Last weekend I got a text message from my dad:
“St Marthas has mexican single origin. Very nice. Its called St Cristobel.”
My dad has been raving about this place since it opened but his love was juxtaposed (cool word hey!) by their absence of single origin beans whenever he went there - so you can imagine his excitement when they were stocked up.
With a little bit of time up my sleeve during some holiday work I was doing I felt the twang of hunger and the insatiable thirst for the Dark Mistress’ nectar. So I did what anyone would do at such a crucial moment…
Right near Essendon train station you’ll find this saint during on the corner getting all the vitamin D she can. Tables and chairs inside and out and a coffee window for those doing their morning walk or pre-train coffee.
White bricks with black frames and hazelnut floorboards. Blenders, juicers, cakes, stools and benches. Amber water bottles on every table - I love this city.
Brazilian Santa Quiteria
The top layer had the sweetness of a berry with subtle honey tones. As I drank more and got to the deeper parts of the body generous sharp kicks of caramel gave me that coffee tang that we live in an espresso.
Pumpkin and White Bean Toastie
The menu made thus item and others close to it sound small in comparison to the other meals but oh how it wasn’t small. Nice sized toastie with fresh filings and the right amount of pesto that makes my toes curl.
The two girls behind the decks do a damn good job crafting cups of glory, taking orders and doing the tables. I can’t see the kitchen staff but they are there, pulling the pork and making happy food.
Hey! It’s the second gem of Essendon so it has to be good. They are on par with Alice in terms of coffee and food and surpass Hey Jude on Keilor road (yes, this is Essendon, not Hawthorn or Fitzroy).
So if you’re dropping the kids off at school, catching up with friends, being dragged into watching a footy team practice, hanging out at Essendon station with nothing to do, or maybe you’re just looking for somewhere damn good coffee, whichever one you pick make sure it starts and ends with a sip from the other saint.
123 Buckley St, Essendon
7 days - 7am-6pm
St Martha’s! Single origins are in! #coffee #cafe #cafes #espresso #melbourne #miseenbean #singleorigin #coffeelove (at St Martha’s Cafe)
Brewhouse Coffee Roasters
My Canadian compadre came here the other week and his message to me was “Finally Bendigo has some decent coffee!” Not knowing what this meant in the context of Bendigo I took it upon myself to investigate whilst my lady lovely had an exam revision class.
From the outside the Brewhouse is a big establishment. Later investigations and chatter with the staff informed me that while the cafe is only 12 months old, the business and roastery has been around for longer - they even supply cafes in Melbourne!
I like it. It reminds me of Coffeehead with its open plan and bench tables, floor boards and graffiti art on the walls. One of the floor staff looks like Asha Keddie (the main actress in the tv show Offspring) do in also half expecting the signature iPhone ringtone to go off.
It’s a well kept and clean environment. Everyone is greeted at the door and water is replenished regularly.
As usual I am tempted and intrigued by the ample coffee toys and bits on the shelves. Cups, saucers, beans, jugs, tea.
I don’t know much about the coffee scene in Bendigo, but this place is pretty good. They have variety in coffee, gourmet choices in food and coffee supply shelves for all the budding home baristas.
Peru Single Origin
So single origins are tough nuts. Clean and simple but they may not always have those prominent flavours like some. The Peruvian espresso was not as amazing as some single origins I’ve had before. Promises of cherry and honey I the coffee card but not in the extraction I had. Not terrible, just not what I expected. Outside of the ‘single origin’ stereotype it was a well pulled shot with no unwanted bitterness or sediment.
The coffee card that came with this promised me flavours of chocolate and nuts. Here is what I got…
The chocolate and honey is certainly letting itself be known in the house blend. That cocoa grittiness dashed on the palate and made me smile.
A chat to one of the lovely floor staff alerted me to the fact that they have 2 and sometimes 3 single origins rotating throughout the day and that earlier they had a Mexican running through their grinders and tickling their machines.
Pulled Pork Baguette
I’m not a fan of pork belly which is why I went for the pulled pork. The tang of the Savoy cabbage and the fig and Apple chutney was a great combination.
Yes! With a courtyard out back near their roaster and rotating singles in the grinder how could you not like this place?
Knowledgeable staff and baristas, not only about the beans but also about the business.
I have no regrets about the time I spent here, just a curious fascination to come back.
402 Hargreaves St, Bendigo
Monday to Friday: 6:30-5:00pm
PS: I’ve gone back to typing my experiences on my phone and hope that this will enable me to write and upload on the fly with more ease and most importantly more often.
Vincent the Dog
Sometimes, you can’t stop what’s coming.
Clearly, I have not been updating as regularly as my passion would like, and yes, the Dark Mistress is a bit upset that her black high heels and firm fitting attire is collecting some dust. Coffee never sleeps (slightly overused phrase) and nor does my passion for coffee, food and great cafes. I’m making a few changes to the way I write, capture and report on the mise en scene of the coffee world I explore - hopefully in a way that makes my posts more regular. A short reflection I made the other day is that I have had the Mise en Bean blog for close to 4 or 5 years now, a lot has changed and things will change yet again, but like the sky and the clouds, the sky will remain constant while clouds pass over it.
I had heard about Vincent the Dog a while ago from a colleague who lives in the Carlton area and on two lovely mornings I had the chance to drop by and check out Vincent before spending hours at an educational workshop. I know, it’s a tough life, but sometimes you have to make it easy.
Bar seats that look out the window on to the street, shelves of neatly arranged coffee toys and paraphernalia are some of the first things I noticed as I walked in - you may see something different. The big communal table is also a focal point, enough room for newspapers, your laptop and room to stretch.
Now I did go a while ago so I forget the details of the espresso I had but I have not forgotten the details of the pour-over I had.
Pour Over - Brazilian
Most pour overs I have had are either floral, fruity, or slightly earthy, but this Brazilian was slightly piney. I know that ‘piney’ is sort of earthy but I have never had a pour over like this before. Clean and refreshing, but not forgoing any of ‘those’ flavours we love about our caffeinated beverages.
Unfortunately I forgot what type it was but I can tell you that the coffees the week that I went were supplied by Code Black Coffee (oh yes, Code Black indeed!). It was served on a ‘coffee-paddle’ with flippin’ mineral water in an espresso cup!
Another cool thing (cool by my definition is interesting) about Vincent is the variety in coffee methods and specifics about temperatures. They have coffee tasting plates, specially brewed coffee and particular temperatures, espresso in frozen cups, and their justification for brewing pour overs/filter coffee they way they do - “haters gonna hate!”.
Who Doesn’t Like Poached Eggs
Too right, too right. Don’t forget my love of avocado may have influenced my decision in ordering this, along with the fact that there was smoked salmon too. Oh smoked salmon. Overall this breakfast, whilst simply, was actually quite delicious and clean. As I re-read that sentence I realise it sounds slightly silly. Let me rephrase - it is a simple breakfast, the ingredients aren’t complicated, but they are all rich and have good clean flavours which put together as a medley on a plate - make one feel like they could conquer anything.
Both times the staff were friendly, chirpy and knew their coffee. Pastries and whatnot are supplied by Fatto A Mano and Mystery Baker (I don’t know if that means it really is a mysterious baker or if the bakery is called ‘Mystery Baker’). Lovely gourmet pies and bagels that will find their way to my mouth next time.
Do it. On the way here I walked by Market Lane’s new little digs just off Drummond street. We all have our favourite temptations “Oh I’ll just pop in to Market Lane and get a filter…” but sometimes we have to try something different. I know that’s big talk coming from me who would give in to that temptation a lot and frequent my favourites time and time again but we all do things when we’re young (right?!).
Vincent the Dog
348 Drummond Street
Wednesday - Friday
Saturday - Sunday
Coffee after shopping? I just became one of those people. #28yearsold #coffee #cafe #mooneeponds #miseenbean (at The Daily Grind)
Tues - Sat 7am to late
Sunday 8am to 5pm
I love it when I have a workshop on the city during the week! #miseenbean #espresso #coffee #Guatemala (at Seven Seeds)
My Canadian Comrade and I ended up walking into NSHRY by mistake (thinking it was a another cafe). Well! Just as it is haloumi season it seems it is also serendipity season too because….
With good weather on our shoulders, m’lady and I decided to head out to see what gems we could find scattered amongst Melbourne’s ever-growing coffee scene. I had planned to take the lovely to Short Round in the hope getting some clean and awesome food BUT they were closed for the holidays, SERENDIPITY jumped in at that very moment as we passed a cosy nook called Brother Alec. Shmancy looking coffee, food that could conquer any hunger and of course welcoming staff.