Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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43 www.baristamagazine.com would probably be impossible for a coffee professional from anywhere else in the world to visit the cafés of Melbourne without being utterly delighted and inspired. Let's take a look, mates. DAY 1 Two of three Cafe Imports U.S.A. teammates landed in Melbourne at 6:30 on Tuesday morning—which, for the record, is 3:30 p.m. Monday Minneapolis time—feeling a bit groggy after the 16-hour fl ight to MEL from LAX. It was just about 24 hours before the pre-MICE festivities were underway, but be- fore we could even think about event-planning we needed a fl at white, stat. Cafe Imports Australia sales rep and green-coffee buyer Joe Tynan picked up the sleepy Americans and whisked us off to our fi rst taste of the simple elegance of antipodean coffeeways. We stopped in at the Collingwood location of Ev- eryday Coffee, just a hop-skip from our Airb- nb, to have a quick rest and blink ourselves back to life in caffeinated style. The shop was the perfect transition for my colleague Kimiyo Heider and myself, both of us used to the smaller-footprint, higher-volume shops of our hometowns of L.A. and N.Y.C., respectively: It is a cozy space with limited seating but a very warm, laid-back vibe and an obvious capacity to bang out a line in a rush. A small but very well-curated menu of espresso and fi lter-coffee drinks was just waiting to be paired with one of the crackliest-looking croissants we've ever seen, a fresh bagel with cheese, or house-made granola. Kimiyo's go-to drink is a cappuccino, and I'm a single-origin fi lter-coffee fan; between us we managed to very happily drain a couple of mugs while ask- ing Joe for recommendations of other places to visit while we were in town. After one last travel-weary sigh and a smile and thanks to the barista, we were off to get ready for a long day of long blacks and little tasks to get ready for the next few packed days. A fantastic shower and a trip to the Cafe Imports Australia offi ce later, we were ready to make big plans for the pre-MICE week over some coffee-shop food. "Coffee-shop food" might mean scones and biscotti here in the States, but in Australia the bar is generally set way, way higher. (Not that there aren't scones and biscotti: In some of the not- food-focused cafés we'd visit over the week, deceptively simple pastries were actually show-stoppers of their own.) The CI festivities At Proud Mary, a fl ight of washed Colombian coff ees, all Caturra variety and all brewed by hand on a V60, allows customers to explore nuance and examine profi le diff erences even within a relatively small geographical area of a coff ee-growing country. The elegant presentation and staff 's enthusiasm when the fl ight is ordered speaks volumes about this café's approach to coff ee and hospitality. PHOTO BY ERIN MEISTER It's 10am. Your hands are covered in hot milk. The customer at the bar is complaining that they ordered their avocado toast gluten free, not regular bread. You turn on the steam wand, look down and gaze into the swirling milk, letting your mind roam whilst pretending to customers that this actually takes all your effort. 'I love coffee, i love coffee, i love coffee' you chant to yourself in your head. But deep down you think that there must be something else...

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