short black map

a while back i went to the effort to draw a map of melbourne (and inner city suburbs) to map out my fav. places to get a short black. well, since then, i’ve discovered more places to partake in my particular black gold obsession. particular is probably a nicer way to put it, but i called myself a coffee fascist the other day – i’m not sure if it’s accurate, but it’s getting close. the only difference between how i feel about espressos and what could be constituted as fascism, is that i’m not trying to convert others into my brand of coffee-ness. i think.

anyway, here are the new kids on the block (this is not to discount the OGs:


6. nashi
i know, i swore i would never drink coffee from a place that was set up to be kind of like a fast food place. but you know what, the lovely barista there is a coffee snob like me, makes me the best short black to have while i’m waiting and even lets me their sugar and metal spoons to stir in (and not have to use a plastic spoon with packet sugar). that’s love, that is.

7. switchboard
run by a couple of kiwi lads who are just lovely. great lunchtime foodies: the switchboard special toasted sandwich is my favourite. the only gripe – $3.30 for a short black. i don’t know but there’s a psychological $3 upper limit for me.

8. cumulus inc
everyone’s raving about cumulus now, but i was there first. in fact, the gorgeous baristas know our names and they know exactly what to make us. i don’t get down there as often as i’d like now (and i’m selfishly hoping the ridiculous crowds will diminish a little soon). but their coffee is divine. [and they use Single Origin coffee from my second-favourite cafe in sydney. You guessed it, Single Origin.]

9. mr tulk [otherwise known as the proxy meeting room for all RMIT staff and students.]
my first experience of the tulk was an arrogant shit of a hipster giving me and my friend attitude when i asked for a double espresso. we left, vowing never to return.
well, i go there pretty much every day now and they know what i want when i walk in and are just the bomb. i sit and have my little short black, read the business day section of the age (the only section left, and it’s actually quite interesting, believe it or not), before heading back to uni.


5. bistro flor:
555 nicholson st
down the road from my studio and open until 10pm at night. perfect for the late nights.

3. kent st [again]
i know kent st was in the first short black map, but i just have to give it extra props. it is my all-time favourite cafe. almost my favourite place in the whole wide world and worth a second mention.

i’ve still got a few more places to discover (like brother baba budan and st. ali), but the map is getting good now, don’t you think. maybe next i’ll generate an open source-ish google map, like dan did for the modernism map. until then, photoshop it is.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

short black map

i have a confession to make: i used to order a decaf soy latte.

caffeine used to make me really sick [thanks to a greater addiction to nicotine] and i prefer to not drink cows milk [in an effort to reduce my contribution to a cruel dairy industry].

after going to europe and realising how fruitless it was trying to order all of that in german, i discovered the joy of espresso. oh my. from then, it was all i drank – right through germany, italy, austria and france: at €1 for a shot, it was just the way.

being back in melbourne, the ‘cafe culture’ city, i’ve now discovered that good coffee is not actually a given in this city. sure, there are a whole bunch of great cafes who theoretically make good coffee, but really it’s just mediocre coffee with great milk. fine for your latte-sipping set, but i’ve now joined the black coffee militia. and it’s proving a mission just to find a place to partake in the joy of a good, strong, coffee with depth and body. holy shit – did i just say that?

anyway, just for a bit of fun, i’ve started myself a short black map. i’ve got a few places on it that are ever-reliable on the short-black front. and, in the interest of un’espresso buono, i’m going to track my progess.

unfortunately, this probably means taking several bad blacks for the team, but i’m willing to make that sacrifice. if you’re in melbourne, and have a suggestion for a good espresso, please feel free to contribute. and for the rest of you, well you’ll just have to deal with an occasional post where i wax lyrical about finding a gold mine.

short black map

1. rouge galette. bonjour, ça va? they speak to me in french, know that i just get un café and make a killer brew.

2. pellegrinis. institution. never a bad coffee. sometimes a bit of attitude from the barista, until you start talking italian, then you’re bella ragazza

3. mag nation. i know, you wouldn’t expect magazine valhalla to be up there with great espresso, but believe me, it’s great. the only down side: paper cups: ick.

4. stacks. brilliant. opposite RMIT bookstore and next to melbourne artists’ supplies. perfect, if i could get there in my lunch break.

5. stellini. it’s pretty good. a little on the uncertain side, but it’s certainly worth a spot on the list.

and, seeing as I don’t hang out in the CBD on weekends, i’ve needed to find places closer to home, so i’ve got a map for the north side. although, given i live stone’s throw from the italian centre of the melbourne universe, it’s not that hard to find a good ‘un. but going to the same 4 cafés is going to get tiresome for my friends.

short black map

1. tiamo. institution. great coffee, fantastic atmosphere, italian conversation and only attitude from 1 or 2 of the barista.

2. DOC. my favourite restaurant. great people, fabulous mozzarella and top coffee.

3. kent st. sleezy, rock’n’roll bar with great stuff on the walls, wicked soundtrack, cute baristas and mind-jarringly great coffee.

4. rosamond. almost perfect coffee, but the best breakfast and ace people. so it makes the list.

so, there you go. completely self-obsessed list of places to get a decent espresso in this city. but it’s not enough i tell you. so the official mission has begun.

à bientôt!

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx