You're in the CBD and you're looking for a good brew. Most people will tell you there ARE no bad coffees in the city. They get weeded out on a Darwinian level. But there are still coffees and coffees. Most cafes can knock together a decent latte, sure, but how many have ten different single origins on rotation at a time?
If coffee really matters to you (on a deep, spiritual level), we humbly recommend Bonnie Coffee.
This Collins St store is their original home base in the CBD, but owner Lloyd Smith has opened up Bonnies in Tokyo and Sydney (plus another CBD cafe, down on Exhibition St). Each one is packed every morning with thirsty CBD commuter drones, itching for a high-grade caffeine fix. Bonnie doesn't worry too much about food—it wants to get you in, blow your mind with the best coffee in Melbourne, then send you on your way. Ready to face to world.
For newcomers, the sheer variety can be a little overwhelming. It's probably best to ask the barista and get them to give you a steer. Bonnie runs a seasonal rotation of 10 single origin coffees. Five of these are sourced from the Indonesian island of Sumatra (where the brand has been supporting family-run coffee farms for years). The other five are sourced from all over the world—pretty much anything that tickles Smith's fancy.
If in doubt, just ask for the House Blend. It's one of the best in the CBD: a full-bodied, four-bean blend, roasted medium-dark. You'll pick up notes of chocolate, caramel and toffee. For something more exotic, try the La Florida from El Salvador: it's got hints of vanilla, stone fruit, red grape and toffee. Scrumptious.
Bonnie teams up with local bakeries and producers to offer a curated food menu. One week it might be crumpets and homemade jam from Holy Crumpet. Another week, doughnuts from Wilfred Smith in Essendon. Anything you can grab, go and munch.
Image credit: Bonnie Coffee Brewers