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Coffee Cult Text by Astrid Natasastra Photos by Rudy What is your favorite brew in the morning? A strong flat white? Cappuccino? Espresso? If drinking coffee is your number one ritual in the morning, then do as this cool couple, Rudy and Jenny did on a recent trip to Sydney and Melbourne. Sourcing the cities’ best brew through local independent coffee houses which seem to flourish in every corner and remember that you’re taking a step into a long history of coffee each time you stop for a latte. Here are some notable addresses that they kept in their little black traveling book which they are willing to share among coffee cults.

The converted urban space at Auction Room Café with their chic industrial style is very well laid-out, not very noisy, with plenty of room to spread the newspapers. Bright, open and comfortable, this roastery and cafe housed in the old WB Ellis auction house in Errol St. North, Melbourne. This café serves their own roasted coffee with many different kind of breakfast menus. The adventurous might want to try lemon thyme pancake, toast with chorizo sausage, mushroom and roasted capsicum, melted taleggio on olive bread. But for the traditional, who just want to have a simple and heartening breakfast, their Canadian style pancakes with maple syrup and bacon might do the justice. However if you only want to shoot for one menu, then without a fail you have to try their famous brioche French toast with pan-fried banana, bacon, berries and maple syrup. To complete the experience, finish off with their nice, creamy milky coffees which will make you wish that breakfasts are served three times a day, which in fact, Auction Room Café opens seven days a week and three nights a week. Auction Room Café 103-107 Errol St. North Melbourne 3051 Ph (03) 93267749

Monarch Cake Shop is hard to miss, even if you get loss. Ask any locals and they will tell you exactly where it is and even from afar, you will see a busy bakery shop, not to mention the incredible smell from miles away. It has been a Melbourne icon for over 75 years, on week days the street is bustling with international and interstate tourists mingling with locals in the pursuit of great coffee, cakes and a place to unwind while taking a break from their busy lives. Old style ambience, relaxed and friendly service, and genuine warmth that is usually only found in a family run business is what makes this place exquisite. Take one bite of the cake and you can tell their uncompromised quality in ingredients and old-fashion way of baking, maximizing the flavor of the highest grade butter and sugar that will make you forget about your diets. For chocolate lovers, their Chocolate Kooglhoupf has developed cult status amongst the many fans. For good, traditional cheesecake, their 100 years old recipe Polish Baked Cheesecake is made from Gippsland cottage cheese which is smooth and creamy. To intensify the experience, pair the cakes with their own Gravity coffee, which is uniquely Australian in style and flavour; smooth, rich, full-bodied and complex. Monarch Cake Shop 103 Acland Street St Kilda Victoria Australia 3182 Ph (03) 9534 2972

As charming as its name, Laurent Patisserie with the setting of a pretty French coffeehouse has brought a taste of Paris to Melbourne food scene. It is actually an Australian owned and operated business encompassing the manufacture, wholesale and retail of French/European style breads, cakes, pastries, savouries, confectionery and other food products. This successful coffeeshop chain now has more than 16 signature retail outlets, with the first outlet built on 1991, by the founder, Laurent Boillon. Prior to coming to Australia, Laurent spent time at the world famous Len么tre in Paris, the 'godfather' of pastries and cakes. It was at Len么tre that Laurent learnt his trade in an organisation widley regarded as the best in the world. Here we tried the classic signatures; almond chocolate croissant and tiramisu accompanied by cappuccino and latte. Laurent Patisserie 306 Little Collins St Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph (03) 9654 1011

Located in an obscure location inside an old warehouse complex, this café and roastery has no signage outside, making to find the place is an adventure itself. Find your way past the wheelie bands and alleyway and you’ll discover the gem. Inside you’ll find a very enjoyable place to catch up with friends and relax, with steady stream of traffic comes and goes. To get the best view, sit on the centrally located communal table provides an excellent view of the baristas at work and play. Try their poached eggs that come with spicy chorizo sausage, served on lightly browned ciabatta bread, perfect accompaniment with the fragrant espresso. If you’re feeling adventurous, there is also a Mexican breakfast with the braised beans and corn fritters. Another impressive thing is the very knowledgeable service staffs that seem to know all different types of coffee and flavors recommendation. St Ali 12-18 Yarra Pl South Melbourne VIC 3205 Ph (03) 9686 2990

Upon entering the bakery, you will be struck with the aroma of fresh coffee and buttery croissant. Different types of cakes, pastries and pies are displayed on the counter, making it hard to choose just one. It’s almost lunch time when we got there, so we opt for a heavier meal, crusty French baguette with a variety of fillings: from traditional ham and Swiss cheese, roast beef and salad to smoked salmon with capers and cream cheese. To accompany the meal, pair with one of the signature coffee art, which looks so appealing, it will make you think twice before dunking your spoon into your mocha. The Parisian style courtyard is a divine spot if you are looking for an alluring French inspired venue in the afternoon. La Renaissance 47 Argyle St The Rocks NSW 2000 Ph (02) 9241 4878

One of Sydney’s premier coffee haunts, Bar Coluzzi is the oldest and the busiest coffee joint in Darlinghurst, a cosmopolitan area that exudes urban cool, grunge and creativity. Every morning there are a multitude of people anxiously awaiting their morning fix of caffeine. Set up by Italian boxer Luigi Coluzzi in the '50s, this cafe introduced Sydneysiders to real espresso coffee. The walls are crammed with ring-side photos and boxing memorabilia, which provides interesting history as you savor your cappuccino and pineapple pizza. Bar Coluzzi 66 High Street Randwick, NSW 2031 Ph (02) 9233 1651

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