D5C340 link=1299679547/0#0 date=1299679547
    3. Willim Espresso on Union Street Malvern.
    Nice cozy and small and a good menu for breakfast and lunch. i recommend the banana bread! Coffee was from 5 Senses and it was probably the blend which most appealed to me during my visit. I tied up the head Barista in a long conversation about everything coffee until I felt guilty and worried that I was distracting him from his job.
    Im glad you liked Willim.
    Its still in its infancy and the clientele are still learning about quality coffee but Gerrick is a passionate young guy who really knows his stuff.

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    • #3
      Re: Coffee tour Melbourne

      Originally posted by 696969230 link=1299679547/1#1 date=1299792556
      For next time though id add a couple of stops, most notably Proud Mary and Maling Room.
      I did those in previous visits and loved both of them. :-). But the list seems to get longer!

      I forgot to add that I was really surprised to see a cafe at Tullamarine with 2 Synessos and five senses coffee.

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      • #4
        Re: Coffee tour Melbourne

        Originally posted by 07020D0D1A0B630 link=1299679547/2#2 date=1299798659
        I did those in previous visits and loved both of them. Smiley.
        Im glad you enjoyed both.
        Have you tried places like Seven Seeds, The Premises, Liar Liar and Dukes? If not, add them to your list because theyre all doing some impressive stuff.


        Originally posted by 07020D0D1A0B630 link=1299679547/0#0 date=1299679547
        I ran out of time so on the list for my next visit are: Dutchess of Spotswood, Shop 7, Three Bags Full, The Final Stop and De Clieu.
        Some good choices there.
        Three Bags Full is always packed and whilst they dont offer all the coffee options some others do, what they produce is excellent and their food is simply outstanding (the Baghdad Omelette is heaven sent).

        De Clieu have some pretty special coffee options although i didnt like the vibe of the place and found the staff a little pretentious.

        The Final Step (in South Yarra, for those who dont know) is a tiny little place but the boys produce a mean espresso.

        As for Duchess of Spotswood, the food is lovely but the coffee didnt do much for me, sadly.

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