Code Black Coffee, Brunswick

Code Black Coffee

Code Black Coffee, code black fitout. Photo: the Coffee Cities Project

Code Black Coffee is Melbourne cafe code for the sleekest, blackest, most polished concrete warehouse cafe in town.

This converted Brunswick warehouse is too woggy to be a hipster hangout despite its inner-north location, channeling the enduring influence of suburban eurostyle on Melbourne culture in an industrial luxe feel – hard, shiny surfaces, a palette of black, rust, chrome and polished concrete and a post-Prince soundtrack of music best described as “black”.

The Code Black Coffee roastery is here, too, working up a range of blends and single origins for espresso and filter brews.

There’s a couple of singles for espresso in the grinders each day – one for black, one for milk. Big, ripe floral aromas waft from a short black of Ethiopia Gelana Abaya, followed by a tangy, bright fruit hit in the cup. There’s black molasses sweetness and even some rose floral flavours when the fruit blows off.

A pourover of the Gelana Abaya, served in a Kalita pot with a chunky tumbler for sipping, has more of the floral aroma, complex stewed fruit sweetness and a burnt toffee finish.

Code Black Coffee 2

Ethiopia Gelana Abaya – big floral aromas. Photo: the Coffee Cities Project

“I wouldn’t recommend this black,” says the waitperson of a Sumatra Umang Isaq (“orangutan coffee”, grown on a plantation where coffee trees share rainforest habitat for the endangered apes). The grapefruit in the tasting notes turns into a nice citrus acidity in a piccolo, and there’s a bitter cocoa finish – it’s good with milk, as advertised.

The breakfast and lunch menus are full of crowd-pleasing dishes with a bit of “wow” factor, from house-made crumpets with orange and cinnamon ricotta to beer-battered soft-shell crab with bacon and spicy slaw on a soft milk bun, or a crusty roll stuffed with sliced chicken breast, sweet apple slaw and chilli-glazed bacon that starts out sticky-sweet and turns on a slow chilli burn.

The crowd is a real Melbourne melting pot – Euro-, Asian- and Atlantic Protestant-Australian – and the shelves are stacked with coffee to take home, as well as a range of great brew gear from Japanese pourover specialist Kalita.

Code Black Coffee Roasters

Where 15–17 Weston Street, Brunswick
When Daily 7am–5pm
Food ★★★★☆
Coffee ★★★★☆

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