5 Melbourne coffee joints you have to visit for the best cups of joe
Melbourne didn’t get its “coffee capital of Australia” moniker for no reason. In a city of award-winning roasts and flat whites aplenty, deciding what to try first is a common tourist conundrum.
After downing countless cups of coffee, this overcaffeinated writer has determined five spots for your next cup of joe.
1. Brother Baba Budan
359 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Open: Monday to Friday (7am to 5pm), Saturday and Sunday (8am to 5pm)
Baba Budan was a 16th-century merchant who smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen into India, hidden in his beard. And just like our bearded friend, the coffee at Brother Baba Budan is bold and sure packs a punch.
You won’t go wrong with a classic flat white (A$4.50, or S$4.10) or an iced latte (A$4.50) here. There are also cakes and pastries available if you’re looking for a light bite. The venue itself offers limited seating, so takeaway is recommended.
What to order: Flat white (A$4.50), iced latte (A$4.50), filter coffee (A$4), affogato (A$8)
2. Higher Ground
650 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 4pm)
Housed in a heritage-listed former powerhouse with exposed brick walls and a 15m-high ceiling, Higher Ground offers the quintessential Melbourne brunch experience.
The menu offers everything from batch brews to pour-over coffees. If you’re an indecisive being like me, consider the Barista’s Breakfast set (A$12), which comes with a flat white, a small cup of batch brew and a shot of espresso.
For a heartier meal, Higher Ground also serves brunch food in generous portions, such as the blue swimmer crab benedict (A$20.50) and ricotta hotcakes (A$21). The place gets pretty crowded during peak hours, so be sure to make a reservation if you can.
What to order: Barista’s Breakfast (A$12), iced filter coffee (A$4), ricotta hotcakes (A$21)
3. Proud Mary
172 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
Open: Monday to Friday (7am to 3pm), Saturday and Sunday (8am to 3pm)
Tucked within one of Melbourne’s hippest neighbourhoods, Proud Mary is not one to be missed. This is the place to be if you’re looking for a sumptuous meal, a bag of coffee beans, or just a really, really solid cup of coffee.
For the more adventurous, opt for its drip coffee (various blends available at different price points), which is dripped in-store for eight hours. The result is a smooth, flavourful cup of pure caffeine goodness.
There’s also a range of take-home coffee beans available, which can be adjusted on the spot to the grind size of your choice (from A$20 to A$25).
What to order: Drip coffee (A$6 to A$10), iced coffee (A$7.50), mocha (A$5), potato hash (A$25)
4. Puzzle Coffee
133 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Open: Monday to Friday (7.30am to 6pm), Saturday and Sunday (8am to 7pm)
If you’re looking to drink your coffee and eat it, too, look no further than Puzzle Coffee — a bean-to-cup artisanal coffeehouse that offers locally made Good-Edi edible cups concocted out of a tasty vegan-friendly oat-and-grain blend.
These cups pair well with a classic latte (A$7.20 with the edible cup) or long black (A$7.20 with the edible cup). It also has a good selection of non-caffeinated options, such as the matcha latte (A$5.50) or hojicha latte (A$6.50).
Conveniently located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, this is the perfect stop for a quick midday pick-me-up.
What to order: Latte (A$5.20), iced mocha (A$6.50), iced dirty matcha (A$7), hojicha latte (A$6.50). Add on A$2 for an edible cup.
5. Commonfolk Coffee Company
16 Progress Street, 14A/14B, Mornington, VIC 3931
Open: Monday to Friday (6am to 3pm), Saturday and Sunday (8am to 3pm)
A quick one-hour drive out of the city will take you to Mornington Peninsula, where you’ll find Commonfolk Coffee Company nestled in the back streets of Mornington’s industrial estate.
It’s the perfect place to slow down and take a breather with a fresh cup of coffee. Its coffee beans are roasted on-site daily, and you’ll get to see the folks there in action if you’re heading to the outlet early.
To make the most of your visit here, try its Ying Yang set (A$6.50), which comprises a shot of espresso and a cup of “magic” (a double-ristretto shot topped with steamed milk) with a single-origin blend of your choice. You can also plump for the espresso board (A$10), which lets you sample three different espresso blends.
Don’t sleep on the food here either. Its Brekky Bun (A$15.50) and avocado toast (A$23.90) will set you up for the perfect brunch on a Saturday morning.
What to order: Ying Yang (A$6.50), espresso board (A$10), cold brew (A$6), iced coffee (A$7), Brekky Bun (A$15.50), avocado toast (A$23.90), ricotta hotcakes (A$21.50)