Coffee Wars – October

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By Ravenous Renee


Beaver’s Tail Social Club
160 Barkly Street, St Kilda
Rating: 4/5 Beans
A refurbished old weatherboard establishment, maintaining minimalistic design and a bright interior, and recently freshly painted; this ample café space is ideally located opposite the National Theatre, just down from Acland Street. A gem to be found, yet still unbeknown to locals in the area, like myself, despite being situated evidently bang smack on Barkly Street and around for two years – I’m not sure how I’ve missed this place. Still, somehow, this cafe flies under the radar. Luckily, the same doesn’t apply for its coffee, or radiant service — as warm as their freshly baked treats for that matter (think homemade blueberry muffins, aside your freshly grinded brew – yum).
Ordering a cappuccino (regular $3.50), I was served up a full-bodied, chocolaty entwined cup of smooth goodness, which although could have been served a fraction hotter, I was pleased to be able to taste the full flavour profile of their own ‘made to order’ beans. Delivered in small batch quantity – you won’t find this unique blend anywhere else. Showcasing a light to medium acidity, good creamy texture, and consistency, alongside a decent head of foam; this brew plays delightfully subtle, while gratefully illuminating a much anticipated, caffeine hit. Happy days.

Beaver's Tail Social Club Full Frontal Shot

Goat House Café Roastery
3-6 Elsternwick Place, Elsternwick
Rating: 4.5/5 Beans
Situated mere footsteps from Elsternwick station, on the same side, this café roastery is easy to walk by on the Glenhuntly Road strip (despite its grand size, although disguised by its inset location) but is undoubtedly worthy of the inquisitive mind, and impromptus palate. Harnessing unpretentious charm and rustic opulence (no qualms about it), what you see is what you get. A great function space, business meeting venue, or place to chill with friends; or even to bring the kiddies along, this is an all-purpose venue with great food, service, and exceptional coffee.
Opting to try the Goat House Café’s Fayale ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ medium to dark roast, nine bean, house blend (roasted on-site) in a long macchiato (regular $3.50); I was pleasantly awakened in all senses of the word. My coffee was a well-balanced, smooth mouthful, showcasing medium-body and gently unravelling mellow flavours of citrus and cocoa, with the ever so slight flavour of tobacco coming in at the end. There was no obtrusive aftertaste, bitterness or overpowering caffeine overdose to cause any daytime jitters, and my coffee maintained a refreshingly light acidity and subdued, natural honeyed syrupiness. This is one harmoniously divine coffee that you have to experience yourself.

Goat House Front Side good shot Long Mac

Charlie Buckett
84 Ormond Road, Elwood
Rating: 4/5 Beans
Pondering down the Ormond Road strip, on a balmy spring weekend morning, I was delightfully surprised when I uncovered a new, unsuspecting, cubby-house-like establishment, selling coffee. Taking over Combi Coffee, which moved onto bigger pastures just down the road, and only just opened up for a month at the time of this paper going to print; would explain why this gorgeously quaint little meringue bakery, cross coffee-house, has only just now, enlightened my senses.
Showcasing a rainbow of meringue kisses and delectable ol’ school treats (think homemade rocky-road, musk sticks, and chocolate covered oreos); this place will help you re-connect with your inner child (back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory days – hence the name Charlie Buckett), until you sip, and get your ‘kick’ back to adulthood, on some exemplary, medium to dark roast, Charlie Buckett’s house tailored blend (Ethiopian, Brazilian and Columbian).
Ordering a short black ($3.50) my coffee was light, syrupy smooth in texture and consistency, and delectably fresh. It maintained a mild to medium acidity with pleasant notes of kumquat and tangerine citrus shining through. A coffee worth savouring for every ray of precious sunlight – this is a great brew, coming into the warmer months.

Charlie's Buckett Almost Frontal Espresso Shot, white background

The St Kilda Dispensary
13 Brighton Road, St Kilda
Rating: 4/5 Beans
Quirky and artistically decorated, this fashionable and historic café (once old school 1940’s dispensary-combined-clinic, first of its kind in the British Empire) is so it right now. Situated gracefully near the corner of the Brighton/Carlisle Street junction, opposite the St Kilda town hall – make sure to stop by.
Bright and airy, and vibrantly retro-chic, this intimate ‘feel-good’ establishment was a cosy and warm welcome to the contrasting chilly Melbourne morning outside. Showcasing a fine assortment of unique and tempting gourmet cakes and pastries, eloquently and creatively displayed in various glassware cabinets and coverings, alongside various medical apparatus, this place knows how to impress. Just make sure to bring your pennies (no eftpos) as you gradually step back in time.
The coffee ain’t bad either – my latte (regular $3.50) served in perfect artistry perfection. Gentle and soothing, The St Kilda Dispensary’s pick of Allpress ‘Supremo’ Espresso blend is a good choice. Delicate and refined, the Allpress method of roasting by small batch, and hot air roasting technique, ensures the subtle, unique flavour of hazelnut to cut through the milk well. Maintaining light acidity, good form, and smooth as a baby bottom’s consistency, this coffee is on my prescription list.

St Kilda Dispensary Front zoomed out photo

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