An analysis of coffees from Australia crossposted from here.
by Kristina Laven, Exchange to Monash University, Australia
In Melbourne, there is no such thing as ‘drip’ coffee that we see at Tim Hortons and McDonalds at home. At first I was a little bit upset about this, being a Tim Hortons enthusiast, until I discovered the glory of the Melbourne Latte, and sometimes if I want to be daring and switch it up, the ‘Flat White’. I’m sure that you fellow North Americans have no idea what a flat white is, as I was when ordering my first coffee in Australia, so here is a brief overview of the types of coffee they have here:
Latte: A latte consists of espresso, and steamed milk served with a small layer of smooth froth on top (usually about 1cm thick). Because of the way the latte is poured from the milk jug it is often possible for a trained barista to create ‘latte art’ on top as can be seen in the pictures above.
Flat White: A flat white is a coffee beverage originating from Australia and New Zealand. It is prepared by pouring microfoam (steamed milk from the bottom of a pitcher) over a single shot (30 millilitre) or double shot of espresso. It is similar to the latte and like other espresso-based beverages it can be interpreted various ways. (Thanks you Wikipedia for the descriptive definition)
Long Black: A long black is made by pulling a double-shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water (usually the water is also heated by the espresso machine). A long black is similar to an American, which is made by adding hot water to the espresso shot; but a long black retains the crema and is less voluminous, therefore more strongly flavoured.
Cappuccino: is a coffee-based drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. A cappuccino differs from a caffè latte in that it is prepared with much less steamed or textured milk than the caffè latte. A cappuccino is traditionally served in a porcelain cup, which has far better heat retention characteristics than glass or paper.
Macchiato: The macchiato is served in a demitasse cup, it is comprised of an espresso stained with a dollop of milk froth. (A lot different than a macchiato you would order at Starbucks in Vancouver)
Now that you are familiar with Australian coffee, here are my top 3 favourite cafes and cups of coffee to go along with them.
It was our first couple of days in Melbourne when a friend in our hostel took us to Seven Seeds, located in the CBD right near the University of Melbourne. At the time I wasn’t even aware that they were voted best Coffee in Melbourne for 2010 and that it was a café world renown for its coffee, but after trying it out it was easy to see why. Not only did Seven Seeds have a great, hipster, University type atmosphere, but the food was great and of course my soy latte was amazing.
This café is located just a 5 minute walk from my house in St Kilda and if I could afford to buy a coffee every single day, I would most likely be frequenting this place regularly. I didn’t discover Galleon until about halfway through my time here, and to my dismay I was missing out big time. Galleon again has a such a great laid back atmosphere, with great funky eclectic décor. The coffee here is so good, and strong (just how I like it) and they also have a very very very good breakfast menu. Every time I pass by this place it is always packed full with happy customers enjoying good food and coffee and its no surprise why.
St Ali was recommended to me by a friend, and like Seven Seeds, is also known around Melbourne for great coffee. St Ali roasts their own coffee beans on site and I was sure to purchase some of my own to take home and brew afterwards. Located on a hidden street in South Melbourne, with little to no signage, this place is the kind spot that only locals know of or you hear about from word of mouth. Luckily I had the message passed along to me so seeking the ultimate cup of coffee I took a trip out there for breakfast and this time a Flat White. The coffee was delicious as well as the breakfast however definitely not cheap, $30 for eggs and toast and a coffee! However the experience was well worth it. Once again the atmosphere was very cool, it had an almost open warehouse feel, accompanied by miss-matched tables and chairs and worn out floorboards but it all fit together perfectly. Regardless of the price, St Ali makes my top 3 favourite spots and it is definitely a must-see in Melbourne.
Well there you have it, my top 3 Coffee spots in Melbourne! If you ever end up visiting the city, please go to at least one of them, I promise you won’t be disappointed.