Guidebook Sit, sip and drink in the city’s obsessive coffee culture

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Sit, sip and drink in the city’s obsessive coffee culture

“Melburnians feel about their coffee the way New Yorkers do about their bagels,” says Travel & Leisure. And the best coffee is concentrated in the inner neighbourhoods, says Eater in its list of favoured coffee haunts – “numerous roasting houses committed to taking Melbourne's coffee scene up a notch have appeared in the inner north, around Fitzroy, Collingwood, and Brunswick … Industry Beans and Seven Seeds, for example, have built on the success of the longer-established Coffee Supreme.”

You can start with Urban List’s guide to the coffee variations that are found in Melburnian cafes, coffee trucks, restaurants and (yes) homes …

Melbourne Coffee

  • Espresso/Short Black: An espresso, or short black as it's commonly called, is essentially 30ml of strong brewed coffee, brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. You'll know when a short black has been made fresh when it has a thick golden crema on top.

  • Long Black: To make a long black, fill your cup about halfway with hot water then pour a double shot of espresso over the top.

  • Latte: More milk content than a cappuccino, a latte is served with one shot of espresso, steamed milk and around 1cm of milk froth which will settle on top. A skilled barista can also pretty up your drink with some artistic latte art on top.

  • Flat White: A flat white is very similar to a latte, with un-textured milk (no air incorporated when being steamed) resulting in espresso and steamed milk with little or no froth.

  • Cappuccino: Recognised by the froth on top, a cappuccino broken down is 1/3 espresso shot, 1/3 textured milk and 1/3 froth on top with a dusting of chocolate to finish.

  • Macchiato: Traditionally a caffe macchiato is made with one shot of espresso and a small amount of foamed milk that is spooned over the top. Simple but delicious!

  • Cafe Mocha: A latte with the added sweetness of chocolate, a mocha can be prepared by adding 30g of chocolate to the espresso shot before adding the textured milk, or adding the chocolate to the cold milk before frothing. - Urban List

“The city’s famous cafe culture springs from a well-timed Italian influx: After World War I, the U.S. put policies in place that effectively halted the flow of Italians to America, and Australia became the favored alternative. Through a trick of timing and history, that switch from America to Australia coincided with the invention of the espresso machine. The Italian coffee culture that never quite made it to America blossomed in Melbourne. I know, I know — New York had an espresso machine in 1904 or whatever, but I’m not talking about one or two or ten cafes. I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of people who brought their taste for espresso with them.” - Eater

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