Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar

Here in Melbourne, we like our cafes to have a point of difference. This doesn't necessarily mean anything weird like serving flat whites in a shoe (because that would just be weird and even we have our limits), but the most successful coffee haunts in Melbourne all seem to offer a little something extra to the mix. Perhaps it's the exceptional Pour Overs, the specially sourced single origin bean or the nordic inspired design with obligatory picturesque terrariums hanging in the window that make certain places so appealing. But what if I told you there was one place that had it place that offered all the coffee you could hope for in the form of exotic and single origin beans, enough filter coffee to give your heart palpitations, tastings, workshops and all served up with Melbourne's top baristas on hand to answer any and all of your questions. And, AND (get excited!), said baristas have also teamed up with some of Melbourne's hottest bars, in order to bring you more than just a coffee kick. Could such a wondrous place be real? Why yes, I haven't gone crazy after taking to many No-Doze, such a coffee fantasy land does exists...

Welcome to the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar, part of this years Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. This is more than just a place that serves coffee, it's a world-first instillation that reinterprets a terraced coffee farm, constructed from shipping containers, timber pallets and packing crates, right in the heart of our bustling city. Nestled happily in Queesnbridge Square along Southbank, this pop-up construction is a multi-level cross between a terrace and garden, with over 120 coffee plants creating a lush and shady area that's perfect for, well, just kicking back and smelling the coffee really. Beginning at 8 every morning, and closing at 4:30 in the afternoon, The Urban Farm and Brew Bar offers a range of daily tastings (try the Coffee Flight option, where you can try three coffees from across the globe), as well as daily showcases and workshops from leading cafes like Seven Seeds, Auction Rooms, Proud Mary and St Ali. These include everything from an Around the World in Eight Coffees tasting to a cupping workshop of wild coffees from Central America. If this all sounds a little to serious for you at eight in the morning (and I don't blame you because I couldn't even point to Central America on a map at that time of day), feel free to just pop in for a cheeky espresso, or three, or grab a bite to eat from the light breakfast and lunch menu.

At 5:30 in the evening the party cranks up again when the bar opens, serving a good range of wines, beers and ciders There is also the rotating featured guest bar, with names like Seamstress, EDV Melbourne, The Lui Bar and Longrain serving up some alcoholicky treats. When I went, Chapel Street bar, 'Woods Of Windsor', were serving up their cocktail of the day which contained hockey pokey ice cream, coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso with a sprinkling of butterscotch crumble on top. If heaven could be blended in some kind of giant food processor and liquidized, I think it would look a lot like this cocktail.

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar is running until March 17th, and with some great cafes and bars to come, like St Ali, De Clieu, and The Waiting Room, be sure to head on down and check it out. It's true, we have some great cafes in Melbourne, but do any of them offer awesome coffee, an educational tour of coffee plants, shipping containers, all of Melbourne's top baristas, delicious cocktails, coffee tastings, good food (pause for breath), the promise of beer, some of the best sourced beans from around the globe, workshops and daily showcases from amazeballs cafes, as well as being labeled as a 'cool Melbourne pop-up'? No, I thought not. 

1 comment:

  1. The idea of pop-up any things is curious. Do we consume the transience of the venue ... Or the impending death of the venue ... I'd bet its a hard edge death of the venue which makes the experience richer and better ... Just a thought