Feeling close to origin at Market Lane Coffee – Melbourne, Australia

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When I lived in Melbourne my house was only a 15 minute meander from Market Lane Coffee. I used to wake up late on a lazy Sunday morning and stroll down the road to this oasis amongst the chaos of Chapel Street. I’ve got some pretty fond memories of Market Lane, most of which stem from the fact that they helped me to discover the wonderful world of filter coffee – a kind of origin to my own coffee journey.

It’s no secret that I dig cafes who make an effort to educate their customers. Everyone wins. Drinkers enjoy their coffee more and the cafes can buy better coffee knowing they have customers who are willing to pay for it. Market Lane Coffee does education better than almost any other café I’ve been into. Their staff are encouraged to actually spend time with customers one-on-one, and there’s never a sense of any sales pressure, but rather that these guys and girls just love their coffee and want to share their passion.

Market Lane Coffee is run by the delightful Fleur Studd and Jason Scheltus. Fleur is also the brains behind Melbourne Coffee Merchants, so they really do have the pick of the crop when it comes to green beans. They pride themselves on direct trade relationships with their farmers (or as direct as it can possibly get). Market Lane’s branding is pretty dialed too. Think clean and simple, with clear attention to every detail on every touch point. Each filter coffee served comes with a postcard containing the story of the coffee. Rightfully so, traceability is a big deal to these guys. Along with the cupping notes, you can learn about exactly where your coffee has come from, who grew it and how. Market Lane tells you the entire story and to me this adds a whole lot more to the experience.

The black coffee is just sensational. At any time you’ll usually find 4 or 5 different filter roasts on offer, each one quite unique. It’s through these filters that I learnt just how different coffee could taste. I recently cupped their Nyarusiza Rwandan Red Bourbon and couldn’t believe my buds – this roast has thick, brown sugar goodness that wraps its way into every corner of your mouth.

You can still get your creature comforts at Market Lane (read: lattes and cap’s etc) and they’ll come out looking amazing. They’re made on Schultz organic milk, which is pretty full on as far as milks go. It’s very creamy, but their espresso roasts are tailored nicely to cope with it and still provide a well-balanced cup, especially in something like a magic. That said, I know a latte can feel like a big warm hug in the middle of a cold Melbourne day, but if you’re ordering milky coffee from a place with a selection of filter coffee this good, then you’re kind of missing the point.

Market Lane Coffee have four locations dotted around Melbourne. So go and say hi, learn something, drink some killer filters and feel a little closer to origin.

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Location: 
Google Maps Link
Market Lane Coffee
Shop 13 Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road
South Yarra, Australia, 3141

Open:
Tuesday 7am – 5pm
Wednesday 7am – 4pm
Thursday 7am – 5pm
Friday 7am – 5pm
Saturday 7am – 5pm
Sunday 8am – 5pm

Contact: +61 3 9804 7434

See here for other locations.

Website: http://marketlane.com.au

Facebook: Market Lane


Comments

  1. Amanda Juris

    Ah Jason, right on cue. Thank you for an exemplary sample of the ‘shiny personality’ that abounds at Market Lane. I’d like to say I appreciate your offer, but from experience it is nothing more than lip service, and my criticism is but one of many directed toward your pithy brand of hospitality. If you put so much time and effort into training and service, how is it that reviews such as these abound:

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Robert-Asuncion • 2 Reviews
    Great coffee
    Coffee snob service
    Disgusting coffee spritz.
    If only their service was as good as their coffee!

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Hiengu • 1 Review
    Went here with a friend for ice coffees. When we asked about getting one sugar in each drink, the server laughed and said we would not need sugar in the coffee, and said it was impossible to dissolve sugar in cold drinks anyway. If we wanted sugar, we would have to add it ourselves, but it would only diminish our coffee. Firstly, how I want to drink my coffee is up to me as the PAYING customer. Secondly, being condescending when making a recommendation is completely rude.

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Chew Soh • 2 Reviews
    Nice place, mediocre coffee, decent staff. BUT…the barista who made my latte this morning was the slowest I encountered in Melbourne. No sense of urgency coming from him. He moved so slow. Wakey wakey! Spilled my espresso then have to remake but he just keep attending to new customers and left the newly extracted espresso standing there. Utterly disappointed

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Peter • 23 Reviews
    I worked out why none of the staff dont smile. They drink the coffee. Dreadful brew. Pretentitious and over priced. No depth of flavour nothing interesting at all. Milk well textured is all I can say

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Localake • 1 Review
    If you really like waiting around for service, this is the place to go.

    DINER FROM MELBOURNE • Ceebsliu • 3 Reviews
    Second time there. Both times coffee was bitter AND sour. Guess they can’t even make a flat white or latte…

    You can try to explain away these criticisms by pointing to the positive reviews, however, considering the recurring theme of slow service, arrogant baristas and poorly made coffee, it’s impossible to ignore the reality that Market Lane is riddled with systemic failures that go far beyond individual staff. If you love hype, you’ll love Market Lane, but if you want to be treated with respect, and be presented with consistently excellent coffee, well, you’ve seen the reviews.

    • I’d say Jason was right on cue with a genuine offer to personally discuss your feedback, which speaks volumes about how seriously Market Lane obviously takes these matters. If I had constructive negative feedback to give to a cafe (which I certainly do from time to time) and the manager actively wanted to chat with me about it, I’d be there in a heartbeat as this is where it’s most likely to elicit a positive change.

      Personally, I love this cafe and what they’ve done for the evolution of the specialty coffee scene in Australia.

  2. Amanda Juris

    Be it service, product, or attitude, occasionally they shine, but overwhelmingly they offer inconsistent coffee, made by the occasional well meaning, yet poorly trained ‘barista’ (in the loosest sense of the word), or someone whose fake smile, ‘shiny personality’ and arrogance has to be seen to be believed.
    In a city where coffee is a religion, Market Lane is a deity. Just beware of false idols.

    • Amanda,

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had mixed experiences with ML, as It’s one of my favourites. I’m sure Fleur and Jason would love the feedback on those times it didn’t quite measure up to your expectations, so definitely send some their way.

      It’s been ‘real smiles’ and genuine enthusiasm every time i’ve stepped foot in there.
      -Charlie

    • Hi Amanda,
      I’m really sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience at Market Lane! Honestly we put so much time and effort into staff training for service, making coffee, and being warm and welcoming. We’d love to hear from you directly about your experiences so we can address them and improve. Give me a call on 0401350344 directly, or email jason@marketlane.com.au if you’re more comfortable doing that. Thanks, Jason

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