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short black map

i have a confession to make: i used to order a decaf soy latte.

caffeine used to make me really sick [thanks to a greater addiction to nicotine] and i prefer to not drink cows milk [in an effort to reduce my contribution to a cruel dairy industry].

after going to europe and realising how fruitless it was trying to order all of that in german, i discovered the joy of espresso. oh my. from then, it was all i drank - right through germany, italy, austria and france: at €1 for a shot, it was just the way.

being back in melbourne, the 'cafe culture' city, i've now discovered that good coffee is not actually a given in this city. sure, there are a whole bunch of great cafes who theoretically make good coffee, but really it's just mediocre coffee with great milk. fine for your latte-sipping set, but i've now joined the black coffee militia. and it's proving a mission just to find a place to partake in the joy of a good, strong, coffee with depth and body. holy shit - did i just say that?

anyway, just for a bit of fun, i've started myself a short black map. i've got a few places on it that are ever-reliable on the short-black front. and, in the interest of un'espresso buono, i'm going to track my progess.

unfortunately, this probably means taking several bad blacks for the team, but i'm willing to make that sacrifice. if you're in melbourne, and have a suggestion for a good espresso, please feel free to contribute. and for the rest of you, well you'll just have to deal with an occasional post where i wax lyrical about finding a gold mine.

short black map

1. rouge galette. bonjour, ça va? they speak to me in french, know that i just get un café and make a killer brew.

2. pellegrinis. institution. never a bad coffee. sometimes a bit of attitude from the barista, until you start talking italian, then you're bella ragazza

3. mag nation. i know, you wouldn't expect magazine valhalla to be up there with great espresso, but believe me, it's great. the only down side: paper cups: ick.

4. stacks. brilliant. opposite RMIT bookstore and next to melbourne artists' supplies. perfect, if i could get there in my lunch break.

5. stellini. it's pretty good. a little on the uncertain side, but it's certainly worth a spot on the list.

and, seeing as I don't hang out in the CBD on weekends, i've needed to find places closer to home, so i've got a map for the north side. although, given i live stone's throw from the italian centre of the melbourne universe, it's not that hard to find a good 'un. but going to the same 4 cafés is going to get tiresome for my friends.

short black map

1. tiamo. institution. great coffee, fantastic atmosphere, italian conversation and only attitude from 1 or 2 of the barista.

2. DOC. my favourite restaurant. great people, fabulous mozzarella and top coffee.

3. kent st. sleezy, rock'n'roll bar with great stuff on the walls, wicked soundtrack, cute baristas and mind-jarringly great coffee.

4. rosamond. almost perfect coffee, but the best breakfast and ace people. so it makes the list.

so, there you go. completely self-obsessed list of places to get a decent espresso in this city. but it's not enough i tell you. so the official mission has begun.

à bientôt!



At 12 April, 2008 16:08, Blogger Stanley Johnson said...

As we once discussed (I think) I have all but given up on coffee in Melbourne.

I'm a double espresso man. In Italy they call it a dopio espresso. It's a double serve of espresso.

It's not an incredibly strong incredibly tiny serve of coffee. that's a ristretto or double strength espresso.

Why don't any of those latte loving so called 'baristas' know this?

Why do ten bucks an hour part time waiters look at me like an idiot or talk to me like an idiot when I send back their incredibly strong incredibly small coffee?

Like I said, I've all but given up. Perhaps I'll seek out the venues on your map, Lauren.

At 13 April, 2008 01:55, Blogger Like Butter said...

i'd be interested to hear your take on brother baba budan on little bourke, just near the crumpler store. yay for coffee mapping!

At 13 April, 2008 13:08, Blogger Age said...

Your mapping system misses the Belong Cafe and the mightiest of mighty baristas, Wezgore!

PS... one of the nicest coffees I had was at a place called Voodoo on High St in Northcote. It's the place that has he cajun egg dishes. Pretty sure it was Piazza Del Oro brand coffee and I'm not sure if it was a fluke, but it was really good.

I like your map and recall with a smile how much the fresh-off-the-boat bar guy at Pelli's loved the fact you spoke Italian. hehehe!

At 16 April, 2008 12:22, Blogger lauren said...

hey stan. hmmm, ristretto. maybe that's the stuff i love: that beautiful, gooey, super-strong stuff. although i doubt that's what i get at pellegrinis or rouge galette, especially 'cos i just ask for an espresso there.

i hate the 'tude i get from some baristas as well - a certain cafe in the state library will never get my custom again thanks to the derision i copped asking for a doppio espresso there too... pfft!

hey jem - thanks for stopping by and for your suggestion. i have heard brother baba budan is great.. are they the same kids that do st. ali? good rep all round. i'll head there soon and you'll hear an update for sure.

age - argh! you're right! wezgore is inded a mighty barista. although he's yet to make me an espresso deluxe, so i'll have to wait until that happens before i belong on the map (wezgore, if you're reading this.. sorry!). i'll try voodoo - that was the place that was closed when we caught up (and we had to go to that other place which was OK but nothing grand).

i love pellis. and that 'fresh off the boat' guy has been here 15 years! lol! but they love me flinging some italiano their way. lol!


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