Wow, that’s quite a strong claim, I hear you say! After all, Melbourne is renowned as a destination for coffee snobs from all around, and locals will proudly talk about how it’s the world’s fourth-wave coffee capital. So what’s that about Melbourne’s coffee being shit then?
The problem is, as much of a reputation as it has, the coffee scene in Melbourne is really pretty hit and miss. Or perhaps (probably!) I’m just a grumpy old codger. Anyway, I’m not at all enthusiastic about the lighter, fruitier espressos that have been all the rage for the last few years. Sure, it’s great that attention is being paid to quality and flavour and whatnot, but if we’re talking about “authentic” espresso, the idea of a single origin is silly. A skilled roaster should – in my humble opinion – create a consistent and satisfying blend, without getting carried away in a fetish of fruitiness. And that’s without even saying anything about the sheer acidity of most espresso served around here.1 Often, a house blend, the one they use for milk-based drinks, will be somewhat more palatable, what with it having to be a bit punchier to overcome the fattiness of the milk.
So there you have it. I love espressos, I pretty much systematically order just a double shot with preferably the house blend if the café does single origins (for reasons outlined above), but on the whole, I find it hard to get a decent coffee here. My taste is more for the darker roasted “old-fashioned Italian style” more bitter espresso.
On this blog, I intend to talk about the highs and lows that I encounter while looking for the ultimate espresso!
Be sure to pop your email in the ‘Subscribe’ box below, then I’ll send you my posts as I publish them. That won’t be too frequently, don’t worry. As you’ll be able to read on my About page, one of my guiding principles is independence from closed commercial platforms, and so in that spirit, there will be no app, no Instagram, only a plain-text email and this website. That way, you can read it and share it however you like.
Oh, and you might have noticed the, err, “basic” styling of this site. It’s all definitely still a work in progress, but it’s hand-written HTML and will probably stay that way, and I may or may not be going for a super retro late-nineties look. I read somewhere that if you’re writing a blog, you should target a niche. Well, this is mine: people who like to read about a grumpy dickhead moaning about espresso in Melbourne who also prefer/tolerate a definitely-not-responsive website that’s as likely to work in IE6 as it is in your iOS Safari or Google Chrome or whatever browser du jour. Probably that’ll only appeal to like 3 people, but whatever.
When I say “Melbourne”, I loosely am referring to the CBD and northern suburbs. I might stray further afield, but.. don’t hold your breath. ↩