Capeside Coffee brings specialty filter and espresso brews to an under-served Melbourne neighbourhood.
Capeside Coffee co-owner Hannah Lancman spent two years as head barista at Ora Specialty Coffee in Kew (named Melbourne’s best food cafe by The Age Good Cafe Guide in 2014 for its combination of smart, creative food and great specialty coffee), including time helping former owners John Vroom and Stephanie Manolis with their roasting venture, Maker Fine Coffee.
But when she and former Ora floor manager Parv Bhullar opened Capeside in March 2016, they went to Seven Seeds and Small Batch Roasting Co for their coffee – not because Maker isn’t good (they roast and brew some of Melbourne’s best filter coffee in their Richmond warehouse space), but because Heidelberg, in Melbourne’s north-east, was virgin territory for specialty coffee, and Hannah and Parv needed something that would be familiar to the locals (which is not to say that they won’t expand to other boutique roasters when the time is right).
Capeside occupies a cool white cube on the ground floor of a small apartment building. A central island brew bar features a La Marzocco Linea PB, a couple of grinders – an EK and a Mythos – and a Bonavita drip filter brewer.
The Seven Seeds seasonal blend is the go-to for milk coffee at Capeside. A 50/50 mix of Ethiopia Biftu Gudina and Colombia Yacanquer makes a lush flat white with malt-biscuity sweetness in delicious St David’s Dairy milk, while a single origin of Seven Seeds’ Ethiopia Yachi Kachise Jimma is a sweet cup with a milky texture, perky lemonade acidity and a restrained savoury edge.
Hannah likes the Bonavita’s shower-screen water distribution and 92–96C temperature range. She uses it to brew single origin filter roasts like a Small Batch Chele’lektu, a sweet, tea-like cup with gentle limey acidity and a lovely aroma of rose.
Coffee from other small batch roasters rotates through the grinders – maybe a Colombia La Estrella del Ostro as a batch brew, all dark black currant fruit.
They do the details well here: filter brews are served in racing green Robert Gordon Swatch mugs, while espresso shots come in cute little patterned cups: “Sneaky ones I found one day hunting in the country through vintage shops,” says Hannah.
Food? Sweet bites from Bakewell and Co (a slice of cherry or key lime pie, maybe), viennoiserie from Dench, killer peanut butter choc chip cookies from Windsor Deli, and a range of daily sandwiches courtesy of Hannah’s bulging notebook of sandwich filling ideas.
Where 3/119 Capeside Street, Heidelberg
When Mon–Fri 7am–4pm; Sat 8am–3pm