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Best coffee/cafe in Melbourne

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  • #31
    Thanks, BBB looks great, as do the others. Are the donuts made fresh? Why breakfast elsewhere when you can find fresh donuts and decent coffee!

    What did you mean by "Glaxo"? A quick google returned only the famous pharma company...

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    • #32
      Sorry I meant grazi.

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      • #33
        for coffee - dukes
        for good reasonably priced food - rice paper scissors
        look up the addresses on google

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        • #34
          Right near BBB is a restaurant called Tipo00, my wife and I sat at the bar and watched the chefs cook. Awesome modern Italian food, reasonable prices. I think we ended up splitting a bottle of wine and chatting to the bar man for half an hour. Great vibe.

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          • #35
            There is a Market Lane cafe near there on Collins St and an Axil around the corner. You can also walk a little further to Traveller on Crossley St, which is a Seven Seeds cafe that is closer that BBB.

            Coffee is, of course, pretty subjective, but these are pretty close and will each give you something distinctive to try so that you can find what you like. In increasing order of roast development:

            *Seeds' espresso blend is always a bargain; it is invariably made up of a few coffees that are strong enough for them to sell as single origins, which they do at a higher price. They tend to go for very clean and fairly crisp coffees, with delicate aromatics. They have been buying Finca Rosma's coffees from Guatemala for years and years now, so what they do with them is a good yardstick for whether or not you'll like their coffees - it'll be part of their blend. They are also now showing what they pay for their green at various points in the supply chain, which is quite illuminating. If you go visit Traveller, it is right around the corner from Pellegrini's, which you should check out just for the Melbourne historical significance. If you are the sort who likes everything at rolling second crack, you won't like Seeds.

            *Market Lane develop their roasts marginally more than Seeds. Their particular strong point, in my opinion at least, is Guats and Bolivians - I guess they kind of focus on coffees with mass appeal whilst still having traditional SCA "specialty" type cred - that is to say that they seem to focus on high sweetness and medium body, but of course when you're buying high altitude washed Guats and then strapping on your oxygen cannister to go source from Bolivia, you're always going to get a fair bit of acidity.

            *Axil develop their roasts the most out of these, so if your taste is more for a milk based coffee with lots of punch, then they are the ones to check out.

            I think there's also a sensory lab on collins street near there; I haven't really drunk much from them in years, but they are a fairly famous Melbourne coffee brand that you might want to check out.

            In terms of restaurants, you're right around the corner from Cumulus Inc/Cumulus Up, which are two sort of "mod oz" genre restaurants by Andrew McConnell, who has had a big mark on the Melbourne restaurant scene and is worth checking out for that reason. Supernormal is another one of his restaurants that is nearby. I think their food is great, but the cheap end of their wine lists always feels expensive for what it is - perhaps this is a case of cross-subsidy. If you're in the mood for some old-school Italian food, you're also right near the whole Grossi restaurant empire - I have a soft spot for Grossi cellar bar; always delicious and feels like a bit of a bargain (you will need to tuck your elbows in to fit).

            Let us know how you go.

            Luca

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            • #36
              Well, thank you very much for these detailed notes, you certainly seem to know what you are talking about and I look forward to trying as many of these as a couple of days allow... I had quite a few of these saved up from my research actually!

              Coffee-wise I believe in trying the specialty of the house (or city as it were). I'm guessing all these Latam coffees are what the famous "Melbourne pucker" is produced with? No love for Africa down south?

              Given the Seven Seeds love here I think this will have to be the first stop (probably Travellers then).

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              • #37
                Lune Croissanterie:
                Well, I didn't go there for the coffee, but the piccolo latte (gotta have milk with croissants!) was good enough that I debated having a single shot here and there. But needed the caffeine quota for later.

                Are the croissants worth it? I come from France, we pay 50 cents to 1 euro for a croissant. Maybe 1.50 in a super expensive Parisian joint. Gontrand Cherier (1 Michelin star in Paris) has opened a few places in Singapore that have by French standards hideously overpriced croissants, yet they're only ~$3.90. And here is someone who thinks their croissants are worth $5.90. Well I had to check. And to be honest they are good, on par with Cherier but not better and not justifying the price tag. This may explain why the staff outnumbered customers (two lost looking Chinese tourists) when places like Axil or Travellers were full to the brim with a queue. The "special" was a pain au chocolat with coconut and cherries and no price tag, I foolishly assumed it'd be in the ballpark so added it for a try but at 11.50 I struggled to enjoy it as much as I'd have otherwise... I fully understand charging a decent amount for something that is rare and far away from its origin but I'm sure there are 20 bakeries within a mile that can do a croissant 90% as good, and probably a couple on par, for half to 1/5th as much. /rant

                Travellers:
                Really friendly hole in the wall kind of place. The SO (Guatemala) was, if I read the packs on the wall well, roasted on 4 Dec (so - edited for bad maths - 7 days ago), into what I'd call a medium roast (so much for the Melbourne pucker) with totally dry looking beans. The shot was a tad on the watery side by my tastes, with a lot of crema nevertheless. An interesting minty side, followed by a point of staleness in the finish instead of the fruit I was expecting from the region; the staleness remained as the lasting impression on the tram back.

                I'll admit to being a bit disappointed since I had built up my expectations so high after this thread and Google reviews... but the service made up for it, nice people always have a way of brightening your day. They were, to be fair, recommending their "very nice" house blend even after I asked for SO so maybe I'll give it another go (or make it to the other 7S location).

                Walked past Pellegrino's but I don't have enough espresso shots in this trip to try it :P

                Haven't made it to a restaurant yet but found the City Wine Shop who actively pushed me to halve my wine budget and walk away with a very nice Shiraz (Sanguine) which if my liver allows may mean a return visit; my trying to find good stuff in the Yarra kind of failed. The grocer associated with it is not bad, but I would have hoped for more Aussie cheese - as it stood most of the cheeses were the same I eat at home, with a few Swiss thrown in! Same with the olive oil - Australia has fantastic olive oil and here they are offering Italian stuff. I went to Woolies and picked up some Cobram (May 2018 harvest) for a fraction as much.

                Bonus/related:

                So far the best espresso of the trip was at the Waterboy Cafe, Cowes (Phillip Island). And again really nice chat with the barista, whose cake recommendations were also appreciated. I wish I had taken notes - with the amount of wine drunk later the specifics are unfortunately forgotten... just an impression of competence and a very good coffee.

                Gold Drops, Axil or BBB next...
                Last edited by apicius; 11th December 2018, 10:18 AM. Reason: can't do maths this early...

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                • #38
                  Dukes coffee roasters:
                  Colombia SO was perfect, really. Aromatic, good crema, tightly pulled, and a long finish. The mince pies were on the orange peel side of things which I don't mind either. I'd come back if it were closer, and especially if they brought back the jam donuts.

                  Brother Baba Budan:
                  Chairs on the ceiling, why? Well, it's Melbourne I guess. This was the same 7S Guatemala SO as Travellers, but this time fruity with a long finish and more marked tea-like characteristics. Must admit my memory fails me beyond that but it was interesting to see the same roast be so different in the cup. The lady recognised me although it was my first time there, but I am ashamed to say I didn't recognise her... do the same staff work both Travellers and BBB?

                  Woodfrog bakery croissants were on par with Lune and, well, not as expensive. I'll leave it at that. Had a nice long chat with the lady who was from Toulouse and agrees Australia has the same friendly culture as the south of France which is quite a nice thing.

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                  • #39
                    Pellegrini's:
                    Well, I walked past so many times I thought why not have a little something. The place reminds me of those 50+ year old diners you sometimes find in the UK where you know the portions will be generous, a bit too salty and nice and cheap. Disappearing species. A rapidly rotating gaggle of tourists (many from a very very large country up north) kept the seats warm. The espresso was Italian: a balanced, if a little boring, bean, a hint on the stale side, done competently with medium, even crema. The strudel was tart and crispy which is a good thing, these things can easily become a sickening sugar bomb. It's a nice change from the bare concrete type places, I wouldn't mind a place like this near where I live...

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                    • #40
                      A bit on the other end of the city for you, but I’ve always really liked Patricia when I’ve been to Melbourne. Queues out the door every morning, but they get through it pretty quick

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Jaya View Post
                        A bit on the other end of the city for you, but I’ve always really liked Patricia when I’ve been to Melbourne. Queues out the door every morning, but they get through it pretty quick
                        Sparkling on tap and more hipsters per sqm than anywhere in the world at Patricia's

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                        • #42
                          That glass of sparkling I had at Luna's and BBB only. The rest only served the espresso. Didn't check for a fountain (was just in and out for the shot).

                          Patricia was very close to the top on my list esp. given Beanhunter rating, but a little far and I didn't quite making that far. Between it and BBB I chose BBB just to follow this thread's recommendations :P which was a good idea since it redeemed 7S. Next trip then!

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                          • #43
                            Just back from a few days in Melbourne with the family. We did have a nice take-away from Duke's while doing the street art run, but the real diamond find for me was Deadman Espresso over on Southbank near where we stayed. St Ali roasted I believe, with a beautiful zingy, fruity SO Ethiopian double ristretto followed by a smooth & sweet Brasil/Columbian blend as a Piccolo. We didn't eat there, but the food looked nice, but the coffee was so good we went back the following day as well!

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