Best Coffee Shops - Melbourne

by Greg Watkinson

Brother Baba Budan - Little Bourke St, Melbourne

One of few cafes to have built international renown, Seven Seeds’ Brother Baba Budan is iconic. A tiny shop in the heart of Melbourne that serves incredible coffee, incredibly fast. Credited by Maxwell Colona-Dashwood for changing his whole perception of coffee, BBB is exemplar of the Melbourne Coffee ‘Flavour’. There’s certainly truth to the notion that this low seating (minus those seats found on the ceiling) coffee bar set the standard for service across Melbourne for years and, in many ways, still does. Serving Seven Seeds Seasonal Blend and a rotation of their single origins as both espresso and filter, BBB is a great place to pull up a chair, if you can, and watch fantastic baristas at work.

St Ali - Yarra Place, South Melbourne

Another of the founders of the Melbourne coffee scene; St Ali has been institutionalised as a destination for Melbourne coffee drinkers. Ordering a “coffee journey’ from the menu will see you enjoying six coffees of multiple origins all at once. The earmark of a great cafe and roastery is the ability to produce that kind of variety at the high quality standards achieved. The hardest thing about having a great reputation is maintaining it, and a trip to St Ali is fraught with this danger; though we’ve never left disappointed.

Aunty Pegs - Wellington St, Collingwood

Proud Mary’s in-roastery coffee bar pushes the boundaries of the Australian coffee expectation. Anyone who’s been around coffee in Aus for more than five minutes understands that milk based drinks (dairy or otherwise) account for a huge portion of the daily takings; the idea of eschewing them, to most, would be madness. Director, Nolan Hirte, vision was a cellar door for their roastery where customers could enjoy the depth and variety of Proud Mary’s offering before buying beans. We think he delivered exceptionally, the service style is laid back and interesting, gives customers the opportunity to engage, with tactility, coffee of varied terroir and opens the door to the exciting world of specialty coffee.

Code Black HQ - Weston St, Brunswick

Holding a special place in the heart of Josie Coffee, Code Black’s headquarters and iconic cafe is a ‘must’ in this list. Located within the roastery, the cafe gives the opportunity to look into the heart of a busy commercial operation. It’s fitout and form are every bit as good as the quality of the coffee and, by judgement of multiple roasting industry competitions, that’s a very high bar indeed.


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Image by Daniel Pelaez Dujque

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