Burwood Road is fast becoming recognised for its emerging cafe culture, it is finally coming out from under the shadows of its more well known brother of Glenferrie Road. Tag explores some the great offers along Burwood Road.
Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee? If there is anyone out there, the crew at The Methodist indeed isn’t among them. As their name suggests, their love for great tasting coffee is far more than a casual diversion to them – the science of taste is their passion and coffee is their religion. When asked about their name choice, Reuben Kindred explained ‘There’s so much more to coffee than just coffee – the people it brings together and the communities it forms are just as important; we are all followers of the coffee religion.’ And their Methodist approach doesn’t stop there, as they go on to explain: ‘To make anything better you need to have method and technique – hence why we are the Methodists of Melbourne coffee.’
That’s what makes The Methodist stand out from other coffee shops – their passion for the science behind delicious coffee. You can tell by the way they talk about coffee that they know their substance, and that’s no surprise considering the mother and son team Nikki and Reuben Kindred collectively have over seventeen years of coffee-making experience. Nikki Kindred has founded multiple roasteries including Oomph! Coffee, The Cupping Room and Roastcraft Coffee and has been the project manager for an impressive ten cafes starting from scratch. Her son, Reuben Kindred, followed in her footsteps and began learning the art of coffee roasting at the age of fifteen. By the age of twenty-one, he had received his Q cupping certification in Minneapolis, USA and has since gained years of experience roasting at The Cupping Room and working as the head roaster at Industry Beans. This pair are undoubtedly kindred coffee spirits (by name and by nature!), so their decision to open The Methodist together in 2017 was the natural next step. Being the coffee enthusiasts that they are, the duo was very aware that although there are a multitude of cafés and coffee shops in Melbourne, there was a distinct lack of emphasis on the science of modern roasting. Because both Reuben and Nikki are so passionate about roasting, they have filled this gap perfectly. They have also employed skilled baristas such as Bradley Stokes and Dominic Rossi who love coffee just as much as they do, and in the kitchen is the one and only Andy Grantham, the Michelin-trained former head chef of Bistrot d’Orsay, serving up café classics on a menu as diverse as the coffee.
What’s their secret? ‘Fantastic coffee is about balance and distinction’, Reuben explains. ‘Every great coffee has a character trait that really shines above the rest – a bit like people too I guess.’ And their tried and tested roasting process plays a crucial role in creating these distinct personalities in their coffee. After spinning the coffee in a drum roaster until they begin to caramelise, The Methodist team step in to determine the specific flavour they’re going for. ‘We decide when and at what temperature to drop the beans and let them cool down. This is based on the flavour and balance we are trying to achieve from the bean,’ says Reuben. The owners also make sure to sample cups from a multitude of origins to ensure their selection is as diverse and wide-reaching as their tastes. They are also aware that as with different personalities, not all cups of coffee are everyone’s cup of tea! ‘A great cup of coffee might not taste great to you; I've tasted some truly wonderful coffees which I just wouldn't drink daily because they're not part of my personal preference’ Reuben explains. It’s all about sampling a range of flavours discovering your own personal coffee palette.
So, if you love great coffee and complementary food as much as The Methodist team, pop down to Methodist Coffee on 408 Burwood Road and experience their passionate, science-based approach to coffee for yourself. You can find a full list of their menus and more about their story on their website: www.methodistcoffee.com.au
Methodist Coffee is located at 408 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
Geoffrey Bawa was a Sri Lankan architect who popularised “tropical modernism”, a design style that blends buildings with the natural landscape.
The owners of BAWA, a cafe in Hawthorn, have adopted more than just his name, and have created a space in which nature rules. Leafy plants burst from light fittings. Jungle prints hang on the walls. The windows along the street-side open completely bringing the outside in.
The menu is clever. The chia pudding with rosewater and passionfruit foam is summery and light. The potato rosti with braised pork, eggs and a fluorescent-green herby hollandaise is a hearty option.
Coffee is from Dukes and there are some creative options beyond the normal flat white. A shot of espresso is mixed with tonic water, a squeeze of lime and a dash of sugar syrup to create the Black Tonic. Iced coffees come with a specially made skim milk that has been whipped to foam, a little like a Greek frappe.
Bawa is located at 248 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
As serious cafes go, this slick operation by three-time Australian barista champion Dave Makin, and his partner Zoe (of equal coffee nous), is as impressive as they come.
The cafe is only part of the Axil operation. As well as the CBD espresso bar and The Petty Officer, a large strip of a former bowling alley has been converted into a raised communal table. It is from here, under the glow of powder-coated milk urns-cum-light-fittings, diners can watch roasters busy at work in the cupping and training room next door.
The crew at Environmental Design Style have used a minimalist palette to create a brooding, masculine space with a mix of black walls, highly polished concrete floors, a ceiling lined in corrugated iron and a feature wall of white and green tiles. A wall of metal framework lattice, usually found on construction sites reinforcing concrete slabs, supports a variety of succulents that climb from the bench seating right to the ceiling.
On the breakfast menu you’ll find everything from buttermilk pancakes with chocolate, pear, praline and zabaglione gelato, to a smoked trout wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado & tomato salsa and snow pea tendrils. The lunch menu is equally adventurous, and is complimented by four made-to-order sandwiches.
Finding a name for a cafe is either so self-evident it hurts, or painstakingly deliberated over. The latter can be said for Axil, which was chosen for its botanical meaning – the axil being the point between the upper side of a leaf, and the stem from where it springs.
On a coffee tree it’s here that the flowers grow in clusters. “We wanted to find something that related to where the coffee story begins. It’s important for us to think about where it all comes from, and we wanted to remind people of this,” says Makin.
Axil is located at 322 Burwood Road, Hawthorn