Beyond great coffee

When you’re craving something different to your usual latte or long black, check out these superior coffees, teas and other exotic brews.

Milkcow

A huge step up from your typical ice-cream shop, Milkcow uses organic milk and other quality ingredients for its handmade chilled treats. Get your coffee and dessert in one hit with the Avalanche: chocolate espresso, fairyfloss and their signature soft serve. Pour the shot of Sensory Lab espresso over the fairyfloss and watch magic happen.

A hand pouring coffee into a frothy drink

MilkCow’s Avalanche Espresso

Vertue Coffee Roasters

Inspired by a handbill promoting London’s first coffee house, which opened in 1652, Vertue Coffee Roasters is serious about genus coffea. Try their $10 barista’s breakfast. It’s a flight of espresso, a ¾ flat white and a batch brew, made with whichever coffee they believe tastes amazing today.

three cups of coffee and a glass of water on a board

The barista breakfast at Vertue Coffee Roasters

Square & Compass

Go beyond the turmeric latte at East Melbourne cafe Square & Compass, which serves Kashaya lattes by Ayur Co. This healing golden latte contains turmeric and 13 other natural Ayurvedic seeds, spices and herbs. Like liquorice root, which has soothing and healing properties.

White Mojo

Hardware Street cafe White Mojo is famous for its Insta-worthy dishes, but they make divine drinks too. Like the vegan black latte, made from a paste of stone-ground black sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds. It’s blended with steamed soy milk to produce a charcoal-coloured drink that’s creamy and sweet – and caffeine-free. Their matcha latte, available hot or iced, has tea sourced from Uji, Japan, that’s ground into powder on a traditional stone mill. Last but not least is the crisp and refreshing espresso tonic, which is simply a shot of espresso poured over tonic water.

Milk being poured into a glass filled with black liquid

White Mojo’s vegan black latte

Market Lane Coffee

With several outlets in the City of Melbourne, Market Lane Coffee’s brilliant brews are never far away. Keep it simple with pour-over filter coffee, or check out their chilled options when the weather warms up. Like Santa Isabel, an iced, single-origin, pour-over filter coffee, or the Coffee Spritz, a citrusy refresher of espresso, tonic water and ice.

For something different at home, pick up a packet of their coffee-flower tea. The hand-picked and dried flowers from coffee plants taste like jasmine, hibiscus, honeysuckle and green tea.

Seedling Cafe

The Seedling Cafes on Flinders Lane and Little Collins Street are temples of nutritious, delicious food that’s paleo-inspired and 100% gluten free. Even their coffees are health-oriented, including the $6.50 Bulletproof, an upgraded latte with cognitive and performance enhancing benefits. The high fat content of this espresso, grass-fed butter and coconut oil combo helps suppress hunger, and increases energy and mental clarity. No wonder demand for the Bulletproof has grown 10-fold since it went on the menu three years ago. For $2 more, swap the coconut oil for ‘brain octane’, an oil with high concentrations of medium chain triglycerides. In other words, brain food!

Two glasses of coffee on a table and a slab of butter

Bulletproof at Seedling Cafe

Industry Beans

The Little Collins Street outpost of Fitzroy’s original Industry Beans cafe and roastery is a contemporary design dream come true. The coffee is pretty dreamy too, including the Fitzroy Iced: cold brew, wattleseed and panela (unrefined whole cane sugar). Or try the Bubble Cup combo of cold drip, coffee tapioca pearls and vanilla ‘consoy’ (sweetened condensed and soy milks). Choose from the original, strawberry or coconut and kaffir lime.

Kep Whitley

It’s sensory overload when Kep Whitley, the queen of sweet indulgence, holds court at her Docklands shop. When you’ve stopped gaping at the stunning chocolates and cakes, check out her wicked drinks, like the red velvet latte. This blend of almond milk, 70% chocolate, beetroot, turmeric, ginger and chai spices is pretty in pink. Or try the blue matcha white hot chocolate: coconut milk, 35% white chocolate, matcha butterfly pea flower, blue spirulina, cinnamon and ginger. Even the words cause sensory overload!

Two coffee cups with brightly coloured liquid in them

Kep Whitley’s red velvet latte