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  • Dukes Coffee Roasters - Flinders Lane

    Dukes Coffee Roasters have just opened up a new café on Flinders Lane, between Swanston and Degraves. They’ve got a 2 group Strada and a 3 group Mistral, with a bunch of Roburs, serving their own roast in a minimally but well designed space.

    I haven’t been to their other café, in Windsor, but they have reputation for being very serious about their coffee, but without any pretention, and that’s the impression I got today, both the male and female baristas were very friendly.

    They clearly know what they’re doing, despite only being open since last week, they were on top of everything and the flat white they made me was beautifully textured and just the right strength for me, either a big single shot or a smallish double.

    It wasn’t actually to my taste, a little too much citrus, but I really appreciated the way they made it. I’ll try one of their darker SOs next time.

    However, it was $4, so they're really pushing the boundary on price when they’re surrounded by great cafes selling regular coffees for $3.50-$3.70.

    They have a range of their own beans. But these are seriously expensive! They have a Colombian bean (La Esperanza Cerro Azul Gesha) that they sell for $32 per 250g! And something I’ve never seen before, they also sell it in 150g batches, for $20. I couldn’t help thinking that with 150g I’d only have just dialled it in before needing a new bag! They have some other beans at $28 per 250g, although their house roast is a more normal $12.50.

    The really annoying thing is they have a light hanging from the ceiling that runs the length of the counter and if you’re tall, like me, it’s right in the eyeline of the barista, so I had to duck under to talk to him. I’m sure they’ll fix it soon.

    Despite the high prices, it’s worth a visit.

  • #2
    I was down in Melbourne last weekend to see The Jersey Boys and purposely took a tram to Windsor on Sunday to check out DCR on a recommendation.
    Didn't know about them opening in Flinders Lane.
    The coffee and food for me was of a very good standard albeit the flat whites were not as hot as I prefer. I like to enjoy a good coffee for more than 1 or 2 minutes.
    The waitresses were on their game, very courteous and friendly, topping up the water glasses regularly.
    The trip was worth it as we found some great op shops there. We had to put ourselves on the "call you when a table is ready list" as the place was packed.
    I agree on the prices for their beans, a bit steep, but I bought a bag of their espresso blend at the "more normal" $12.50 to add to my stock as my home roaster is out of service at the moment.
    You can add my recommendation to visit them.
    Cheers,
    Kevo

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    • #3
      I'm in Melb next week so I'll call in there. Do they offer their special beans to drink at the $4 price?

      Are they actually on Flinder Ln or in one of the alleys?

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      • #4
        The best I can recall is that they had 3 grinders set up in the Windsor shop and were offering espresso, French Press and Aeropress as choices, with the latter two your choice of bean.
        I can't answer your last question as I didn't get there, but it sounds like they're on Flinders Lane from Jonathon's post

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        • #5
          Dukes Coffee Roasters - Flinders Lane

          Yes on Flinders Lane itself, south side, about 50m west of Swanston.

          I don't know whether they charge more for their 'special' beans, but I'd be very surprised if they were brewing them for the same price as their main blend.

          If you'll be in the area during office hours, check out Cup of Truth, around the corner in the underground part of Degraves. Very good coffee there.

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          • #6
            I visited. Smells nice but I wasn't impressed so much. I asked for a long strong mach and got queried so I asked if they could do a lungo - something I learned about on here. Girl at till was fine with it but while I sat waiting the barista came over and asked about it. I explained what I learned from Yelta (& what I have been doing at home) and he trotted off.

            I got a good smelling coffee, good looking, if thin crema, and tart enough to suck my lips in as though I had bitten lemon. I went and got some extra milk but it didn't do much to help. They were busy so it wasn't till I was about to leave I got a chance to ask the barista what he had done.

            He 'didn't want to change the grind' so instead he gave me 4 shots - given the amount of coffee was half a glass and the glass was halfway between a latte and a piccolo (don't know what it is called but I'd guess the glass is about 120ml - 150ml) and the crema was about 3mm, I am thinking he kept cutting off the shots while it was pouring black.

            If I go back I will be standing beside the machine watching the pour - most disappointing, particularly for $4 a cup.

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            • #7
              crema isn't just in the tail of the shot, it's all the way through.

              the tart lemon may just be hipster roasting.

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              • #8
                Dukes Coffee Roasters - Flinders Lane

                Yeah I've had a tartish coffee there.

                However, I took a bag of their house beans home and put them through my Giotto, had to go to a very coarse grind to stop it choking, but then I got some great shots, rich with cocoa, just how I like it.

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                • #9
                  Bloody hipsters There was crema, just very thin for 4 shots, so I figured he must be stopping the pour early and missing most of the crema.

                  If it isn't OT, what would be different in roasting to make the result I got?

                  @Jonathon - I must admit, I'm reluctant to invest that much in beans until I get a machine I am confident will do them justice. The local roasters here in Bendigo are at $36 per kg and I'm still working my way through their selections.

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                  • #10
                    tart lemon can be underroasting, the new hipster trend.

                    did you get a SO or an 'espresso blend'?

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                    • #11
                      I got the espresso blend - she recommended it when I didn't want a milk coffee. Gotta say, if that's a 'style' I am not impressed. Like getting an off mouthful of cheap red when you've been told it's a St Henri.

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                      • #12
                        As I mentioned above, I purchased a bag of their espresso blend a couple of weeks ago and found it to be very ordinary in both long black and flat white format.
                        I think your description has nailed it Journeyman!
                        IMO they are slightly under roasted for espresso.

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                        • #13
                          I'm just glad custom coffees here in Bendigo isn't into 'hipster style' - I'll give it another try next time in Melb - maybe I got an average barista, and, as I said, watch what he does with my coffee to try and get what I like.

                          There was a young guy by name of Adam who ran a coffee machine for the Treasury Cafe in the lower floor of the Dept of Education building - probably 15 years ago now. While he was learning I was his taster. One day he made me (in a mug) 14 shots of coffee and it was smooth, rich and complex, not a trace of bitterness and so good I'd take a mouthful and hold it for a while savouring it.

                          I asked how he did it (when I stopped zapping around doing 13 things at once Click image for larger version

Name:	lol.gif
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ID:	733983and he had let the 1st couple of seconds pour out, held the mug under for about 10 seconds then stopped the pour... and repeat until the mug was almost full, add a decent dash of milk and I had a coffee that had like an inch of crema on it.

                          That was why I thought maybe the guy in Dukes had given me 4 shots of early pour.

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