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Not many cities take their coffee as seriously as Melbourne does. Here, the bean and beverage are almost as sacred as footy, which is good news if you're in the mood for the perfect caffeine hit.
At the city's best cafes, professional baristas (whose coffee know-how has elevated to minor celebrity status) will happily talk beans and machines while carefully tending to your brew. And, not content to simply perfect the cafe creme, these caffeine gurus are riding the 'third wave' of coffee, at the crest of which are pourovers, syphons and clovers and cold-drip coffees. Next to an old-school Gaggia these new coffee machines look more like Beaker's lab equipment but promise a perfect drop.
Need your special single origin at home? Specialty roasters are springing up faster than ever and most of the best cafes sell their supplier's coffee, so it's easy to bag locally roasted beans to take home. Look out for local favourites Padre, Seven Seeds, St Ali, Five Senses and Di Bella.
Learn the lingo and find the best brews here:
Syphon: Water goes up contraption; coffee comes down thanks to vacuum wonderment. Clean coffee that highlights subtle characteristics.
Clover: Expensive machine gives spot-on, customised plunger-style coffee, preserving the characteristics.
Cold drip: A 12–24-hour drip-by-drip brewing process reduces bitterness. Drink cold.
Pourover: Finely ground coffee infused through a cone, giving you a clean drink.
Stand around with a serious but simple brew. The coffee here, from Seven Seeds, Proud Mary and Market Lane, comes three ways: black, white and filter.
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Get in line to praise Manchester Press, the huge lucent space softened with old timbers and quirky junkyard installations where coffee reigns supreme.
Give your coffee fix a scientific twist in the David Jones ground floor laboratory, where the baristas wear white coats and the coffee is no joke.
Go underground for coffee so smooth you'll never want to get it at street level again, made even better with the addition of morning pastries.
Have your caffeine and drink it too in a café named after a legendary coffee smuggler, where chairs hang high and the beans are roasted with pedigree.
Fan of single origin but tired of the attitude? Dust off the morning cobwebs with a caffeine fix from the fine folk at The League of Honest Coffee.
Peep at the mini coffee bean plantation to get greater pleasure from a flat white, extracted to high standards by a crack-team of coffee connoisseurs.
The coffee's all black and better for that at Aunty Peg's, whether you choose espresso, filter or the new-fangled nitro cold brew poured like a beer.
Allow plenty of time for just soaking up the atmosphere at De Clieu, made better by the thoughtful food options and of course, house roasted coffee.
Work up a thirst before you head to Industry Beans as there's a bumper menu of house-roasted coffee, teas and fresh juices to wet your whistle.
Sign up as a bona fide espressophile and learn everything from bean appreciation to getting the most out of home coffee machines. Plus a good brew.
Give thanks to the local producers who have helped Top Paddock deliver their vision from the paddock to your plate, which will surely be licked clean.
You can't bid on the furniture, but the warmly industrial setting, coffee buzz and full stomach will make you feel like you made the winning bid.
You'll be ordering one for the master and one for the dame as well after sampling Three Bags Full's sacred coffee and menu of familiar favourites.
Anoint St Ali of South Melbourne your patron saint and savour in his name the carefully crafted espressos and the excellent breakfast and lunch.
Pull up a pew and put away a pourover at Monk Bodhi Dharma, or try tea with the changing menu of vegetarian delights for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Hum your own wild west soundtrack, as things never get more dangerous in this lively South Melbourne café than chasing a pour-over with a flat white.
Bag the best take-home beans here.
The volume of Melbourne's coffee-bean imports has increased by around 780% in the past decade.
Get your all-American hit on Oliver Lane, with bumper sandwiches, sides, pickles and pretzels backed up by some true-blue Melbourne-made Padre coffee.
Buy your (green) beans from the Queen Vic Market before bagging some (single origin) beans and a brew from Market Lane Coffee's northern outpost.
Detour off the beaten track from South Melbourne Market to find sophisticated Freestyle, going it along to serve homemade food and understated coffee.
With a decadent collection of desserts, Bibelot brings you a slice of the famous French patisserie right in Melbourne.
Pay homage in an edible way to the 80s classic film from the cosy kitschy café of the same name, where the menu is typecast and the coffee great.
Get a different coffee everyday from the local coffee experts who have compiled a list of frequently updated beans to suit your method of extraction.
Lift your jaw off the floor after entering Brunetti's sparkling marble and brass emporium for everything from coffee, cake, gelati, pizza or dinner.
You're spoilt for choice at this South Melbourne patisserie-bakery-café. Grab a table and order up brunch, but save room for dessert.
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