Mokum, Brunswick

Posted on by snoffeecob


As all you glamorous and perceptive readers of this humble blog will be well aware, there are two things that are exceedingly hard to find in Melbourne: a great cup of espresso, freshly roasted beans for at home, decent cycling infrastructure, well-insulated homes, and timely public transport.

Initially I was curious about a new bar on Sydney Rd, Brunswick, called Mokum, because it is clearly Dutch-themed. I had extremely low expectations (this is probably key to any good experience in life) because the previous Dutch-themed thing I encountered in Australia was the “Lekker” brand of bicycles, which is definitively not Dutch. Lekker bicycles have about as much in common with decent Dutch bikes as .. I don’t know, kangaroos have in common with clogs. I digress – as much as I’d really like to do a side-rant about cycling in Australia one day. But completely by accident, I may well have stumbled on some of the tastiest, freshest espresso beans I’ve bought in a long time.

In any case, I went to this place Mokum, not expecting terribly much, but it turns out it’s run by a fellow who actually speaks Dutch, and clearly knows a thing or two about good Dutch food, special beers (also a wide selection of Belgian beers, because.. everybody knows that Belgian beers are really the best beers the Netherlands has to offer), and, as it turns out, coffee.

Despite the tasty food and 90-something excellent beers on the menu, Mokum also casually has a coffee roastery in the back, seemingly almost as a low-key afterthought. I decided to try some of the beans, having been super impressed with the rest of the food (bitterballen made in-house? pancake syrup made in-house? yes, yes, and more).

It would be an understatement to say I was impressed with the coffee beans. First of all, they had been roasted less than 2 weeks ago, where most other places I know about will fob you off with super puffed-up bags, telling you with a straight face they were roasted “just the other day” (hello Ray’s). I could definitely tell the freshness when I brewed an espresso at home the next day. It has been a while since I saw such a beautiful stream forming under the portafilter, first languidly oozing oily rich terracotta colours, then gradually turning blonde… And the taste! Nice and intense, good bitterness, none of the fruity madness you frequently find in the hip places round and about. A solidly tasty, bodied espresso without tons of distraction going on.

I’ll definitely be back for more – and I really think you should try Mokum too! Come for the coffee, stay for a beer or nasi goreng while you’re at it – the whole (extensive) menu and drinks list is well worth a try.

PS: For the friendly folks at Broadsheet reading this blog – you should also go check out Mokum ;)