Melbourne has always lived in the shadow of Sydney, with Sydney’s flashy tourist attractions and pie culture, Melbourne has had to find itself something with which to entice the crowd. The crowd of which I am talking about is the hip, young 20-somethings with laptops, glasses, jumpers and perennially interested expressions on their faces and where do these hipsters go to not socialise? The coffee shop. They can get a cup of coffee or a skinny latte, or a mocha cappuccino and have a seat in a comfy chair and drop their heads into their laptops and smart phones.
Melbourne’s coffee shop culture has exploded with such ferocity over the past 20 years. It’s still growing. They even have clever names such as “The Hardware Societe”, which is a clever play on computer lingo and is also the street on which the shop sits.
Another place where kids can get a shot of caffeine is “The Grain Store” in the CBD. The CBD of course has a lot of coffee shops and I am not saying all coffee shops are bad. Some of them are wonderful establishments that serve extremely good coffee and baked goods but the question on your mind might be, Does Melbourne have the Best coffee in Australia?
Well, that question is a little broad, it’s like asking if London has the best Tea in Britain? It’s a hot debate and may never be definitively proven. The only advice I can give is try for yourself. Melbourne has over 500 cafe’s and coffee shops that serve all kinds of coffee. If you’re looking for a straight up, no nonsense cup of coffee then you are bound to find a good one somewhere. They can’t all be bad, that’s impossible. It’s like a hamburger, it’s pretty hard to mess one up. You have the coffee connoisseurs who are like those wine people, they sniff the coffee, swirl it around in the cup and drink a bit and rinse their mouth out with it and spit it out and give all these colourful descriptions of taste, texture and aroma and pretend that they really believe this stuff. Personally, I think if a cup of coffee hits the spot and tastes good then it’s a good cup of coffee and that’s it.
You’re having your breakfast and you like a cup of coffee with your breakfast and if it’s cold, then it’s not good. If it tastes stale and like it was brewed over a week ago, then it’s not good. If it perks you up, tastes great and fresh then it’s a good cup of coffee. Only your personal taste will define a good cup of coffee.
That being said, many people enjoy an atmosphere to go with their cup of coffee and that apparently helps in the coffee being good. If there’s a friendly, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, a cup of coffee can taste better. Even if it has been heated up in the microwave and is over a week old. It seems to maybe be a mentality that people have. Like a great restaurant, the wait staff treat you good, you get a little extra for no charge but the food was so-so? Who cares, they were friendly and I’ll go back. You go to another restaurant and the service is lousy, the manners terrible and the table cloth hasn’t been changed for weeks but the food is incredible? Well, we won’t eat there again. Maybe get a takeaway from the place but never do a dine in.
So, Does Melbourne have the Best Coffee in Australia? You may first want to try a cup of coffee in other Australian cities such as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin and Canberra before you make your decision but I’m sure you’ll get a debate going if you strike up a conversation with locals in all those cities, most especially Melbourne where it’ll probably be a resounding “Yes, Melbourne has the best coffee in the world!” and take you to a Starbucks. I’m kidding of course, they’ll never do that.