Cafe Culture

Cappuccino at Animal Orchestra accompanied with an english scone!

Obsessed with coffee, I’m lucky to be in Melbourne. The cafe culture transformation started in the 1980s as a way for the City of Melbourne to revitalize a declining urban center and to convert old industry a lively city. Thirty years later and probably hundreds of cafes now present, cafe culture is deeply ingrained in Melbourne and its population. I’ve only begun my search for the best coffee spots, but I’ve definitely encountered some great areas.

Tips on ordering coffee (props to Lonely Planet for deciphering these to me):
– caffe latte: aka ‘latte’ made of half espresso and half steamed milk
– cappuccino: 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 froth topped with chocolate powder
– double espresso: two shots of espresso aka two shots of short black
– flat white: 2/3 espresso and 1/3 steamed milk no froth, usually served in a cup over a glass
– long black: espresso topped with water (aka an Americano)
– long macchiatto: a long black with a bit of milk
– short black: strong espresso shot
– short macchiato: short black with a bit of milk

A few great places to frequent for coffee (I’m still learning!)
– Degraves Street: There are about 2/3 cafes here, but I really like Degraves Espresso Bar.
– Animal Orchestra: Near Melbourne Uni, it has a very funky atmosphere as the walls are plastered with magazine photos and indie-emo music is playing. The capps are pretty delish.
– Johnston Street Food Store: Yummy coffee for take-away or to stay. They also have some gourmet foods and meals. Get their punch card so you can get a free coffee 🙂
– 7 seeds: I have mixed feelings about this place…great coffee when the wait isn’t too long and the waiters are actually nice, but when it is both of those things…yea.
– Small Block: YUM! Delish caps and awesomely cheap food. The atmosphere is pretty cool and the wait isn’t too long either. Love it.
– Brunswick East Project: A very cool sort of vibe and yummy, creamy caps…definitely a great place for a quick or even coffee date. The back room is very well-lit and quite airy sort of atmosphere.
– Atomica: Creamy and hipster central. Located right on Victoria St and Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, great place to sit inside bar to drink coffee and watch hipsters pass you by. Quintessential hipster coffee place.
– Proud Mary: Yummy brunch and coffee together? Love. You can order any of their interesting brunch plates or even just get eggs any style and make your own plate. I suggest getting the hashbrowns and the mushrooms, yumm!

And here’s a blog that has photos of several different cafes in Melbourne. It’s pretty sweet.

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