The Abbotsford Club does have a clubby feel – a cosy room beside the Coffee Supreme Melbourne roastery with a big shared table and a brew and espresso bar watched over by a deer’s head high on one wall (we assume it’s not real…)
The New Zealand roaster can claim some credit for bringing specialty coffee to Australia, and their roastery-cafe set-up in the industrial back-streets makes a trip to the Abbotsford Club a coffee treasure hunt.
Bags of premium Coffee Supreme green are stacked in the warehouse – peer through the window – while a pegboard menu offers Supreme’s signature brews any way you want ’em – pourover, Aeropress, Fetco batch brew and Chemex, as well as espresso.
Supreme’s South Blend is the go-to for milk coffee (in high demand among the fluoro-vesters from neighbouring businesses), while single origins rule for filter and black espresso brews.
Careful attention to brewing showed in a Honduras Yire from the 2015 Cup of Excellence competition: we watched on as the barista had a couple of goes with a pourover, tasting to get it right, before deciding on a Chemex (“The weather,” he said, on an unusually humid Melbourne day). It was a tricky extraction, but the Chemex made a clean brew with some limey sweetness, a citrus-pith bitterness and a perfumey aftertaste.
A batch brew of Ethiopia Wote gathered from 600 small farmers in Ethiopia’s south-west had ripe plum aromas and stonefruit sweetness. There was a little floral perfume and a nice silky mouthfeel, with a clean and juicy finish.
Shelves on the walls are stacked with all kinds of brew gear – from Aeropress to Chemex to Moccamaster – and beans for home are ready to go, too. Food is snacky – toasties, pastries, cakes and sandwiches, which is what the local workers want.
The Abbotsford Club
Where 28–36 Grosvenor Street, Abbotsford, 03 942 83148
When Mon–Fri 7.30am–3pm, Sat-Sun 8am–4pm