So my hunt for the perfect flat white or the perfect coffee is always on and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite places that I encountered in Australia.
Melbourne has since long been leading the way for the artisan independent coffee shops, so it’s no surprise that I did spend a fair bit of time trying out a few different places there. My favourite ones turned out to be those not on any ‘top 10 list’, but rather unassuming places. But I think that’s also another reason why they where the best.
My favourite was this little place called Batch, on Carlisle Street in St Kilda. I was taken there by my friend Katie as it was her local. Jason, who owns the place, loves and operates his Slayer coffee machine and it pays off in the coffee he makes. I had several flat whites there and all of them were perfect, in fact I’d say awesome. It was actually the first place in Melbourne where I got a great flat white, in my opinion. The crema of the espresso shot mixed with the perfectly steamed milk, it was the perfect bittersweet harmony in a cup! They don’t have a website, but you can read a bit more here.
Another favourite turned out to also be based in St Kilda, called Garage Espresso on Carlisle Street, it’s a cool looking place with, what now seems to be customary for a artisan coffee shop, exposed brick wall, mixed with nice furniture and friendly staff. The flat white here was great, simple as that.
My third favourite was Brother Baba Budan, one of Seven Seeds (who I wrote about previously) coffee shops. This is a small place in the CBD of Melbourne, there are chairs hanging from the ceiling, there’s a few seats around a bigger table and along a bar desk by the wall. Staff are friendly and the flat white and cappuccino we had was great, both times we went there.
The not so good… So I had read that Proud Mary was the best of the best, the creme of the crop, so naturally they were on my list of places to try. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed. When we got in there it was rather busy, but Mat spotted a table in the corner and he told me to order and he would sit down, a moment later he came back and said that there was no space and he wanted to leave. Turns out, a rude snappy waiter had told him: “You can’t sit here! You have to wait for a waiter to seat you over there” and pointed to the door, where there was no sign “wait to be seated”. I’m sorry, but in my opinion, if the place is so big you need waiters to seat you, you are no longer classed as a coffee shop and if this is the case, have a sign that tells you so to avoid confusion and embarrassment. I got the impression that having been listed top for quite some time has made these guys a tad pretentious and not everyone who comes to your place is a local and knows your rules in advance. The flat white I ordered was good, but it was far from my opinion of great.