The thing about a naughty boy is that there’s always something else happening behind the scenes; something more that’s causing the craziness.
The “more”, it seems, can now be found on Lygon Street. Ash and Dan’s Naughty Boy café has been open for 8 weeks and they’re keeping their boy in line, for now.
Having enjoyed a well-deserved break from the sale of Mama Bear in Flemington, Ash and Dan have set up yet another establishment, this time breathing life into a quiet strip of shops on Lygon Street. Previously an old-school pizza shop and chemist, the renovations may have caused an initial shake-up, but the finished product is now a welcome option outside the usual Lygon street traffic.
Naughty Boy echoes some design features from their previous cafes, once again using Blender studios for an internal mural, exposed brick walls, Edison lighting and 1930’s pressed metal, this time used along the bar. A wallpaper mural of an elevator, crate and log lighting also adds some fun to the industrial space.
Testament to Dan and Ash’s business acumen, the same Mama Bear crew follows the boys north, with chef Mark continuing his extensive and modern offerings. Always seasonal, meals are generous and beautifully presented with options of “usual” or “posh” sides. Licensed too, your long lunches are set.
So what is the “more” behind Naughty Boy? Dan explains it quite simply as “having fun”. After spotting the location for this café, he and Ash decide whether they can picture themselves on that potential “stage” having a good time. “We’ll stop when it’s no longer fun”.
Where: 499-501 Lygon Street Carlton North
When to go: Monday to Friday 7.30am – 4.00pm, Saturday & Sunday 8.00am – 4.00pm
What to order: Rice pudding with seasonal berries
Coffee highlight: AllPress single origin
For those who are searching for a perfectly balanced coffee, or perhaps a specific flavour profile, or some knowledge about where their coffee comes from, then Coffee Cuppings are the place to be.
Similar to wine tasting, attending a Coffee Cupping is an opportunity to talk and learn more about the process of creating exceptional coffee. Roasters, wholesalers and cafes will often host or attend and many cuppings are now open to the growing number of individuals wanting to learn more.
SILO Coffee is a wholesaler of green beans, sourcing and importing the beans which are sold to roasters to create their blend or use as a single origin. Hannah from SILO was kind enough to host Adrian and I at an industry cupping session.
Who is attending the event?
Mostly those who work for roasters in Melbourne with a few other industry friends.
What makes this cupping different?
This cupping event was named ‘Time Space Compression’ because we were cupping together with coffee producers and industry professionals based in Guatemala.
We connected with them via Skype and projected the image of our friends and their cupping table on to a big screen placed here in our cupping room.
We here in Melbourne cupped simultaneously with those in Guatemala and we were able to talk in real time about the coffees – varietal differences, altitudes, growing conditions, production techniques and the pursuit of producing excellent quality coffee.
What is cupping?
Cupping is an International Industry Standard process used to assess the quality of a given coffee. The process involves roasting the coffee within standard parameters, then assessing the coffee using sensory analysis of the dry grounds and wet brewed coffee. The coffee is analysed and scored based on acidity, balance, cleanliness & sweetness. The process of cupping provides a common language useful within the industry to analyse and discuss coffee characteristics and qualities.
What do you want to achieve at the end of a cupping session?
Cupping can be used for various end goals, depending on your role in the industry. We use cupping to assess green coffee throughout the purchase process, then for QC when the coffee has landed. We send samples to customers so that they can cup coffees for their own purchasing decisions and we love to cup samples alongside our customers also.
For this particular event, we were really keen to connect the roasters over this side of the world with producers based in Central America, who would rarely have a chance to cup and talk together. And (in my opinion) it was an amazing connection!
What appeals to you most about this industry and these types of events?
Our industry is ever changing, ever developing, there is always more to learn and just when you think you’ve answered one question you realise there are 1000 more questions to ask. I love the people side of the industry too – it is super cheesy to say it but imagine the number of hands working together to create and drink that final amazing cup of coffee? I love that every day I learn something new, from a customer, colleague, peer or supplier. And every day I am privy to drinking and sharing beautiful coffees that are the result of so much hard work.
I like to think these types of events provide the opportunity to gather a whole bunch of excited minds together and to facilitate sharing of knowledge, ideas and questions.
Early this year, Steve and Trevor from Northcote’s Penny Farthing café made the decision to expand their business to a Fitzroy location. The eateries, retailers and local artists have solidified Brunswick Street as a popular tourist destination and with rising rentals, many have made the decision to move away from an already café-saturated microcosm.
Yet, there is a gap. The need for community is still very powerful and as a result, away from the main tide, Industry Beans offers the locals a place to hang out.
The Padre philosophy runs deep at The League of Honest Coffee. That strong focus on selecting the right staff has resulted in very enthusiastic regular customers. There are long conversations, vocal high-fives and even overheard invitations to League social events (farewell Katie, you will be missed by many!). In fact, some customers are so close to the fold that they receive a cheer when they enter! In a city location where there’s a café on every corner, where the locals are 9 to 5 and often transient, the objective to achieve a sense of community has been achieved.