This post is also the Inconvenient Edition. While most of the cafes listed in parts one and two of my Melbourne Coffee Diary are located within the CBD or close to it, this list comprises cafes that are further out of the way. By 'out of the way', I mean areas that (tourists) would not readily visit, are harder/take longer to get to, and don't really have anything much going on. Except for some great coffee places, that is.
10. Industry Beans
Industry Beans is located in Fitzroy, one of the hipster suburbs in Melbourne. The walls are filled with graffiti and there's a bit of an old-school vibe about the area, thanks to the charming architecture along the main street. Walking towards the cafe, you'll notice a more industrial vibe which Industry Beans themselves certainly give off. It's a cool, chill place, with a nice outdoors area where people brought their dogs along with them in their coffee run. We sat outdoors, and what a nice morning it was.
Industry Beans' coffee turned out to be one of my favourites of the trip - its simplicity won me over, with its straightforward dark chocolatey and citrus notes. The kind of coffee you don't have to think very hard to appreciate. The flavours hit you straight on, bright and clean. It's a great coffee for both slow and fast mornings - so I brought home a bag of their coffee beans.
3/62 Rose Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Mon - Fri: 7am - 4pm
Sat - Sun: 8am - 4pm
11. Proud Mary
Yes, it's that Tina Turner song. Another fun fact - Proud Mary's coffee machine is made up of two three-group Synesso machines that have been welded together to create a "custom six-group monster". Got that piece of information from Broadsheet, which is the resource you should go to when planning a trip to Australia, by the way.
Anyway. The interior of Proud Mary is rustic and homely, with natural light streaming in from all directions. We were lucky enough to grab a window seat, where the afternoon sun hits the strongest (thus making for the best photos - see below).
The coffee was thick and almost buttery. It was sweet and creamy, and Nat picked up a bit of a milo flavour in there. I could somewhat make it out when he alerted me to it, but it was a little faint. I found the caramel notes more prominent. Overall a good coffee though, and the idea of milo coffee? Someone should totally make it a thing.
172 Oxford Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Mon - Fri: 7am - 4pm
Sat - Sun: 8am - 4pm
12. Axil Coffee Roasters
Axil wasn't quite on my list of places to visit in Melbourne, mainly because the cafe I used to work at occasionally brought in beans from them so I figured that since I've already (kind of) tried their coffee before, I should explore different coffees instead! Unfortunately, my intended destination - Hawthorn Common - was crazy busy the day we wanted to visit, so we made our way down the road to Axil, where we managed to find two seats at the communal table.
I liked the texture of the foam on the cappuccino, which complemented the buttery texture of the coffee. A good and simple cup; easy to drink - much like how it is back in Singapore, where you can find it occasionally at One Man Coffee. So good news: you don't need to travel all the way to Australia for good coffee, when it is replicated right here on our little island. But for those in Melbourne, you don't need to travel out to Hawthorn for your Axil fix: they have an outlet in the CBD.
Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Everyday 7am - 4pm
13. Liar Liar
This place was recommended to me for its avocado toast, so if you're heading there, you know what to get. That said, this was our very last coffee stop in Melbourne, and I am thankful that I got to visit it once before leaving. It looks like the kind of place that students visit when they want to get some work done, your typical corner shop cafe. I wish I got to stay, but no matter - I will be back for the toast (and even the coffee!) someday.
The coffee is pleasant. For a place that doesn't hold themselves out to be a specialty coffee shop - I think of them as being a place for brunch - I thought the coffee was pretty decent. It has a faint berry and chocolate taste, with a tangy aftertaste. We sipped on this in between red lights on the way back to the airport, what a way to end the trip.
90 Kinkora Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Mon - Fri: 7am - 4pm
Sat - Sun: 8am- 4:30pm
14. Commonfolk Coffee Company
This comes in last on the list because it's truly off the beaten track. It's nowhere near the CBD. We stopped by this cafe on our way to Sorrento beach, at the South of Melbourne. It is located in an industrial area, and the cafe itself is located in a warehouse; truly blending into its surroundings. From the outside, it just looks like another ordinary warehouse, sans the boxes and trucks on its driveway. But step inside, and you are greeted by the aroma of fresh coffee, a buzzing of the coffee machine, and an entirely different atmosphere altogether.
When you're practically in the middle of nowhere (or so it seemed), you don't have to try too hard. The interior is quirky, and there's a lovely outdoor area that is exceptionally peaceful (probably due to its location). We got our usual cappuccinos and a Smartie cookie (!!) to-go. The coffee was something special; not like anything I have ever tasted before. It was definitely the most unique coffee of the trip.
The progress street espresso blend is an interesting mix of blackberry, plum and chocolate. The flavours complemented each other, and while I don't eat plums in real life, I would definitely drink it in a coffee if done just like this. It felt somewhat like an East-meets-West kind of mix, when Asian flavours meet espresso. Most of their coffee is sourced from developing nations, and apparently twenty cents of every coffee sold go towards an initiative called The Cup That Counts, which seeks to create a sustainable and transparent coffee industry in Uganda. I love the heart that goes into this place, and I'm really glad we made the trip out.
Commonfolk Coffee Company
16 Progress Street, Mornington, VIC 3931
Mon - Fri: 630am - 5pm
Sat: 8am - 5pm
Sun: 9am - 5pm
If you could only visit one place on this list,
I'm going to cheat a little here... If you're living closer to the CBD or short on time during your trip, Industry Beans is your place. Great coffee, and a lovely atmosphere for you to chill and/or get some work done. But, if you have the time to travel a little further or if you're heading towards the Mornington Peninsula (i.e. to Cape Schanck, Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, etc.) - please visit Commonfolk Coffee Company. It's worth the trip, I promise.