The Hunt for a Perfect Cuppa

Left: Piccolo Latte by Campos Coffee. Right: Mecca Espresso in 1 Albert St, Sydney.

Left: Piccolo Latte by Campos Coffee. Right: Mecca Espresso in 1 Alfred St, Sydney.


Mecca Espresso
As you’re wandering around Sydney Opera House and the harbour, why not take a relaxing break in the outdoorsy Mecca Espresso right across the Circular Quay? Sandwiched between office buildings opposite Four Seasons Hotel, this coffee shop is home to Trisatya Dharmawan who won New South Wales Barista Championship 2012. Try the Darkhorse Blend, Kenya Sasuri AA, and the soy cappuccino. Complete details:

Campos Coffee
That Saturday morning I was lost among the Newtown crowds. I hopped from one shops to another, finding treasures and things that I don’t need but want. At the end of Newtown, the street looked quieter. But there in the corner, after a short left turn, was Campos Coffee. Tiny, but guests kept coming. The place was packed. People drinking coffee from their cups standing. I was lucky to have a spot to sit and sip their Kenya AA Light Roast. My second cup was the confident piccolo latte using Campos Superior Blend. I loved this place so much I went to their headquarter the second day; Don Campos in Fountain Street. Boasting three La Marzocco engines, this place is much more spacious, and Barista David Ruslie told me that they’re going to open a bakery there soon. For complete details and online shopping:

Coffee Alchemy
This place is recommended by both David and Tri, and they talked about it as if it is Sydney’s best kept secret. It was quite a long stroll around the residential area of Marrickville. The purple jacaranda trees adorned the quiet streets in that cheerful sunny day. Coffee Alchemy indeed is a lab for the locals to get their caffeine fix in the most straightforward manner. Barista Hazel de Los Reyes was this year’s champion in NSW Barista Championship, and she herself happened to serve me with Coffee Alchemy’s Sibila’s Brew. This is not the kind of place for your buddies to hang out and chit chat for hours over a single cup of coffee, unless you’re completely shameless. Geek yourself out here in every single sip. Complete details:

Related post: Bangkok: Beautifully Brewing

Left to Right: St Ali North's Bone Marrow, Coffee Alchemy in Sydney, Proud Mary's Victoria Brew.

Left to Right: St Ali North’s Bone Marrow, Coffee Alchemy in Sydney, Proud Mary’s Victoria Brew.


St Ali North
This seems to be the number one place Melbournians would mention if you ask where is the best place to go for coffee. I went there for lunch in a weekend, and as predicted, the place was packed. Most recommended is its Bone & Brew item where they pair a portion of delicious bone marrow with their select brew – mine was Costa Rican. Yes, gulp the tangy bone marrow, and shower it with coffee inside your mouth, and you’ll get the every reason why St Ali North is a must-visit. There is also St Ali South, but you haven’t been to St Ali until you’ve been to the one in the North. Check it out:

Proud Mary
I went twice to Proud Mary, and I enjoyed sitting in the bar, having my Victoria Brew, served by Champion Barista Remy Shpayzer. Proud Mary is where fun equally meets the taste. Their blends are named Ghostrider and Honeysuckle, among many. The merchandise makes them look like the Hard Rock Cafe of coffee. The food? My Chicken Papardelle was heavenly. Ambience is as friendly as it could get. You don’t wanna miss Proud Mary. Check out their funky website:

Market Lane
AU$12 for Coffee Tasting Flight featuring small jugs of Santa Isabel (COE Lot 3), Juan Ticona (Bolivia), and Cachoeira da Grama (Brazil) was the best and most delicious bargain ever. I went to the Prahran Market store and cafe where both shopping housewives with their baby strollers, and executives with their business paper gathered. They also sell coffee equipments including a pocket scale which I found very handy. That Santa Isabel is lovely indeed, by the way. Highly recommended.


Left: Market Lane’s Coffee Tasting Flight. Right: Seven Seeds’s Panama.

Seven Seeds
You go to Brother Baba Budan to enjoy Seven Seeds coffee with tourists who take pictures of the unique ceiling featuring more wooden chairs than found on the floor. At least that’s what I’ve experienced there. However, the one in 114 Berkeley St, Carlton was a lot bigger. They were deemed as the place to serve the Best Coffee and Best Breakfast by Wallpaper magazine in 2010. My Eggs Benedict was the creamiest ever, and the Panama Esmeralda León Geisha was nutty, sweet, and very silky.

Auction Rooms
A ten-minute walk from Seven Seeds in Carlton brought me to Auction Rooms – another spacious joint filled with yuppies during that lunch break. I had a syphoned Kenyan of which the aroma was chocolatey, the taste was very clean, and the body had an almond flavour. The place was buzzing indeed.


Left: ORA Specialy Coffee in Kew, Melbourne. Right: Clement Coffee, the hole-in-a-wall in South Melbourne Market.

ORA Cafe
Perhaps nobody will mention ORA Cafe to you, and most likely because this little place is best kept secret. Pick Split from the menu where the espresso shots are split to make a cup of espresso, and a cup of piccolo latte. In between these two there is a cup of iced cascara. Their portion of pineapple brioche comes with pashmak and pineapple panna cotta. On Twitter: @ORA_Cafe

Clement Coffee
The hole-in-the-wall in South Melbourne Market serves two kinds of blends every day, and they keep changing. Barista Kris Wood will serve you with the fix. The scene was relaxing. Beautiful brew enjoyed with a mundane daily view of Melbourne’s busy market. On Tumblr: On Twitter: @ClementCoffee

Axil Coffee Roasters
I did not get the chance to go to their store and cafe, but my friend Joseph Erwin bought me a bag of Axil’s Sidamo Guji – Ethiopia. I brought it to 1/15 Coffee and let Champion Barista Doddy Samsura played around with it. Using Chemex, the result was a cup of warm and cheerful coffee with a lot of fruity flavours coming alive. It’s on the top of my list of must-visit places whenever I get the chance to go to Melbourne again.

Left: Lunch time in Auction Rooms. Right: Sidamo Guji - Ethiopia from Axil Coffee Roasters served in 1/15 Coffee, Jakarta.

Left: Lunch time in Auction Rooms. Right: Sidamo Guji – Ethiopia from Axil Coffee Roasters served in 1/15 Coffee, Jakarta.

  1. Ronald prasanto said:

    Tulisan yg keren dan penuh informasi , bisa jadi tujuan wisata bila mencari keindahan dunia hitam

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