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Thread: Best coffee/cafe in Melbourne

  1. #1
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    Best coffee/cafe in Melbourne

    In melbs for a week and want some awesome coffee any suggestions?

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    How about the 'Good Coffee Where? / Victoria' sub-forum?


    VIC
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    Kewl, sorry I'm using Tapatalk for the first time and still learning how to navigate :P

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    try velvet bar near golftec in exibition street.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    When are you coming and where will you be based?

    You should move your posts to the above sub - forum from Barry O'Speedwagon.

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    just came back from my 5 day coffee tasting bonanza in melbourne city, i've written fairly comprehensive reviews of the house blends/SOs offered by each cafe i've visited in the past week, but here's an abridged version for quick reference. I'll leave my personal rants and raves out of the picture.

    All the cafes listed are either within or are located within at most, a 15min tram ride out of the CBD.

    *Ratings based on my predisposition towards coffee which tends to err on the darker end of the spectrum (city-vienna). So YMMV.

    Brother Baba Budan - 2/5
    Seven Seeds House Blend
    Too tart and citric

    Three Bags Full - 3/5
    Five senses custom blends
    Better balance coming from seven seeds, but nothing special

    Flipboard Cafe 4/5
    Flipboard house blend
    Well balanced, great body, cuts through milk like a magic on most other third wave roasts even though i ordered a skinny flat
    Milk texture and temperature? Perfecto.

    Proud Mary's - 3.5/5
    No house blend, 3 SOs to choose from
    Chose the darkest roast SO, it was a good revert to norm

    St Ali Cafe 4/5
    Sensory Labs blend
    Espresso was nothing to shout home about but still very decent, had a very strong plum aftertaste.
    Had complimentary filters done the Perger way courtesy of Josh (if you're seeing this thanks again!).
    Extracted first through a LM GS3, then again through V60, very unique flavours, unsurpassed complexity

    Streat 2.5/5
    Streat house blend
    Claimed to be one of the darker roasts in town, but I bought my coffee from melbourne central SC instead of their actual cafe
    Wasn't so impressed with the grinds sitting in the doser
    Beans were probably my cup of tea, but milk was too hot and the coffee tasted slightly stale
    If you are keen, go visit their main outlet at mckillop st instead.

    Padre 4/5
    Daddy's girl house blend
    Sumatran SO
    Indian Kelugar Heights SO
    Wasn't too impressed with the first flat white I had. Milk was too hot i could barely taste the espresso.
    Waited for it to cool and the house blend started to shine through, nice caramel undertones with some good orange peel to match
    Ordered the other SOs as magics...and well they were both magic. Both incredibly smooth, none of that third wave roast nonsense.

    Market Lane 3.5/5
    Seasonal house blend
    Ordered a magic. Great coffee. Florals are prominent and you don’t have to sip too diligently to taste it.
    Best way I can describe it is like a filter roast that marries well with milk but still has the nutty kick down the end to remind you it’s still an espresso.

    Seven Seeds 2/5
    Read above BBB review. If you want sour fruits and milk in a cup, go here.
    I'll give credit where its due, milk texture and temperature was perfect.

    Manchester Press 3.5/5
    Cafe Cartel Roasters Blend
    Ordered a magic, body and mouthfeel was other worldly. It was oily in a good way.
    But due to the darker roast, the balance wasn't there but if you want a traditional good ol' cuppa, this is it.

    Hardware Societe 3.5/5
    Daddy's girl house blend from Padre
    Barista extracted the coffee a lot different than what I had yesterday. A lot more sours, but lucky the bean blend was versatile enough to pull it off

    Duke's Coffee Roasters 4/5
    Seasonal house blend
    If I were to fall in love with a third wave roaster specialising in espresso, duke's tops my list.
    Might be a little tart for some, but not as severe as seven seeds
    The fruit and floral lingers long after you've finished your coffee. Very aromatic roast.

    Pronto? Axil Coffee Rosters 2.5/5
    Seasonal house blend
    This was a weird experience. I've never tasted coffee this sweet before. Last time I did however was when I frothed a very high protein milk (which I threw out).
    Orange right at the start, very heavy mouthfeel and something about it tasted artificial. Poor milk choice perhaps?

    If you want any more specifics for the aforementioned cafes, feel free to ask and i'll endeavour to answer them .

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    What's a magic?

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deano View Post
    What's a magic?
    It's a means of selling less coffee for more $$. Abracadabra.

    It's a 3/4 flat white, there was a lengthy thread about it some time ago.

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    That's an enviable number of cafes in 5 days. Thanks for your thoughts. Like the Dukes coffee myself.

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    Thanks avex, on the train to the city right now and looking up those names on the way! Duke's is close to Flinders St station and gets a high score so that looks like my first stop

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    there's a whole bunch along flinders. toby's estate's floorspace is a sight to behold. it's almost like a designer roast if such a thing exists.

    didn't try because i was OD'ing on caffeine by then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avex View Post
    there's a whole bunch along flinders. toby's estate's floorspace is a sight to behold. it's almost like a designer roast if such a thing exists.

    didn't try because i was OD'ing on caffeine by then.
    Haha yes I know that feeling. Had a few espresso's at Dukes then tried the aeropress and filter varieties. They were interesting but the espresso was the highlight, very nice. The barista at at Duke's suggested a place called Filter but based on the reviews I read it seemed too inconsistent, some raving and an equal number hating so I gave it a miss. Going to the Fitzroy area today to check out the coffee action there.

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    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    It's a means of selling less coffee for more $$. Abracadabra.

    It's a 3/4 flat white, there was a lengthy thread about it some time ago.
    I don't really see how you figure that. A 6oz flat white with a doppio ristretto base contains more coffee (by volume and dose) and less milk - and if anything is cheaper than a 'standard' sized white coffee. By the same token, one could say a flat white is just a latte in a cappuccino cup... at the end of the day, just order and drink what you like.

    @OP, Industry Beans and Atomica are worth visiting in Fitzroy; no Melbourne coffee crawl is complete without a visit to Proud Mary over in Collingwood and Code Black in Brunswick (or one of their CBD locations). The 3056 blend used for milk coffee in the larger CBD cafes is brilliant if you prefer a darker roast; the current seasonal blend is... good for what it is, but not amazing over milk for mine. I'd go for an SO if you visit the Brunswick HQ (which you should, even if just for the food).

  14. #14
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    Best coffee - my house.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    Best coffee - my house.
    address? Went to the Padre roastery in Brunswick, I think, had a few nice shots there but I thought Duke's was better. I also bought a nice Tampa and knock box there too.

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    I recently went to Melbourne for a conference but went a day early to see the sights and drink the coffee. Favourite would have to either go to Dukes or Proud Mary.

    I had a double ris on the house blend at Dukes and it was delicious! Sweet, smooth and a nice balance between the body and brightness.

    I tried 2 SB's and a pic at Proud Mary. My favourite was an El Salvador that they had on for an extra 50c. My only disappointment was that I ordered this first not last!

    Honourable mention to a cafe called LB2 near southern cross station. They use Axil and Cartel there. This place was near the conference venue so I ducked in a couple of times and they were consistently great over the two days.

    Enjoy!
    Michael

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Heading there soon, great post.

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    I found this nice little cafe (through the bean hunter app) right across the road from my office (started a new job) called the Vine Coffee Roasters on Swanson St Melb.. they run 3 grinders with their house blend, a SO of the week and decaf.

    The Strada is great to look at too while the barista measures the dose with a scale and extracts a very nice balanced espresso.
    Today i tried the Rwanda Ruli single origin as a doppio. Pic attached (note the cold drip setup on the table)



    its become my mid morning and mid arvo local.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    Best coffee - my house.
    Do you do cold drip?

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    kbc
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    Espresso, pourover and cold drip
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1431607871.686709.jpg
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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    I also find seven seeds too sour, like lemon flavoured milk when you order a flat white
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    I also find seven seeds too sour, like lemon flavoured milk when you order a flat white

    try proud mary

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    Well I'm back in Melbs for 4 months!! Couldn't bring my Giotto with me (boo) but I did bring my new Alfa Romeo (w00t!) so what's new? I'm staying in Macleod, 30 mins north of the CBD and it seems a bit desolate here as far as good coffee goes

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    Went for a coffee cruise into the CBD today and dropped in to Toby's Estate, had a very nice Sumatran V60 with some lovely waffles. Then on to Hardware Societie and a rich and nutty Piccolo and over the road to Bowery to Williamsburg for a peanut butter hot chocolate and bagel. I can highly recommend all three places, although there was a bit of a line to get into Hardware S.
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    Sensory Lab today...

    Ordered espresso (they used their espresso blend of Brazil/Ethiopia) expecting to be disappointed.

    All I can say is that the expertly prepared shot which included EK43 theatrics exceeded my expectations.

    I have not added sugar to coffee since I was 15- even in Italy, but not even a hit of sweet could assist with mouth puckeringly sour, vegetal, grassy rubbish.

    What a shame. I'm pretty sure that the beans were once ok.
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    If you are in Macleod (I'm in Rosanna) head down to Miss Maries cafe. It's hidden across the road from the Station in Beethem Parade (45 Beetham Parade, Rosanna). Best coffee in Macleod Rosanna Heidelberg and Ivanhoe. This is the place that is pumping out quality coffees every day of the week.

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    Hi Chris,
    I work about 50m from Sensory Lab, and cant stand even to look at the place!
    Even with milk, their coffee is terrible.................but the hipsters line up in hoards every morning! Just proves that people are all sheep!
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    This thread has been dead for two years (about 4 hipster cafe lives), but I'm heading to/near Melbourne CBD next month and am a bit confused on which Melbourne thread to post on. This one looks as good as it gets, my apologies if I missed the major one.

    What is, today, a good espresso or filter to be had within walking distance of, say, the Grand Hyatt? Preferably open around 6-7am.

    Any restaurant recommendations (low-mid budget, not Attica) would also be much appreciated!

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    In that area if your up for less than a km walk I always have never gone past brother buba Budan on little Bourke. Seven seeds coffee.

    As for restaurants. Go to chin chins and get the feed me menu. $59 each for the table and thank me later.

    If you want upmarket a bit more Glaxo is great or perhaps try the new press club fit out

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    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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    Sorry I meant grazi.
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    for coffee - dukes
    for good reasonably priced food - rice paper scissors
    look up the addresses on google
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    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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    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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    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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    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; 2 Days Ago at 08:18 AM. Reason: can't do maths this early...

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

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    Quote 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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    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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