Years ago, I lived in Melbourne. Before I joined an architectural practice, I got a job making coffee. “I can do that,” I thought. Turned out, no, I couldn’t.
A customer sent back one of my early efforts, complaining it was “too hot”. Eh?
I did learn to make coffee (or rather, I was taught). And my love of Melbourne’s amore of its aroma was re-infused on our recent return.
In Melbourne coffee is king. It is a serious business, in all senses. It is also art. And it is design – the coffee bars’ exteriors, interiors, graphics and branding, the products and their production processes, their presentation and packaging. No detail escapes design’s attention.
Melbourne quite simply has the best cafes in the world. The sector is progressive and egalitarian – enticing the office professional and the manual worker, the student and the retiree. Hipsters are welcome, sure, but only along with everyone else.
I was never going to cut it as a serious barista. In Melbourne it’s a respected, well remunerated career choice. Coffee is a way of life there, one Melburnians celebrate every day, none more so than during the city’s International Coffee Expo.