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Melbourne Coffee Trail

26 January 2017

Melbourne is a city with a rich coffee history dating back to the mid 1800’s. It is today one of the most progressive and exciting cities in the world to drink coffee.

Whilst scoffing my face with delicious food over Christmas, my supply of specialty coffee was wearing thin and I decided, “what better way to start 2017 than a quick tour of Melbourne’s coffee scene”. The most difficult thing was to determine which café/roasters to visit.

After quickly deliberating with some contacts, I decided to try squeezing in as much caffeine as my body could handle in the short day and a half I had. The café/roasters I decided to visit were;

I thought I’d quickly touch on a few I visited, without critiquing the coffees served to me. Hopefully this will give an insight into which coffee trail you might like to take around Melbourne one day.

Industry Beans

This was a clear choice for us to visit first. We were staying close by in Clifton Hill, and I had heard great things from numerous people about Industry. The outside of this roaster/café is covered in what seems to be recycled pallets taking shape of a container. This gives you great scenes of the passion and understanding the company has to sourcing coffee around the world. The menu is extensive, with a large amount of brew methods and coffees to chose from. I was especially happy they were serving a good variation of varieties and processing methods from all coffee growing continents. The staff where extremely knowledgeable and could hold a general conversation on brewing, processing and growing styles. This is a must visit for a coffee nerd who enjoys a laid back and educational coffee experience.

Dukes CBD Espresso Bar

This was just a quick visit to the espresso bar dukes has in the CBD found on Flinders lane. As expected they where extremely busy and the line outside stretch a long way down the street. I was greeted politely, and pointed in the right direction of what coffee was brewing best on espresso. The coffee being brewed as filter where displayed as just Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador, which I’m guessing where all washed coffees, probably Caturra, Catuai or Bourbon variety. The feel of the place was good and did portray an element of sophisticated baristing, however I felt as though the café had slowly taken on the responsibility of servicing the daily office workers milk based coffee, and lost the small elements it takes to showcase specialty coffee. If your looking to spend some time with the guys at dukes I’d definitely recommend seeing them at their roaster.

Auction Rooms

This Café is one to be enjoyed on a lazy day. The massive ceilings and exposed outdoor seating highlight a fresh and creativity atmosphere that is definitely showing through their produce. The coffee menu has a great selection of brewing methods and coffees, and the care taken by the barista on ever brew was noticed from across the room. It was particually nice to be able to sample some coffee from one of the farms on the beanlinked network, El Finca.  If you are in North Melbourne it is definitely worth the wait for a filter from this place.

Seven Seeds

No other roaster I’ve visited has gone to the level of care of describing a coffee they are serving, than Seven Seeds. The extremely descriptive origin cards are ensuring the consumer is truly experiencing what specialty coffee is all about. The roaster is found in Carlton and has an industrial feel and captivating atmosphere. The menu is great and includes a large amount of origins, processing methods, varieties and general growing methods. The staff where friendly and helpful, but I could tell the true coffee geeks where behind the coffee machines. A great place to visit and enjoy a large selection of specialty coffee.

Monk Bodhi Dharma

I’m a close friend of a barista at Monk named Eli Galbally. He’d told me that he was serving up some interesting coffees at Monk and that they’d certainly peak my interest. However, the extent of the coffees on Monks menu almost blew my mind. The café was serving up a whole bunch of 90+ coffee including Ethiopia Nekisse, Panama perci lot, Steve holt Makers, Lotus Solkiln and a few others like Colombian Pink bourbon and Malawi Gesha which where tasting in the high 80’s. The staff definitely made the time to take me through each coffee on the offering, and even organized a quick cupping of some of their new lots that had just arrived. Probably one of the most engaging cafes I visited.

Market Lane

Unfortunately this was a quick coffee on the way out of town, however I think it definitely deserves a mention. The two ladies working behind the bar in Carlton took extra care in serving me my filtered Rwandan and gave me a quick description into the Co-op and tasting notes they where finding in the cup that day.

Definitely get down to Melbourne in this New Year, it’s a city well worth a brew.