Tag Archives: melbourne

Too much good coffee!

It seems to be that time of year when there is an influx of exceedingly delicious coffee here in Melbourne! More Kenyans are starting to surface after a bit of a dry period, and there’s plenty of Rwandans around too.  I wanted to briefly highlight a few of my favourites which are currently available.

First up, I was truely “wowed” by a new Kenyan coffee sourced by Campos in Dec 2011 / Jan 2012 when they made a trip to origin, and now in their Roburs and on their web store. The Yadina AA lot currently on offer has a distinctly strong aniseed and blackcurrant flavour. I was a little surprised at the roast level used here (albeit only a small amount of oils) but in the cup it is just extraordinary, so kudos to their roasters! Many Kenyans have that blackcurrant flavour but this lot takes it to a new level for me, and I’ve tasted a lot of different kenyan coffees. None of them have had the depth of blackcurrant / aniseed pastilles flavour that this lot has.


The Rwanda Coko coop filter roast I picked up on the weekend from Small Batch Roasters is also a stunner through aeropress at work. Think sweet mandarines. We just can’t get enough of it! For those interested in Small Batch, I’ve found them to be a great source of filter roasts locally here in Melbourne. While many roasters are still pushing their espresso roasts as “suitable for espresso”, I actually prefer the slightly lighter roast profile on offer from roasters such as Small Batch. It really brings out the sweetness and acidity when using a filter brew method such as Aeropress or Hario V60.


I’m also expecting a shipment of the El Salvador Ernesto Mendez natural process coffee from Ministry Grounds, roasted for espresso. I have high hopes for this one too, and will report back with a few tasting notes.

Ministry Grounds have also just announced their roasted coffees on offer for next week. Rwanda Kayumbu Lot #7 from the most recent Cup of Excellence is up for grabs (filter roast), along with an Indonesian Gayo Bukit Aceh that sounds like a full-bodied cup of spicey goodness and a Kenyan Nyeri Kijiji.


Where to find filter roast coffee

I can buy a range of filter brew coffee gear at just about any local specialty coffee cafe here in Melbourne. As of yet, only a very select few actually offer a filter roast. A filter roast is coffee that has been roasted with a roast profile specifically geared towards delicious filter brew coffee, and thus tends to be a lighter roast. The trick is roasting said coffee in a way that it is not grassy or under-developed. I have always felt that filter roast is more difficult to nail than espresso roast, at least in my own amateur non-professional and quite limited experience.

Since filter roast can be tricky to find, it leads me to believe that most coffee drinkers are probably using espresso roast through their filter gear. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily bad, but a filter roast could be a little more delicious, perhaps. Espresso roast can work well in filter coffee, but (for my taste) only if it’s on the light side of ‘espresso’.

I have an e-61 espresso machine at home, and i brew filter coffee at work using chemex or aeropress. I prefer the aeropress because i find the 1-3 cup chemex has such a long narrow shape that it is difficult to get an even extraction. I use a hario hand grinder and it’s simple, clean and pretty easy to get a delicious filter brew coffee going at work. But despite the ease with which anyone can pick up a Hario v60, a chemex, an aeropress or even a Hario syphon, it’s still difficult to find filter roasted coffee.


Where I get filter roast coffee

Because of the difficulty in finding filter roast, i’ve been either using my own filter roast … (which i don’t like doing because i find filter roasts done in a real roaster such as a Probat are superior – my espresso roasts on the other hand, i can live with and they are actually pretty good when i get things right) … or, i’ve been getting filter roast from Market Lane or Proud Mary

Theory why filter roast is hard to find

I can understand why most cafes would shy away from adding yet another option to their roasted coffee line-up. Good cafes that only sell freshly roasted beans inevitably end up with some left-overs, and adding filter roast could mean more of this.  It’s also another batch of roasting to be done, another batch of roast cupping to be tracked, etc. It’s not as simple as just popping some filter roast into bags.

Maybe it’s a good thing that there are a select few with the focus to do filter roast – and they are doing it well.

Ministry Grounds soon to offer filter coffee

I was also delighted to read that Ministry Grounds are also now going to begin offering filter roast Australia wide through their web store. I’ve always found their espresso roasts to be around the right roast level for my own personal taste, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with on the lighter side. I’ll try to secure a sample of their filter roast to examine shortly, and see how it goes up against a typical espresso roast. 

I find that 9 times out of 10, a filter roast tastes way sweeter and has a lot more flavour clarity than the equivalent espresso roast when brewed through a filter device.

Know a cafe that sells filter roast?

If you know of a cafe who sells filter roast (I know Cup Coffee in Brisbane does a pretty awesome filter roast, for example), shout out in the comments.  I’d love to compile a list of filter roast locations!

People’s Market, Melbourne

The People’s Market in the Docklands (end of docklands drive) is a pretty cool market concept. Think shipping containers and steel barrels.

I headed down there this morning. It’s only their second or third week, but already there are some great vendors. There’s grill’d (who debuted 3 new burgers at the market this morning for only $5 each), paella, heaps of other food, coffee, drinks, vintage clothing and the usual leather bags and other stuff you see at flea markets.  I took a few pics.  There’s also plenty of parking for bikes on-site. This week the markets opened at 10am.


2 months in Melbourne, how’s the coffee?

Yep, the coffee is good. There’s a lot of top shelf baristas, roasters, importers and coffee folk in general here, no doubt about it. I’ve been in Melbourne now for two months. We moved here for a bit of a lifestyle change, and it’s been super refreshing i must say. There’s nothing better than riding around in this glorious Autumn weather between cafes on the weekend. I’ve had some great brews at my local, Ora. And also not too far away at three bags full, proud mary, campos, axil, and movida.  I love the variety of coffee brew options and coffee origins available. There’s just always something new and exciting to try, or something interesting to look at, whether it be the old churches or the hot air balloons floating around in the mornings.


But it’s not just the coffee we’re enjoying. The food trucks (hello Gumbo Kitchen & Taco Truck) are outstanding examples of fast food done right. And I love how everyone sits around these food trucks with the music going and just chills out and eats their delicious wares.


I’m also quite fond of the local Goat Beer brewery for a wednesday night pizza & ale. Excellent saison and summer ale on there at the moment!



There is a lot you can see and do in Melbourne, and most of it is bike friendly, which i really like. You see, getting around Brisbane by bike is do-able, but i don’t believe it’s as safe. There seem to be more bike lanes here, and bikes in general are more accepted as a legitimate mode of transport as our population grows in the inner-city.


Oh, and how good was Joost!


Now that we’ve settled in, i hope to find more time to update this little place on the web with all the new and interesting things happening in my new home town.