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Tasting Melbourne’s Coffee Culture

Tasting Melbourne's

I’m not much of a coffee drinker. In fact, I don’t drink it at all. Tea is my chosen beverage, followed shortly by Coca Cola. But by not drinking coffee, I’ve been missing out on important parts of the places I visit. No espresso in Italy, no drip coffee at New York diners and no flat whites in Sydney. But this time around, I vowed to say ‘yes’ to more and not get caught up in my picky preferences and hangups.

Melbourne, Australia’s café capital, was the best place to start. We signed up for a tour of the city’s best cafés with Walk Melbourne, led by native Monique Bayer. Joining us on the walk were coffee roasters from the Philippines in town for a conference, so I was surrounded by experts. We visited four cafes to try their best selections, each with their own unique vibe.


melbourne coffee

Named for owners Bowen and Pip’s grandmothers who share the name, you could walk past this small shop adjacent to a loading dock hundreds of times before seeing it. The cafe features guest roasts from Seven Seeds and is, as the tiling in the entryway says, it’s ‘standing room only.’ I had the fruity, mellow espresso, my first ever. I loved the leatherworker style aprons the baristas wore.

Patricia Coffee Brewers, 493-495 Little Bourke Street, Monday-Friday 7 am to 4 pm,

Brother Baba Budan

melbourne coffee

The hip BBB gets very crowded in the afternoon and is decorated with wooden chairs hung from the ceiling. You’re better off getting one of their brews to go. I tried their Seven Seeds single origin espresso, which was stronger in flavor for a newbie like myself.

Brother Baba Budan, 359 Little Bourke Street, +61 3 9606 0449, Monday-Friday 7 am to 6 pm, Saturday 7 am to 5 pm, Sunday 8 am to 5 pm,

Little Mule

melbourne coffee

Part bike shop part coffee shop, Little Mule features everything a hipster could want, including a cafe with delicious sandwiches. The light roast pour over was much milder in flavor than I expected. If you have trouble deciding, ask the fellows behind the counter for advice.

The Little Mule Company Pty Ltd, 19 Somerset Place, +61 3 9670 4904, Monday-Friday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm,

The League of Honest Coffee

melbourne coffee

This coffee shop showcases the coffee they roast in the nearby hipster enclave of Brunswick. The family run establishment even sells the gear you need to brew at home like products from Chemex and Aeropress. We sampled the cold batch brewed selection from Sumatra.

The League of Honest Coffee, 8 Exploration Lane, +61 3 9654 0169, Monday-Friday 7 am to 5 pm, Saturday 9 am to 2 pm,

Walk Melbourne also offers tours on dumplings, rooftop bars, sweets and a combination for those not interested in coffee. While these tours are a great way for visitors to get to know Melbourne, the majority of guests are locals looking for something new to try. For more on Monique’s recommendations, check out her book Devouring Melbourne.

I received a complimentary coffee tour with Walk Melbourne, but all opinions and epiphanies on coffee are my own.

Mentioned in this post
  1. Patricia Coffee Brewers
    Restaurant in Melbourne Australia

    493-495 Little Bourke St
    Melbourne Australia
  2. Brother Baba Budan
    Restaurant in Melbourne Australia

    359 Little Bourke St
    Melbourne Australia
    (03) 9606 0449
  3. The Little Mule Company Pty Ltd
    Attraction in Melbourne Australia

    19 Somerset Pl
    Melbourne Australia
    (03) 9670 4904
  4. The League of Honest Coffee
    Restaurant in Melbourne Australia

    8 Exploration Ln
    Melbourne Australia
    (03) 9654 0169

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4 Responses to Tasting Melbourne’s Coffee Culture

  1. Beverley | Pack Your Passport April 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Aw I never went to any of these places while I was living in Melbourne but I really wish I had Caroline, they all sound brilliant!

  2. David January 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

    Seven Seeds single origin espresso from Brother Baba Budan is indeed a strong one. Actually, a favorite of mine. But there’s a lot of coffee varieties around cafes in Melbourne. I’m sure you’d also love them.

  3. Anjelina July 31, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    Thanks for the post. It is really nice post. After reading this post, I really get some new information’s about This Melbourne coffee culture. I am really happy to know this.

  4. Sarah November 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    I really love coffee and so I tried the Seven Seeds single origin espresso from Brother Baba Budan. It smell good and I like the taste. It’s strong enough that I still energy to watch movie after making my report.

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