In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Review: Seven Seeds

Melbourne’s hottest new bright shiny coffee house in Carlton didn’t push any happy buttons for me today unfortunately. I was a bit excited by the buzz, and Melbourne Gastronome’s blog
and the fact it was a sibling to Brother Baba Budan, but still I was a bit

I found the space a bit difficult I guess, the large communal table was pushed up against the stools along the window, and the least messy unoccupied table (where we sat), making me feel quite claustrophobic. Quite a feat in what is a large room, with massive, industrial height, ceilings that was quite cold. Too cold. It was like the tables were chosen for their look, not for how they would work in the space. It felt quite awkward for the humans, but grand for showing off some intriguing craft/art.

We cleared our own tiny table, searched about for some kind of menu, and I set about to find some coffee and sustenance.

I found the layout quite strange, it didn’t really provide a focal point, or any clues on where to go or what to do to get served, there was a throng of people hanging around the coffee machine, but I think they were waiting for takeaways. I meandered over in that direction anyway and eventually caught the eye of a waitress (waitperson? waitron? server?). She took our order efficiently.

JB ordered a danish, which was quite delish actually, and made by “some guy in Prahran”.

The sandwich was ridiculously huge and thick, and just not what I wanted at all really. The bread was sliced so thickly that the cheese couldn’t melt without the bread burning. I had to insist that JB eat half. What was going to be a bit of brunch turned into something much more substantial. Half of that sandwich did me for breakfast and lunch.

It came with some shredded cabbage, sprinkled with a few sesame seeds. We had no cutlery. Cabbage stayed on the plate. I went back over to the coffee machine to order another coffee…it really was a bit strange, where another waiter pretty much ignored me for 3-4 mins, then barked at me to move while he took a single coffee out to someone. I eventually got him to organise another coffee for me.

The coffee was a bit weird. My first seemed quite tasty if a bit bland, but my second was bitter. I thought this was quite strange as the same person made them, only about 10 minutes apart. These were made with the house blend, which they say they are always tweaking. Perhaps they “twoke” it.

The crowd was a strange mix of mature age students, mums & bubs, construction workers and economics professors (just a guess there! the others were easier to classify). They were fairly busy when we first arrived, but most moved on within 10 mins of us arriving there. Our plates were never cleared so I didn’t feel much like hanging around and finishing the paper.

I like the idea of the tasting, roasting, growing process being highlighted, but I have to admit that I’m not convinced that the taste of single origin coffee is the best. The idea is nice, but like a single vineyard wine, unless it’s absolutely top notch, it’s probably better off with some other beans mixed in. I think they lack complexity and are nice for a change, but not for my daily grind thanks.

I just wanted to be warm, temperature-wise and hospitality-wise. I guess, you’d be happy enough it if was your local, but I’m not sure I would regularly go out of my way to visit, unless I was mad keen about single-origin beans. If so, go, try coffee, roast…enjoy!

I will go again though, to be fair, maybe it was just a “cold grumpy day” for me. Maybe their heaters were broken. Maybe the staff were new. *shrug*

Seven Seeds
114 Berkeley St, Carlton 3053
9347 8664


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