Tag Archives: third-wave coffee

it only takes seven seeds to yield visits aplenty

I miss Alex.

Seven Seeds interior

There, I admitted it.

Months and months of trawling through random bits of paper and I found a (deliberately) silly poem I wrote about Lenin, Russia and global warming on a receipt. On the other half, I found coffee blends and single origins he’d recommended to me and realised I missed him quite a bit, despite having seen a fair bit of him for some serious fat bastardry in Hong Kong this January just passed (he’s actually a killer karaoke singer – wouldn’t have picked that).

Though Alex looks to give the impression that he’d be the first person in the world to possibly accidentally offend you, one of the things I’ve always admired about him is that if you straight-up say “I have no knowledge of <insert appropriate topic here>” then he is happy to share the knowledge he’s acquired in said area.

I’d initially met him at a Libertine pigfest that I’d somehow successfully managed to arrange and so we got to chat more via that dreaded microblogging social platform and confessed, look, I can’t drink a lot of coffee due to side effects of meds AND idiot IBS, but I want to learn more. Care to help a nigga out?

Seven Seeds, back counter

Thus, he took me to Seven Seeds and my coffee initiation begun.

Seven Seeds counter

I think that date we had four or so coffees each – I had as much as I knew my body would handle – espresso, the Magic (a double ristretto in case Courtney crucifies me for referring to it as thus), Clover, long black.

the 'magic'

Clover coffee

Man, why didn’t Seven Seeds exist when I was actually still at bloody uni? No matter, I was stuck in a soulless job just round the corner (though many of my bosses and coworkers were rad) and it became my pre-work ritual to pick up a soy Magic with the SS house blend. Pretty sure that their soy Magics are what kept me sane. I remember negotiating door, takeaway coffee and various things in hands and once dropping said takeaway coffee on floor. People from another project rushed to my aid but it wasn’t the humiliation, it was the sheer loss of wondrous caffeine goodness that I most lamented. Screw my dignity.

squee! bikes!

On the more common occasions, I’d show up with a grin (don’t worry, the grin wouldn’t be around for too long after), sipping my precious. “Where did you get that?” my favourite team leader would ask. “Oh, Seven Seeds, just up the road a bit…” and after explaining just how far, it was vetoed as a work coffee run place due to being too far.

Oh, did I mention they do great nibblies too? I never feel lonely eating here by myself – the staff are always so lovely and happy to explain the coffee to you till the moment of epiphany hits. Here’s one of the heartier baked beany type meals I had. Infinite comfort food.


If you want something more breakfasty rather than brunchy, then how about granola?

granola with berry compote and honeyed yoghurt

Or if you’ve survived an onslaught with the public and private health system (as I seem to be doing of late) and are feeling like a treat, then go with the special of the day – smoked salmon, radish, red onion, watercress, rocket and mixed salad with creme fraiche dressing – salut, Monsieur Decadence.

smoked salmon, radish, red onion, watercress, rocket and mixed salad with creme fraiche dressing

If you can’t eat in, then why not grab a takeaway coffee and some delectable snacky-wacks? I admit these were initially chosen due to their looks but they most certainly did not disappoint. You can see they are divided exactly down the middle so no one has to fight for their share…

flourless mandarin cake & hummingbird cake with takeaway coffee

It’s not just a Carlton institution, it’s a coffee institution. Still feels weird to visit now that Alex isn’t in Melbourne anymore, but it’s a treasured haunt.

just general Seven Seeds prettiness

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

third wave to the power of two

freestyle espresso menu

South Melbourne – home of the brothel! At least that’s what my rudimentary ‘research’ (Googling) has led me to conclude. It makes sense – South Melbourne is primarily a business district; lots of workers need to be ‘serviced’, apparently.

Now the only thing South Melbourne seems to have more of (than brothels) is third-wave coffee places. Between St Ali, Dead Man Espresso, Padre and a slew a smaller cafés the area’s not exactly a coffeeless wasteland. That’s why I was a little surprised when I happened upon a still-being-renovated Freestyle Espresso a few months back, whilst causing a ruckus in the back-streets of South Melbourne (read: lunch-time stroll). Once back in the office I utilised my computer to ‘research’ the venue, and seeing that its presence had already caused a disturbance in the ‘force’ (in food blogger wankster circles), I took a mental note to check back in when it had opened. Fast-forward a month, and the lovely Ms G and I were in South Melbourne, hungry and looking for breakfast action.

moroccan mint tea

Walking into the place it all looked rather pretty – cute little tables, polished concrete floors and pristine shelves of gourmet foodstuffs; not at all out of place amongst the more seasoned South Melbourne cafés. Happy in the place’s ‘swishness’ I moseyed on up to the counter, ordering a latte and Moroccan mint tea to wet our whistles. The tea as pictured above, came in a cute and oh-so-shiny teapot. The tea itself was quite sweet and refreshing, and Ms G seemed to enjoy it immensely.


Opting for my default latte (as I do when confronted with a new venue), I found the coffee to be very drinkable, but not in the same oh-my-gawd league as some of the aforementioned cafés.

We grabbed some of the gorgeous menus (pictured above) and began to scrutinise them over at our table, and scrutinise we did –  we were like two hipsters at an op shop, poring over piles of clothing to clad our fashionably emaciated frames, only to lock eyes on the same outrageously ‘ironic’ 80s rainbow coloured mohair cardigan.

welsh rarebit

In our case the delicious ‘cardigan’ of the morning was the Welsh rarebit. Being the utter gent (or lord, as my brothers would say) I acquiesced to Ms G having the rarebit. From her account it was a tasty bit of fare, and from the mouthful I had it was a good bit of winter food.

cassoulet with streaky bacon and an egg on top

In recent times I’ve had a gaggle (or is that swarm?) of good cassoulets (Libertine, Cafe Vue at Heide), so spotting the cassoulet with streaky bacon with the offer of an egg on top (a free set of steak knives is the home shopping equivalent) I was sold. However reality did not quite meet my home shopping network exceptions: what I was presented with was not cassoulet. It ostensibly had the cassoulet ingredients, but really tasted more like a standard breakfast of bacon, sausages, egg and beans.  As Ms G noted, stewed beans with assorted other ingredients in a dish does not make cassoulet. Also, being a man of ‘large appetite’ the meal felt a little small, and could have done with a piece of sourdough or similar to hold it together.

While I may have had some issues with the food, the staff were fantastic. Extremely friendly and informative, with the barista giving me a run down on their house coffee, Allpress. While the coffee isn’t at the same level as some others in the area, and there are a few ‘teething’ issues with food,  I will most certainly be back to give the café another try.

padre signage

Given the lacklustre coffee at Freestyle, and the ominous ‘headlight wiper of doom’ spotted in the street (not to be confused with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) Ms G and I decided to navigate the unwashed masses at South Melbourne Market and pick up a coffee at Padre.


The crowds waiting for their Saturday morning fix was a good sign; I thrust Ms G into the line, requesting a latte with the house blend. It was delicious. While I’m not a coffee snob (at present), I do ‘know what I like’ and this was it. I can’t recall the exact flavours, but it reminds me of the blend used at Cup of Truth.

long black

Ms G, the real man in the relationship (not to be confused with ‘The real Julia’) got a long black, delivered in a gorgeous bit of crockery. For her it wasn’t bitter, and very flavoursome in a savoury way.

The wait staff seemed very attentive and efficient, even amongst the fury of Saturday morning markets. If you’re in the area on the weekend or during the market’s weekday trading hours and need your ‘fix’, this is the place for it.

Freestyle Espresso on Urbanspoon Padre Coffee on Urbanspoon