No one likes starting the day with a bad brew, so we road-tested the best coffee in the CBD to determine who is extracting perfect cups of golden motivation to help you fire through the working week.
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The best coffee in Melbourne
Everyday Midtown is the CBD branch of Fitzroy’s Everyday Coffee. They roast their own beans in a Melbourne warehouse, and their All Day seasonal blend is a creamy chocolate Colombian mix that’s perfect with milk. Even the fanciest cup of joe will only set you back $5, and there’s a 50 cent BYO cup discount (it doesn’t just apply to Keep Cups – any office mug can net you savings).
The priority at Axil is high quality, ethical coffee. Their beans are roasted locally in Hawthorn. The single origin options are rotated daily, and the seasonal blend has a dark chocolate and nougat flavour profile. Standard cups are a little cheaper than many places at $3.80.
Inside the beautiful old Ross House building they’re committed to They’re committed to ethical trading with coffee sourced from farms and small co-operatives that they bring home to roast here in Melbourne. The price of a filter ranges between $3 and $10, while an espresso cup any way will set you back $4, or $3.50 if you bring your own cup.
The single origins change frequently and baristas are across any coffee question you could throw at them. But this expertise comes at a price: the fanciest cup of single origin pour over can cost you up to $9 and a standard ‘white’ coffee costs $4.50. But then, every espresso shot is a double.
The origin story of Brother Baba Budan is that he stole seven seeds of coffee from the Middle East and took them to India. Now his namesake is a Seven Seeds branch in the city, a noisy place with a large communal table and a ten-minute wait time. Takeaway is your best bet, as there are more chairs on the ceiling than on the floor.
The subway between Degraves and Flinders Street Station has Sticky Institute, Melbourne’s only independent zine co-op; nature-inspired jewellery from Corky St Claire; and Cup of Truth, a true hole-in-the-wall. They use Axil roasted beans to make the smoothest flat white you’ve ever tasted.
At the end of a row of cafés on Little Collins is this unassuming café where knowledgeable baristas are hard at work. Little Bean Blue uses beans from Geelong’s Coffee Cartel Roasters to make coffee every way, from a classic espresso to filters and cold drips. A small costs $3.80.
They’re using the Pony blend from Clement (of the Sensory Lab, Market Lane and St Ali family) so you’re guaranteed a milk coffee with a caramel apple flavour. Black coffees are made with a Sensory Lab single origin. Despite the queue, the team here are always smiling. There’s a 50 cent BYO cup discount
Axil Roasters have been providing the blends and Monk Bodhi Dharma the single origins, but Workshop Brothers have branched out and created their own blend called the Huntly. It’s a peachy medium roast with a crisp, sweet aftertaste, delicious in a flat white. All the white coffees are $4 for a small.
Sacred Alley is a modern café with large blue booths and white wooden chairs. Dukes Coffee Roasters supply the beans for white and single origin coffees. For black coffee, they use Maker Fine Coffee beans. If you can get it, have the Maven seasonal blend. It’s a Colombian bean with a grape and cherry aroma, medium body and great texture.
Gold Drops specialise in naturally processed coffee. Unwashed, the beans are left to dry with the fruit still on. It’s a process that results in an intensely sweet and fruity cup of coffee. To grasp the difference between this and washed beans, try a long black. It’s a light, tangy cherry cup with a sweet aftertaste. Get a cruffin filled with jam or salted caramel to complete your morning ritual.
Natural light, large wooden tables and menus on blackboards give Sun Moth Canteen a relaxed, rustic vibe. It helps that it’s tucked away from the main roads – it never feels crowded, even during the lunchtime rush. Lattes are made with the Small Batch Candyman blend. It’s got a macadamia kick and earthy notes.
White Mojo is one of Melbourne’s most Instagrammable cafés – and they have Wi-Fi to make that easy for everyone. From the food to the black sesame lattes and the wood panelling, everything is ridiculously photogenic. Coffee is a house blend, made from a mix of naturally dried and washed Sumatran beans. The process results in an intense, fruity flavour in your brew.