A Cup of Magic: Uncover Melbourne’s Coffee Culture

Coffee is the lifeblood that runs through the laneways of Melbourne, from its high-quality roasters to overflowing street-side cafés. Here, a love of coffee bonds people. Colleagues catch up over their first cup of the day, city newcomers get to know each other over a flat white and locals greet their baristas like family.

This passionate love of coffee has made Melbourne world famous, with its roasters and baristas heading overseas to share their knowledge and introduce new blends.

Here are the top reasons to kick back with a brew in Melbourne:

Be immersed in the neighborhood

From the unassuming hole in the wall in Fitzroy to the artsy back-lane warehouse in South Melbourne, coffee shops are the beating heart of Melbourne’s neighborhood vibe. Coffee is a lifestyle and locals are committed to their favourite establishments. Here, coffee aficionados will happily trek across the city to find the perfect barista.

Those who find themselves in the Central Business District (CBD) can slip into its opulent historic arcades, like the Block Arcade established in 1892, to feel immersed in local life. Tables spill out through the tangle of narrow laneways, making the temptation to pull up a chair and join the upbeat crowd impossible to resist.

Variety of blends and flavours

The basis of any good coffee is the quality of the roast – and Melbourne’s coffee roasters are among the best in the world. Beans can be sourced from all over: Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Tanzania and beyond, boasting flavours from blackcurrant to nougat, mandarins to fudge.

Whether you’re a latte lover or favour the Australian flat white (an espresso-based drink made with a small amount of steamed milk and foam), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a silkier or smoother coffee outside of Melbourne. Other local favourites include the ‘magic’ (steamed milk poured over a double ristretto, served in a smaller cup for the optimum coffee-to-milk ratio) and the ‘dirty chai’ – a fusion of chai spices and espresso.

The skills of the barista

Every Melburnian has a list of go-to cafés – often places where the staff knows each regular’s name and greets them with ‘the usual?’. Here, who is making the coffee is just as important as which coffee beans are being used.

Some are good at bar banter, others are quietly engrossed in their art, but all are highly trained in an incredibly specialised brewing process. In fact, some say that 80% of a good coffee is your barista. We highly recommend trying a few of Melbourne’s coffee shops to find out if this is true…

To experience Australian coffee culture outside of Melbourne, try Bluestone Lane – an artisanal coffee and lifestyle brand that is influenced by the coffee culture hub of Melbourne – available in over 50 locations in the US. Get the lowdown at www.bluestonelane.com.

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