Does Melbourne Really Have the World’s Best Cafes?

January 5, 2021 | Travel | 4 min read

Your non-Melburnian friends may well be sick of you ranting about how Melbourne has the best cafes in the world!

While you gush over the cutest coffee shops from Fitzroy to Brighton, you might notice one of two things; either their eyes glaze over or they present an opposing argument and wonder how you can possibly make such a major claim.

Does Melbourne really have the best cafes in the world?

Does Melbourne really have the best cafes in the world? Let’s settle it once and for all with the facts. Let’s take a look into the famous coffee-drinking culture of our city and how it compares to others around the globe.

Coffee brings people together: Melbourne Vs Italy

When we make brunch plans in our favourite coffee shop, we tend to set an hour or two aside for it. That’s because in Melbourne, drinking coffee is a social act. It’s our opportunity to take some time away from hectic city life and catch up with mates, as we order cup after cup and maybe a serving of zucchini fritters.

It’s clear to see that that’s the intention of most cafes around Melbourne, where you’ll often find long, low-slung communal tables that mirror the concept of dining during early 21st century Melbourne civilisation. Even if you’re sipping alone, this welcoming atmosphere promotes a comfortable space for caffeine-lovers to sit amongst strangers and share a good brew.

In comparison, the coffee culture in Italy is less of an easy, relaxing affair, and more about getting your caffeine fix – fast! The most popular Italian coffee variety is un caffè, which is a shot of espresso and is most often consumed standing up! This is all about the get-up-and-go factor, where function and flavour matter, and the social aspect hardly comes into play.

Quality is non-negotiable: Melbourne Vs Mexico

Growing up on Melbourne-brewed coffee, you develop a taste for what’s good and what isn’t – and you’re probably passionate about the fact your local coffee shop does the best brew in the city! World champion baristas hail from all over Melbourne and creating the perfect cup of coffee every time is their craft and obsession. As pioneers when it comes to sourcing, roasting and brewing speciality coffee using 100% arabica beans, the exceptional quality is clear to taste. In fact, we came in second place in CNN’s list of the world’s best cities for coffee. You can see the list here to find out who took the top spot.

As pioneers when it comes to sourcing, roasting and brewing speciality coffee using 100% arabica beans, the exceptional quality is clear to taste.

Of course, we’re up against some great contenders and it would be biased for us to claim we have the very best coffee! However, we’re way ahead of the game, especially when you consider the coffee culture in places like Mexico. Until recently, if you asked for a cup of coffee in Mexico, you’d be given a jar of instant coffee and some boiled water. Yeah, nah.

Cafes are a major part of the economy: Melbourne Vs Kyrgyzstan

Melbourne’s start-up culture is booming, with young and passionate people paving their own futures, often emerging as the city’s newest and coolest café. Forming stronger ties to the community than coffee chain stores can offer, as well as a fresh sense of independence and optimism for what’s to come, cafes continue to be a huge part of our economy.

However, there are places around the globe that value their café culture as a primary measure of economic success! In Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia, not a single “Western-style” coffee shop existed until 2012. By 2018, there were more than 40. As the poorest of all post-Soviet republics, the country chooses the success of international coffee shops as their benchmark of economic progress. Independent cafes are seen to be going against an unpopular government and are a signal of hope for the future of youths, offering both an enhanced lifestyle and a better economy.

While independent research and public lists tell us Melbourne serves some of the best quality coffee, it’s our own experiences of the city’s café culture that shows us why we’re such die-hard fans. If you run a café in Melbourne and want to take it to the next level, Conical can show you how.