The story of Melbourne coffee walks alongside the history of the city. In the 1830s the temperance movement needed to attract patrons away from the pubs. Ornate ‘coffee palaces’ offered the hotel experience, sans alcohol. Today’s Hotel Windsor served as the 400-room Grand Coffee Palace between 1886 and 1897. On the streets outside, coffee stalls began servicing the city’s on-the-move workers.
But our real caffeine kick came with the immigration boom of World War II. Craving a taste of home, Italians brought espresso coffee, and with it, a cafe culture of cosmopolitan cool.
Mid-century, Melbourne coffee shops became the hangouts of bohemians, artists, musicians and free thinkers. This influential scene ensured our daily drop would forever come with a sense of pride and sit alongside our city’s renowned art, entertainment, creativity and style.