I‘m starting to judge cafes by their espresso machines. The more serious the machine, the better the coffee. So when you walk into a cafe and you see a six group Synesso longer than a coffin worth some $40,000 and you know something special is going on. It sorta trumps even St Ali’s $30,000 Slayer which is pretty awesome but only has three groups.
A Synesso in action.
And I can tell you it’s official: Today coffee – and tea for that matter – just got a lot better in not just Collingwood but Melbourne with the opening of Proud Mary on the corner of Oxford and Stanley Streets.
If you are a coffee geek you’ll have heard of Nolan Hirte, a champion barista who within three months of opening Liar Liar in Hawthorne had the place rocking. He sold that place with ownership eventually ending up with St Ali.
At Proud Mary there are also Syphon Filters, a Clover (with another on its way just for tea) plus I think I counted five grinders, the usual Mazzers. Plus there is (I think) the Anfim with the big grinding blades (Miss Jackson also has one now) that looks like it was styled by the man who invented the hobnail boot, or even his drunk Russian cousin.
It’s counter service and I ask for advice and start with the double espresso, a single origin Brazil Ipanema which was rich, clean and zesty with no bitter notes. I think it may be better even than the espresso at Padre, a few doors up from Hellenic Republic on Lygon St. All this is backed by tracks playing on vinyl.
It turns out the beans were roasted inhouse 12 days ago and stored in a special fridge hacked by Hirte to remain at high humidity and 15-16 C. Like I said itis all very serious. Next up was the latte and it was right up there, natch.
Proud Mary is also serving the latest Single origin tea imported from Sri Lanka by Somage Fine Foods, with the infusion time is measured with an electronic timer.