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Melbourne's favourite local takeaway coffees

The gun baristas at these cafés pump out top-notch coffee day after day – and they won’t turn you away if you’re paying by card.

Photograph: Vince Caligiuri

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear leather aprons and are more likely to get excited about steam wands, extraction times and golden crema than they are about spandex suits or supervillains. The gun baristas at these cafés pump out top-notch coffee day after day – and they won’t turn you away if you’re paying by card.

1

St Ali

If you’re after consistently good coffee, St Ali does it 365 days a year. A coffee is only as good as its barista, and here you’ll find an ace group of young guns manning their slick matte black La Marzocco machine. Headed by award-winning head barista Matt Perger, the St Ali baristas have played an active role in introducing Melburnians to a considered appreciation of their daily caffeine hit, from the house-roasted beans to the precise latte art. In the last year the St Ali team has even been spreading their coffee gospel further afield, opening cafés in Jakarta and London, and heading pop-ups and masterclasses overseas. No doubt St Ali’s continuing popularity has something to do with their signature Orthodox Blend, a crowd pleaser blend with creamy caramel, milk chocolate and subtle fruity notes and is a smooth drink when served with milk.

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South Melbourne
2

Market Lane Coffee: Carlton

They’re serious about their coffee at Market Lane. So serious, in fact, that you’ve got just two choices when it comes to your morning brew: with full-cream milk, or without. According to the owners – coffee-devoted individuals Fleur Studd and Jason Scheltus – this is to ensure that customers get the best flavour out of their beans, which are bought from countries across the world and roasted at their Prahran Market outpost.

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Carlton
3

Seven Seeds

This Carlton favourite is all about the coffee: see the in-house coffee plants, coffee laboratory and temperature-controlled storage space. And you can bet you’ll get a delicious takeaway every time. Here in this spacious and bright warehouse conversion, the team roast their beans, which are sourced from locations in the Americas, Africa and Asia – and the knowledgeable staff are more than happy to tell you the stories behind your morning brew.

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Melbourne
4

Top Paddock

On a busy Saturday or Sunday at this Richmond brunch institution, the baristas easily crank out a thousand coffees on their powder-white Synesso machine. Beans are roasted by Square One Coffee, and there’s always a rotating selection of single origins to choose from. If you’ve got time to spare, sit down for Top Paddock’s famous blueberry and ricotta hotcake. You won’t regret it.

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Cremorne
5

Proud Mary

There are multiple reasons to be envious of Collingwood dwellers, and one of them is easy access to a morning takeaway at Proud Mary – whether that’s in the form of espresso, pour-over, syphon, French press, stove top… the list goes on. What started out as one of Melbourne’s original specialist coffee cafés is now a caffeine-fuelled empire: Proud Mary stocks some of Melbourne’s best venues with its signature blends, and is also a training ground for award-winning baristas.

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Collingwood
6

Code Black

If you work in the city, then you know that there are plenty of places to grab your morning coffee. Why not go with the best? Code Black Coffee’s rich and full-bodied blends and single origins are roasted at their Brunswick café, and high-grade beans are sourced from farms across the globe. Like what you’re drinking? Talk to the helpful coffee wizards about buying your own Code Black coffee to take home.

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Brunswick
7

The Crux & Co

Several years ago, the office-lined streets of South Melbourne near Albert Park were bereft of quality caffeine merchants. Now, there’s The Kettle Black on one side of the road and The Crux & Co on the other. Here in this Scandi-cool 100-seater, staff pour perfect coffees, with beans by local roaster Five Senses. Hungry? Pick up a fresh pastry from the cabinet, baked in the commercial-sized bakery housed in the back of the café.

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