Padre Coffee’s Brunswick East Project is the textbook neighbourhood third-wave cafe, a bright space that’s low on attitude and high on friendly – a real drop-in, catch-up, have-a-cup kind of place.
Padre’s roasting happens right here, in a glass-walled room in the middle of the cafe, so you can watch the green beans gently turning pale brown and even track their development on the screens of a couple of iMacs.
The pegboard coffee menu lists blends and single origins for espresso and filter brewing – Daddy’s Girl is the go-to for milk-and-espresso, while there are usually a couple of seasonal single origins for short black shots – maybe an El Salvador El Volador or an Ethiopia Keble Cheri.
Filter brews come as pourover or Clover – Padre has a couple of the few working Clover machines in Melbourne. The roasting style for filter favours softer, more muted brews; a Kenya Kiangoi Kiriyangu from the Clover is a cloudy caramel colour (it’s served in a glass) with wheaty-chaffy aromas, a creamy body and fairly subtle flavours: a hint of caramel, a little green fruit, a gently savoury-bitter finish.
Padre’s coffee is at its best in espresso extractions: superior milk coffee rules here, because that’s what the locals want. Daddy’s Girl has plenty of chocolate and caramel and a nice fruity edge in a piccolo latte, and single origin short blacks tend to syrupy and intense with pronounced acidity: a short black of the Ethiopia Keble Cheri has a sweet, nutty aroma, a lovely creamy mouthfeel and bright cherry fruit, with a tangy finish.
The food menu keeps it simple: a range of tasty pastries and baguettes with simple fillings, plus there’s a great range of brew gear, and Padre beans to take home.
Brunswick East Project
Where 438–440 Lygon Street, East Brunswick, 03 9381 1881
When Mon-Sat 7am–4pm, Sun 8am–4pm