September 28, 2011 Nathan

Melbourne Cafe Review: Proud Mary

Proud Mary was stop number two on Saturday. We were pretty full after our Seven Seeds brunch, but their menu suckered us in. And we weren’t sorry. This was one of our top three cafes from our expedition. It was wifey’s second favourite, and my third. We’ll get to my top two shortly…

Proud Mary has a menu they can rightly take pride in. It’s amazing. The range of coffees is superb, and they’re as geeky about their tea as well, which is always nice. My dinepanions favoured the tea, while I sampled their coffee wares. The pot of chai, the lapsang souchong, and some other tea whose name I can’t remember, were all popular – and brewed using a clever dripper. The brew temperature and times were included on the menu, which was a nice piece of transparency.

The food was great. My friends ploughed into a pork neck stew thing complete with beans and packed with flavours, with a poached egg on top, and the most amazing pancakes I’ve ever seen. Seriously. Topped with chocolate fudge and candied mandarins. Amazing.

My toasted “sammy”, featuring avocado, brie, chicken, onion jam, aioli, and an amazing paprika relish on the side was also top quality. I would travel for that relish.

But Proud Mary isn’t on about food (though the food is excellent). What’s clear when you walk in the door is that Proud Mary is on about coffee. Their custom built metallic blue 6-group Synesso Hydra takes pride of place – and it is an amazing piece of coffee kit.

Even the door handles speak volumes about their attention to coffee, and they have these brilliant guides to making coffee that probably deserve their own posts somewhere down the track…

The coffees were perfect. I started with a piccolo made on the Panama Hartmann Honey, the described flavours were a little lost in the milk, but the buttery mouthfeel wasn’t. It was delicious. I followed that with a double shot flat white on the Angel Wings, which was also pretty special, and very sweet.

The staff were incredibly friendly, and like the staff at almost all the cafes we visited – knew their stuff when it comes to coffee. I like to test this by asking dumb questions that I already know the answers to, and sometimes I’m surprised when their answers are something a little out of the ordinary that expand my categories a bit.

I’d be there every weekend if I lived nearby, because only one other cafe compared when it came to the match up of food and coffee quality. And we’ll get to that one… Proud Mary doesn’t have a website that I can find via google, but you can follow them on Twitter.

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About the Author

Nathan Nathan is a coffee lover, home roaster, amateur barista and coffee tinkerer. He's married, has two kids, one turtle, and for a day job works for Creek Road Presbyterian Church. He previously worked in PR. This blog is his attempt to make coffee tax deductible.

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