A long-running bayside institution, Coffee Traders has built its rep on two things: bloody good coffee, and sincere, friendly service. The first caffeine addicts usually rock up at 6am (some even help unpack the furniture, just to get their coffee faster). On weekends, there’s a line out the door.
Why the feverish fandom? Owners Ken and Penny Ewen have developed a coffee menu that’s probably the best on the Bay. There’s the Five Senses Dark Horse blend for the milky coffees, and a rotating single origin for the black-as-night espressos, all steaming from the nostrils of a state-of-the-art Synesso MVP Hydra machine. The Milky Chai Tea is a popular choice too: a spicy mix of Calmer Sutra fresh chai, brewed with Bonsoy milk.
The brekky menu is pretty no-nonsense, and changes according to season. Maybe a chicken toastie with poached chicken, fresh pear, rocket, fig jam, mustard and brie, or the breakfast Brioche with smashed eggs, crispy bacon, tomato relish, cheddar cheese, rocket on a Noisette brioche bun. Personally, we’re big fans of the banana bread: thick-cut and grilled to order, topped with strawberries, mascarpone, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup and pistachios. Dee-bloody-licious.
Managers and head baristas Hamish Ewen and Merrin McKenzie source some of the best produce going around. The bread comes from Noisette, and there’s range of cakes from some of Melbourne’s best patisseries, including the infamous Red Door Corner Store brownie. If you’ve only got stomach space for one, we’d recommend the cherry pie, courtesy of Chiltons Artisan Foods. Goes down pretty smooth with a strong latte and a Mornington sunrise.
Coffee Traders is a bit of a household name on the Peninsula, which may be why you haven’t heard it before. When the coffee’s this good, you tend to keep it quiet...
Image credit: Jess Prince