My introduction to speciality coffee in Melbourne came via Coffee Black Coffee’s container on Queensbridge Square on the south bank of the Yarra River, opposite Flinders Street Station and the Central Business District. Each of my first four days in Melbourne began with the five-minute walk from our hotel to the open spaces of Queensbridge Square where I had a flat white, as well as picking up a coffee for Amanda, which I took back to the hotel.
Code Black Coffee occupies a converted shipping container, appropriately painted black, on the western edge of Queensbridge Square, its back to Queens Bridge Street. Six round tables are arranged in two rows in front of the container should you want to stay, although everything is served in disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own. All the coffee is roasted in-house, with a blend and single-origin available (either hot or cold) through a simple espresso-based menu, while another single-origin is on batch-brew filter. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, Code Black has a small range of cakes/pastries.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
The Code Black Coffee container is on the western side of Queensbridge Square, just in front of a large tree, which provides a splendid backdrop as you approach from the east along the pedestrianised south bank of the Yarra River. Alternatively, if you are coming from the west, it is on your right, just after you cross Queens Bridge Street, while the pedestrian Sandridge Bridge (an old railway bridge) drops you almost in front of Code Black.
Although it’s primarily set up for takeaway operation, there are six round tables, arranged in two parallel rows of three. These stand in front of the container, extending out into the square, where they offer views cross the Yarra River to Flinders Street Station and the skyscrapers of the Central Business District (CBD).
The operation is quite simple, with Code Black serving from the right-hand side of the container. You order at the right-hand end, where you’ll find the day’s selection of pastries in a cabinet, with the simple menu on the wall behind. Names have been done away with and you can either have regular or large, hot or cold, black or with milk. It’s a really refreshing approach, although I still defaulted to ordering a flat white every day.
All the shots are pulled on the top of the range La Marzocco KB90 espresso machine on the left, which is where you collect your coffee. There’s a choice of house-blend or a single-origin, while if you want filter coffee, there’s another single-origin on batch brew.
I visited every day, usually sitting for a few minutes in the sun to drink my flat white, before returning to the hotel with Amanda’s coffee, where she alternated between flat whites and batch brews. All my flat whites were rich and creamy, the coffee and milk going very well together, both for the house-blend and the single-origin, which I had on a couple of occasions. I also tried oat milk on my last two visits, finding that I really enjoyed it, preferring it to (Australian) dairy. As an introduction to Melbourne’s speciality coffee scene, it couldn’t have been better!
|QUEENSBRIDGE SQUARE • SOUTHBANK • MELBOURNE • VIC 3006 • AUSTRALIA|
|Monday||07:30 – 16:00||Roaster||Code Black (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 16:00||Seating||Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 16:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 16:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:30 – 16:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Sunday||08:30 – 16:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||Local||Visits||1st – 4th May 2023|
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