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.
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.