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Trends brewing in Australia’s coffee capital

Melbourne coffee
Melbourne is a city obsessed with coffee.

Supplied: Visit Victoria

Not many cities take their coffee as seriously as Melbourne does, which is good news if you're in the mood for the perfect caffeine hit.

Melbourne is a city obsessed with coffee and offers more than 2000 cafés to choose from as well as some of the world’s best baristas.

From cold-drip, siphon, nitro and pour over, boutique varieties of milk or no milk at all – caffeine connoisseurs can experience all the latest brew styles and trends in Melbourne.

Cold-drip

Cold-drip coffee is painstakingly prepared one drop at a time to produce a subtle taste, with low acidity and bitterness. 

Housed in a converted warehouse in South Melbourne, St Ali is one of the best places to try this brew. Back in central Melbourne, Krimper and Manchester Press are also top spots to taste it.

Nitro coffee

The latest trend in cold coffee, Nitro coffee is brewed 500 litres at a time, then filtered and charged with nitrogen to enhance the bubbles. It is then poured into kegs, ready to serve over ice. Try it at Axil Coffee Roasters in Hawthorn or Aunty Peg’s in Collingwood.

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Fiona Sweetman, from Hidden Secret Tours, on Melbourne's unique love of coffee. Supplied: The Victorian Government

Pour-over

Pour-over coffee is created via a gentle process of pouring hot water over coarsely ground coffee grains that are sitting in filter paper. It produces a light, subtle brew that is then chilled. Milk lovers can opt for an iced latte or an espresso shake served with vanilla ice cream. 

Assembly Coffee in Carlton is a great place to try pour-over coffee, as is Seven Seeds, also in Carlton; Dukes on Flinders Lane; and League of Honest Coffee in Exploration Lane.

Siphon

The production of Siphon coffee is quite theatrical; it is brewed using a hot water vacuum system.

The team at Collingwood’s Proud Mary serves up a top notch siphon brew as does Plantation Café in Melbourne Central.

Simple menus

Some on the scene are recognising a need to strip their menus back to basics. The leader of this trend is Patricia, hidden away on Little Bourke Street, where there are just three menu options: black, white and filter, and just one size to choose from. Reverting to the Italian tradition, this café has standing room only.

Back to black filter coffee

Some say that coffee without milk better highlights the taste of the coffee. Light style roasting gives the coffee a more tea like experience taking out the bitterness of the bean and allowing the full flavours of the origin of the bean to come through. 

Top Paddock and Kettle Black are leading this trend as well as Collingwood roasting house and sample brew bar Aunty Peg’s which serves only black coffee.

Boutique milk

Meanwhile, latte lovers can rest assured that there are plenty of cafés offering an ever-increasing range of boutique milks including: milk sourced direct from the farm, soy, almond and coconut.

League of Honest Coffee is a leader in this trend, as is Industry Beans in Fitzroy.

St Ali, Melbourne
St Ali serves some of Melbourne’s best brews.

Supplied: Visit Victoria

Café Diplomacy

In October, Trade Victoria brought the world to Melbourne to show off the state’s premium food and beverage industry to buyers from 19 countries, linking them directly with over 120 Victorian businesses.

The first event on the jam-packed schedule, Café Diplomacy, introduced delegates to Melbourne’s unique café scene with live demonstrations by three of the city’s top coffee, tea and hot chocolate producers.

With a live cross to Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, Oregon, owner Nolan Hirte spoke about what makes Melbourne’s café culture so unique, and how that’s driving success in the American market.

He’s now planning to open a second US store in Austin, Texas.

Industry Beans was the first company to take the stage, with owners and brothers Steve and Trevor Simms taking the audience through a ‘crop to cup’ experience, describing what goes into a world-class coffee from sourcing the best beans to the perfect coffee extraction.  

The Cafe Diplomacy concept will be incorporated into future inbound and outbound trade missions, creating a space where attendees can build business relationships between Victoria and the world, all over a world-class brew.

This material was produced by the Victorian Government.