I was in Melbourne with my wife and our friends in mid-Jan for eight days of work+holiday fun. We managed to steal about a day away from the group for serious coffee hunting adventure! These are the cafes/roastery we visited out of the huge 2013 list indicated in the Broadsheet’s Melbourne Specialty Coffee Map. They were chosen based on convenience and availability.
Aunty Peg’s + Proud Mary Coffee
Aunty Peg’s which is the cafe space of its parent company Proud Mary Coffee Roastery is located about 10-min drive from Melbourne CBD. The cafe features bright airy interior with various seating options, a small retail shelf of roasted beans, and an elongated looking Synesso espresso workhouse.
The EK grinders are used for both espresso and filter brew.
The coffee menu is available in a informative pamphlet which describes the different processing methods to help customer make educated decision.
The coffee can also be ordered in either processing methods and in either espresso or filter brew. Or if the information are too overwhelming, simply take a leap of faith and ask for the barista’s favorite.
Besides the wide array of coffee choices, another thing which caught my attention are the built-in scales there were retrofitted into the drip trip of the espresso machines. Having the scales conveniently available helps ensure that the espressos are made with precision.
The dashboard of the scale with read-out of the espresso yield and buttons to control the scale. This is something we definitely don’t see everyday!
Proud Mary Coffee which is the roastery and parent company of Aunty Peg’s is located about 1-minute walk from Aunty Peg’s. It features much bigger retail spaces with coffee equipment and roasted beans for sale.
Counter-top seating as the only option to promote conversations.
Paul Lee, the very sporty barista behind the bar preparing our geisha orders.
Towers of EKs with brew and grind settings indicated.
Similar to the informative coffee menu available in Aunty Peg’s, except that the coffee options are more exclusive with mostly Geishas from their special reserve. This include the 3-Geishas blend used into making the nitro cold brew which we enjoyed thoroughly!
I also had the honor of taking a short tour of the roastery!
And green beans storage facility with climate control. Thank you Paul and the friendly staffs at Aunty Peg’s for indulging the coffee geek in me!
The entrance to Manchester Press is hidden in a laneway which is located smack in the middle of Melbourne CBD, we were super thankful that coffee services were extended to us as we arrived just 5-min before closing.
This industry themed cafe is very spacious with lots of communal seating and a La Marzocco Linea espresso machine in the center of the island.
The beans are roasted locally by Cartel Roasters. I enjoyed the Ethiopia Hambela Guji as espresso and also with milk though the milk version is not usually favorable to the general public.
The nice barista (so so sorry for not getting your name!) was really patient in sharing more information on the coffee they have been serving. At the end of our visit, we weren’t allowed to pay because the cashier was already closed (??), and of course we were more than happy to tips! Thank you Manchester Press for the great hospitality, coffee and the beans!
While there are at least 4 branches of Sensory Lab in Melbourne, we visited the one in Little Collins Street as it is conveniently located right in the middle of Melbourne CBD. Its entrance can be found at the ground floor of an shopping arcade along Little Collins Street.
We had the honor of been served by the very passionate barista JWCoffeeProject who is shown here busy with his latte artistry.
Retail beans and books on the counter-top, PergTamp is also available in another retail shelf (not in photo).
Perhaps what left a greater impression besides the really good coffee is the quality of coffee service in Melbourne. In Sensory Lab for example, we didn’t have to pester the barista for more information on the coffee. Instead, the barista would patiently get your taste preference at your table and help you decide on the most suitable coffee like how a sommelier would introduce fine wine.
And they are really passionate in sharing their coffee! We placed order for an espresso and was instead treated to an additional cup of espresso with milk added! because I was curious how an espresso only drink in the menu would taste with milk. Thank you Sensory Lab for the treat!
Market Lane Coffee
We visited Market Lane Coffee which is located in the delicatessen section of the Queen Victoria Market on a busy Sunday morning. It is a ‘coffee to go’ stall with espresso and filter brew on the menu. They have lots of baristas (relative to the options in the menu) working on the coffee to get the queue moving fast!
Wide range of beans for espresso & filter brew and James Hoffmann’s book are also available on the retail shelfs.
Our short and fruitful coffee adventure in Melbourne came to an end with just 4 cafes visit as we were limited by our tight schedule and how much coffee we could savor in a day. 10 cups of coffee were our highest record in a single day!
Our travel loot consists of single-origin beans acquired through the suggestions from the local baristas. These are the Ethiopia Guji from Cartel Roasters, Kenya Kiamabara Peaberries from Sensory Lab, Rwanda from Proud Mary Coffee and El Salvador from Market Lane.
Thank you Melbourne for the great coffee experience 🙂