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

Coffee in the time of heat (or Seven Seeds Part 3)

On my way to the Vic Markets this morning I was in dire need of a coffee. This hot weather has made it hard for me to keep my caffeine intake at the required level. Yesterday I grabbed an affogato from Cavallini on Queens Parade. I was too late for a “Toby Coffee”, but I figured it wouldn’t really matter as it would be splashed over their good vanilla icecream. It didn’t, it was lovely and it did the job.

I’ll even admit that over the past week, as we have welcomed Spring (goddammit!) with 6 or so days at or over 30 degrees C, I have been craving an Espresso Frappacino from Starbucks. But not enough to walk to one of the two surviving stores on Swanston Street to indulge. Moccona have released a new range of little or no milk cold coffees in a bottle, but I haven’t seen them close to work as yet. What do you do for a caffeine hit in the hot weather? I can’t deal with the usual iced coffee we Aussies get – too milky, not enough caffeine. I’ll have a lovely Liaison coffee in the morning, but what to do for my mid-morning hit? at 30+ degrees?

So … that’s the long story, I was looking for a decent coffee this morning to make up for it. I detoured to Seven Seeds to buy one, and thought I would have some breakfast as well.

I grab a spot on the communal table and check out the menu:-

  • Bircher Muesli? nope. C’mon it’s Sunday!
  • French Toast with banana, butterscotch sauce and peanut brittle? Sounds lovely but .. it’s breakfast! Even I can’t stomach anything that sweet for breakfast
  • Pastries? ho hum
  • Fruit Toast (ho-er hum .. ho-ho hum? Greater Hum)
  • Sour Dough bread served with bits…salmon? don’t eat it; hummous tomato, olive oil and dukkah? sounds like lunch; African nutella and molasses, sounds like a diabetic coma
  • Toasties – already written about them; not my idea of nice, way too much bread

No-one has come to take my order yet – I’m still not even sure after 5 or 6 visits if they do – no one has ever approached me before I’ve walked up to the counter to order. Can someone tell me if they do table service?

I approach the counter and order two lattes to take away – both for me as they only have a regular size.


The coffee is really lovely, deep and rich and satisfying, but the food? I just don’t get it. What am i missing out on? Dench bread is OK – but it is my local so it’s not “exotic” for me. But the slices are way too thick in my opinion and I just don’t want anything that carbo loaded ever really.

So tell me what I’m missing….


6 thoughts on “Coffee in the time of heat (or Seven Seeds Part 3)

  • I recently had the sardine, pine nuts, lemon zest & harissa on toasted gluten free bread & really enjoyed it.
    My bread wasn’t sliced thick, in fact the ratio of bread : filling was quite perfect , maybe gf bread gets a diff treatment ? heh. then again, gal next to me ordered the same on regular bread, don’t remember it being thick

    service wasn’t too bad, semi efficient, but they’re definitely not a smiley bunch

    Comment from: Tian

  • Interesting -do you often “drink in” or mainly take-away? No-one is questioning their dedication to coffee, but the food is not very exciting at all. I’ll take a quick poll of my readers – am I “infinitely forgettable”? Answers on a post card please – win a cup of coffee at 7 seeds

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Actually i’ve had nothing but the most attentive friendly service here every time.
    Although I didn’t know the staff there personally when I started frequenting this establishment, within a week they familiarised themselves with my name and my regular cuppa so I no longer even have to order anymore!

    Frankly I think the dedication to the perfect coffee that Mark Dundon and his staff have demonstrated over the course of many years is worthy of commendation.

    And as for not being served; they Are usually very busy in there; so perhaps if your general demeanour is of the infinitely forgettable variety you might want to try smiling at the approachable staff and asking for service instead of just expecting them to know you’re there.

    Comment from: incun*abula

  • Penny: I’ve been told that they do table service – but honestly, it ‘s never really happened to me. Perhaps it’s the way the room is laid out, I never feel like anyone has seen me walk in, or knows who is sitting where…*shrug*

    Lachie – I’ve been told it’s “all about the coffee” and I shouldn’t even bother looking at the food, but I wanted to give it one last try!

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • I’m so glad to see someone else write this.
    I really did like the coffee here, but the food was just … weird.
    They seemed to have quality ingredients, I assume all of which
    are fresh and organic etc, but …. meh.

    I wish it was closer to my work, so I could go more often just
    for the coffee, but it’s too far out of my way for that.

    Comment from: Lachie

  • I like the thick toastie slices though. But they do have poor service. But I remembered there was table service? Maybe it was quiet then.

    Comment from: penny aka jeroxie

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