Melbourne is mad about coffee and donuts: Shortstop Coffee and Donuts is the source of some of the city’s freshest and best.
A smart social media campaign in 2014 won Shortstop 16,000 Instagram followers before a single cruller had been sold, and when the Sutherland Place store finally opened in September 2014 there were 45-minute queues for their sweet fried things.
Shortstop’s blue-and-green takeaway bags and donut boxes are at coffee bars all over town, but the best place to enjoy them – and watch the kitchen crew making them – is at the source.
The donuts come in four styles and a range of seasonal flavours. Samples are displayed in a glass case, sushi-bar style (though these are real, not plastic).
The classic raised donuts (with a hole in the middle…) are dense and pillowy, but hold their crumb nicely. Glazes and toppings like maple walnut and brown butter (with a sweet and crunchy candied walnut sprinkle) complement a classic cinnamon, cardamom and sugar version, while filled donuts have a similarly dense, chewy texture and custardy fillings – maybe a lightly scented lemon, lavender and honey.
Two cake-based donuts topped with peanut butter, caramel and chocolate, or Earl Grey and rose icing have become instant classics.
The crullers are big deep-fried rings of sweet crispness, something like a Greek touloumba or a churro, but flavoured with out-there glazes like honey and sea salt or spiced apple cider.
The coffee offer is dead simple, so you can save your deciding power for the donuts: the Market Lane seasonal espresso blend for espresso brews, and a rotating Market Lane single origin for batch brew filter coffee.
Tasting notes for the 90 per cent Guatemala La Soledad/10 per cent Kenya Riakiberu seasonal espresso are dark chocolate with a blackcurrant finish; in a not-too-short short black that becomes bitter chocolate, some dark fruit and a characteristic Market Lane savoury acidity that’s reminiscent of hard Italian cheese: great with milk.
For black coffee drinkers the best bet is a batch brew of single origin, maybe an El Salvador Miravalle, clean and rich with nice stone fruit sweetness, balanced acidity and a round, chocolatey finish – just the ticket with a honey and sea salt cruller.
Shortstop Coffee and Donuts
Where 12 Sutherland Street, Melbourne
When Mon–Fri 7.30am–4.30pm, Sat–Sun 9.30am–4.30pm