3 Unusual Cafes in Melbourne

The Melbourne coffee scenes explodes with passion and kookiness, expressing a transmutable lexis of cold drips, aero-presses and ethical bean varieties, landing a European café culture in the backstreets and alleyways of St Kilda and the roaring CBD.

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As the Year of the Bean unwinds and Melbourne recovers from the International Barista Championships, we swing the doors open on the best and whackiest coffee spots that Melbourne has to offer. Ready your credit cards, flight books and Travel Money Oz Melbourne accounts, it’s going to be a ride you won’t forget.

The Cup of Truth

The honesty of a steaming cup of coffee between the early AM hours, bustling between trains and trams, determined to start the day off on the right foot, or at least the right drop. The Cup of Truth is a barely noticeable, innocuous little shop located in the depths of Melbourne’s underground, fielding the footsteps of a morning tide of workers from Flinders Street Station. Kitschy hipster image aside, what I love about this café is the honesty policy it has with its customers; you pay for and take change from an character mug on the counter yourself – the baristas and servers trust punters to do the right thing. Get in early though, the queue for this little known place is still a significant traffic lightning rod.
Coffee Rating: 4 Cups out of 5.

Knock Knock

Fall down the rabbit hole on the corner of Queen and Little Bourke Street, as a wonderland of shabby chic, rainbow furniture strikes up an internal conversation and you can’t help walk in, just to check it out. The cubby dinning nooks and café inlets make this urban gem a gastronomic and caffeine experience, complete with 1950’s crystal sugar bowls and intricate little spoons. Even if you’re not a coffee fan, the high quality three meal menu is ready to greet you on the lawns of Knock Knock. Yes, lawns. Plastic, bright green turf.
Coffee Rating: 3.5 Cups out of 5.

Manchester Press

Do you think you’re hip? I was overwhelmed by the warehouse aesthetic of Manchester Press (in a good way), a small town coastal like me swamped by the bright installations spotlighting diners and curious adventurers. An artistic oasis, black lined figures occupy the walls, lending this re-furbished industrial space an atmosphere that is uniquely Melbourne. Try to fight the urge to pose with the over-sized bowling pin, standing in one corner and avoid gaping too long at the spaceman on the roof. It’s eclectic, it’s a bit weird and the haphazard ingredients on your plate might make you nervous, but they will taste good and you’ll come back again…and again.
Coffee Rating: 4 Cups out of 5.

There are delights and unexpected caffeine cubbies in every corner of the city; this is only a small taste of what Melbourne has to offer, a one shot hit to pique your desires and jumpstart your wandering feet. Don’t be afraid to document your own favourites, talk to the locals or jump online and research other hidey holes of quirk and intrigue. Your senses will thank you.
By Jessica Hannah

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