Latest Coffee Stops
Lately I’ve taken a liking to taking small trips to find some of Melbourne’s many coffee gems.
I’m slowly learning to pay attention to what type of coffee cafes use, what I like and don’t like. I will definitely never be a coffee connoisseur and I respect that everyone has their own preferences, but these are my thoughts on some of my latest urban adventures:
Peek A Boo Coffee
There’s a long story as to how I found out about this place. I used to work in St Kilda and frequent the cafe, Green Eggs and Ham. The coffee was made best by the owner, Kevin, who was only there on some days.
He also happens to own the popular Lights in the Attic, which I haven’t tried yet. So the news he had a third little coffee shop near the CBD was exciting. I’m not sure if he still owns it – but they stock similar wraps to the ones I enjoyed back at Green Eggs.
Unfortunately when I arrived there was only one chicken wrap left, which was average. Not sure if there were better ones earlier, but I used to love the tandoori one from Green Eggs. The decor is simple and geometric, with the coffee mechanisms making impressive features.
Coffee was quite good, a bit stronger than what I like (my own personal preference). It’s too bad this spot is in a bit of an awkward position, just out of the central CBD, otherwise I’d drop by more often.
Peek A Boo Coffee is located at 361 Queen St.
Slater St Bench
Ah what a find. You may think I visited after I saw them on Broadsheet, but you are wrong. I spotted them a while back somewhere on Instagram and instantly put it on my to-visit list, but when would I get the chance? Located on a 15min+ tram ride from the CBD, down St Kilda Rd, I had to wake up early to give myself time to battle through crowded trams.
It’s small but it’s lovely. I love the concept of having the bench in the middle, ensuring the space is devoid of a staff/customer barrier. Although I had no idea where to stand and place my order until one of the friendly staff came up to me, asking me how my day was.
I mentioned in passing about how I trammed down to try them before going back to the CBD for work, but I didn’t realise how grateful they would feel about this comment!
They use my favourite coffee – Small Batch – so it’s not surprising that my latte was perfect. I didn’t need a touch of sugar to enjoy it, the art was beautiful and if I wasn’t taking photos and reading my kindle, I probably would have downed it very quickly. The barista behind the machines asked me how it was – and I could only say it was great.
As I neared the end of my latte, my initial host came by and dropped me a sample of their latest filter coffee from Kenya. As I said – I’m not a knowledgeable coffee person, so I don’t often drink filter, but this was very fragrant and floral. I’d definitely like to find out what it was called, so I can make sure to try it again!
Overall, lovely staff and great coffee. You St Kilda people are lucky. They have another store called 580 Bench down the road, which is similar in concept but a bit more minimalistic. Also on the list!
Slater St Bench is located at 8/431 St Kilda Rd.
This cute shop in Port Phillip Arcade off Flinders Lane has always caught my eye but I’ve just never made the effort to drop by. Finally I made some time to pop in. It’s quite petite but it has some seats out in the arcade and some really tempting sweets. Not to mention some awesome art – a bit of a sombre take on Alice in Wonderland.
The day I popped in, the major special Chocolate Pretzel Cake looked decadent and filling. I couldn’t justify having something so rich and big, so I bought a Chocolate and Hibiscus Cupcake with Crystalised Violets instead. The cupcake was light and almost fluffy. What made it really good was the icing – sweet but flavoursome, and the sugary violets well…it all became highly addictive. I gobbled it up without shame.
I wish I could say the same about the coffee. It was OK – they use Small Batch too but for once I didn’t love it, as it felt a bit lacking in that rich, milky flavour that I’m used to.
Nevertheless, I’ll be back one day for more sweets!
Alice Nivens is located at 13/228-236 Flinders Lane (in Port Phillip Arcade).