Caffeine hunters – the best coffee stories in and around St Kilda

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While we take our coffee seriously in Melbourne hunting down a café that offers the type of coffee you desire is getting harder with so many choices. Some like their coffee weak fluffy and as mild mannered as your grandmothers afternoon tea others  prefer a dark  brooding  short black teenager in a shot glass.

If you are confused by coffee we haven’t got all the answers but we are here to help judging coffee experiences with our unique rating system.

Our rating system works like this:

Rate for Kick

Milky soft to Kapow Strong. 1- 5

Rate for Flavour

Bland and Watery to Kardashian rich and full bodied.

Rate for Barista enthusiasm

Up to 5 stars of cheer.. bonus points for humour!

 

 

Leroy espresso

1. Rate for Kick!

4 outa 5 for strength. It’s got balls the size of Mrs Thatcher’s. It was strong even by ‘double shot’ standards.

2. Rate for Flavour

3 outa 5 for flavor. Not as unrefined as ACDC. Not as rich as Donald Trumps Perruquier. (I could have said wig maker but I wanted to sound like a ‘cupper’).

3. Rate for staff.

4 outa 5 for staff. Friendly but not overly. They didn’t treat me with the disdain I may deserve. Nor did they invite me for drinks after work. The middle ground they occupied was pleasing.

4. Content

Leroy espresso is situated on the corner of Acland and Barkly. I thought it to be a relatively new cafe. The staff informed me they’ve been pedaling their wares at this location for sixteen years or so. Which doesn’t say much for my powers of observation.

Once inside I made amends by observing the bright orange bench seats (which I loved), woody themes and ‘ohm’ inspiring acoustics. All of which conspired to create a laid back vibe. This is the kind of place where I could settle for a couple of lazy hours and ignore the pull of responsibility.

I ordered my favorite kind of kick. A double shot latte with regular milk. And managed to extort information about the beans from the waitress, albeit via the barista.

Turns out I was about to get my laughing gear round a latte glass full of Sensory Labs ‘Seamless Blend.’

Sensory Lab’s website tells me my coffee will be rich and creamy, balanced and sweet. I may find subtle undertones of hazelnut, milk chocolate and raspberry milkshake. I did experience chocolate and nutty tones. I found it a little heavy and bitter for my tastes; but still very drinkable.

My daughter was experiencing strawberry overtones with her strawberry milkshake, which was reassuring. She gave that a 3 outa 5. I gave it a 4 outa 5 for being naturally rather than artificially sweet.

We left satisfied with the products we consumed, the staff we met and the space we occupied. I’m looking forward to returning alone and avoiding ‘chores’ for a little longer.

Fact Sheets

  • Milk types, Bonsoy  and just cows
  • Sensory Labs “Seamless Blend”.
  • 191 Acland Street, St Kilda
  • Hours: 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM daily

Interior Leroy Espresso photo by @Mark Lee

 

Little Captain – East St Kilda

1. Rate for Kick!

3 out of 5 but Sam promises new beans as he wants more!

2. Rate for Flavour

Allpress coffee is always a consistent coffee blend. 3 out of 5

3. Rate for Barista enthusiasm

4  out of 5 – Sam was happy to talk about his recent discovery about the art of coffee.

4. Content

It was an early morning visit for my coffee at Little Captain one Thursday, if there was ever a need for a coffee it was first thing, towards the end of a long week of work. So my kick radar was up and my eye for crema finesse; a tad foggy. Luckily Sam was brightly attentive and ready to go offering the right level of cheer and attention to detail at an unhospitable 7 am in East St Kilda.

It’s Allpress for the coffee consistent quality without offering too much to surprise.

Sam comes from a background in food with his venture into understanding the world of coffee a recent but thorough journey; he explained the subtlety of the beans and is still exploring to find the coffee that he connects with the most. Like me he likes a bit of a kick and while his coffee did the job that morning it missed the heart starting kaboom I felt I needed but left me comfortably refreshed admiring the art on the walls of this homely inner city cafe.

Little Captain is an East St Kilda oasis of friendly calm where coffee is good the food is tasty (we shared a breakfast snack of scrambled egg rolls with salad) and you can stay a while and chat. As I watched the locals slowly stumble in I wished I could idle a little longer that day.

Fact Sheets

  •  Milk types, Bonsoy  and Almond milk
  • Allpress Coffee
  • Chai yes!
  • 53 inkerman Street; Balaclava; Vic 3183
  • Hours 7.00 to 4.00pm daily

Little Captain photo by @Louise Avery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review – 95 Espresso

By Morgan Thistlethwaite

1. Rate for Kick!                              

2 out of 5

 2. Rate for Flavour                           

Bland and watery

3. Rate for Barista enthusiasm       

3 out of 5

 4. Content

Years ago I spent many evenings wandering these streets to take in the food, people, and sea air.

Back again and I find the alluring quality of life has not changed here. People talk about gentrification but I missed it. The St Kilda I know and love is very different from the one I hear about when The Espy was a live music and standup comedy Mecca.

Perhaps 95 Espresso is a sign of the times. Between the cake shops it feels shoehorned in.

Upon entry two youthful girls dressed for summer welcome me in. We share a laugh over the $15 EFTPOS minimum that I misconstrue as the surcharge (50c) for spending anything less. Their accents and duo dynamic delight me.

I order a House Blend latte and take in the decor – a considered rustic cool. Between the matching glass jars and wall art, despite the polished wood being real, I can’t help but feel it’s all a thin veneer.

The 11am crowd consists of two couples enjoying breakfast and myself. My coffee comes hot but the warmth is gone and my thankyou goes unheard.

95 Espresso’s bar and café menu (Vegan options included) caters for breakfast, late night and everything in between but I feel as if the coffee element is only here because it is expected – despite its namesake. The location of this café is not the only thing that feels shoehorned.

Fact Sheets

  • Milk Types: Soy, Almond
  • Coffee Types: House Blend, variety of Single Origin (selection varies) and Cold Drip.
  • Chai: House Blend
  • Location: 95 Acland Street, St Kilda
  • Open: Mon – Thur: 08:00–00:00 Fri – Sun: 08:00-02:00

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