Not many cities take their coffee as seriously as Melbourne does. Here, the bean and beverage are almost as sacred as footy. Cold drips, aero-press, cupping and syphon are common words in the local vernacular thanks to a widespread passion for the bean, complemented by a number of leading brewers who call Melbourne home.
Caffeine has been pumping through the arteries of Melbourne’s city centre for many years. Starting with the original Pellegrini Espresso Bar which opened in the 1950s, a thriving Italian influence helped the spread of coffee culture in Melbourne over the decades to follow, until the new wave of specialist roasters and baristas emerged in the early 2000s. Today it is almost impossible to walk around a corner in Melbourne without the familiar scent of a perfectly brewed espresso wafting down a laneway.
Here’s a list of some of the Victoria’s top and newest cafes to get a caffeine fix.
Le Shoppe - the latest venture from Scott Pickett’s team and sibling to his European bistro, Chancery Lane. The European-inspired coffee-bar and provedore serves Merchant Coffee, roasted in Mansfield in North-East Victoria alongside a rotating selection of ‘grab-and-go’ salads and sandwiches plus pastries by Ned’s and baked goods made in-house. 430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.
First Love Coffee - located in the Collins Arch precinct, West-end of Collins St and is a new stand-up coffee bar from artisanal bakers Rustica. Coffee is at the forefront with Ethiopian, Brazilian and Nicaraguan single-origin beans available to purchase as well as the brand’s own house blend. Rustica’s signature baked goods are also heroes of the menu. 447 Collins Street, Melbourne
ONA Coffee Melbourne – the highly awarded Canberra-based coffee merchants have crossed the border to open shop in Brunswick (behind Sydney Road). This mega-coffee ‘sanctuary’ fit with an ‘experience bar’ with dedicated sections for espresso, milk work and filter brewing. The menu consists of a 20-plus list of coffee styles to choose from. 22 Ovens Street, Brunswick, Victoria
Bellboy Coffee – serving the locals of the newly established East Brunswick Village and surrounds, this café offers a modern take on Melbourne brunch classics, a dedicated (NYC-style) bagel menu and coffee roasted on site by award-winning Roaster, Mark Leo. 131 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, Victoria
Bench Coffee – from the team who has given Melbourne a dedicated katsu sandwich bar (Saint Dreux) and a slew of other notable cafes, this is Bench Coffee Co’s first café by name. The shop fits right in with its high-end Collins Street neighbours with top notch design elements throughout and of course serious coffee at the centre. Only one food item is offered, a dacquoise - rich buttercream sandwiched between light, spongy nut-meringue biscuits. 321 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Industry Beans – the Fitzroy coffee icon has opened a CBD outpost. Work up a thirst before coming as there's a detailed, comprehensive menu of house-roasted coffee, house-brand teas and fresh juices to wet your whistle. Watch the roasting and brewing as it happens, at the La Marzocco Modbar. 345 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Axil Coffee Roasters - the latest (and largest) venture from coffee powerhouse roasters Axil, is the 120 seat and three tired café within Melbourne Central’s Ella precinct. Pick up one of the delicious made-to-order takeaway brunch boxes with a coffee for a café experience at home. Axil have a whopping 15 locations under their banner and also offer coffee subscriptions via their website. Shop GD087, Melbourne Central, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
St ALi – when it comes to specialty coffee ST. ALi was one of the first, one of the pioneers; the ones who defined specialty coffee in Melbourne; and the ones who continue to push boundaries forward. ST. ALi has been an industry leader in direct relationships with farmers, in-house roasting and expert coffee brewing. 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
Patricia – it's standing room only at Patricia and all about simplicity. The selection of coffee – roasted fresh in Abbotsford – comes three ways and three ways only: black, white and filter. Corner of Little Bourke and Little Williams Streets, Melbourne.
Proud Mary – meet the team who kick-started the SoJo scene – bringing serious coffee and smashed avocado to the good folk south of Johnston Street. Chat to the crew about the impressive looking coffee kit or just place faith and enjoy a smooth cup o' Joe and the kind of breakfast or lunch that would be the envy of dinner menus. 172 Oxford Street, Collingwood
Seven Seeds - Mark Dundon knows a thing or two about coffee - he sources the best green beans from around the world and roasts them onsite at Seven Seeds. The nerve centre of his operation, this cafe and coffee lab boasts a mini bean plantation and free tasting sessions. World-class caffeine extractions and decent pastries to match. 114 Berkeley St, Carlton VIC 3053
Das Kaffehaus - Saunter in on a weekend and enjoy an authentic Viennese coffee house experience across the road from Castlemaine's botanic gardens. Sip on small-batch, micro-roasted coffee from the in-house roaster – Coffee Basics – accompanied by favourites from the European menu, including millet porridge with poached pears, goulash and, of course, all kinds of sausage. 9 Walker St, Castlemaine VIC 3450
Echuca Coffee Roasters - Echuca Coffee Roasters is a small local business located down in the historic port of Echuca. They sell takeaway coffees, cakes and coffee merchandise. Their coffee beans are roasted fresh on site, offering a selection of blends and single origin coffee beans. 574 High St, Echuca VIC 3564
Get Naked Espresso Bar - Prior to 2013 you would’ve been hard-pressed to find a Melbourne-worthy espresso bar in the regional city of Bendigo, better known for its rich Gold Rush heritage and historic beauty. That is until Get Naked Espresso Bar opened, unpretentious and relaxed, they offer great coffee and good old-fashioned customer service. 73 Mitchell St, Bendigo VIC 3550
Sixpence Coffee Roasters – Bright-en up with locally roasted beans and brews in Bright. A family owned and run small batch coffee roaster and cafe, Sixpence is your place to talk coffee, bag some beans for home, or try one of their ‘Brew Your Own’ Masterclasses. Bring an appetite for fresh, house baked sourdough and sweet treats, too – we're talking seriously decadent doughnuts. 15 Wills St, Bright VIC 3741.
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