Market Lane Coffee

Shop 13 Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road
(Note the entrance to Market Lane is on Elizabeth Street)
South Yarra, VIC 3141
03 9804 7434

Market Lane isn’t really a café, you won’t find brunch food, teas, juices or any other drinks here. The place serves just coffee only. And it’s coffee in its purest form. Unhomogenised organic milk is used, with no side options for skinnies, decafs or soy. Arguably a coffee geek’s dream come true, this set-up confers a reverential respect towards the bean. Only beans that are in season are used. They’re mindfully sourced from good growers and carefully roasted on site. The coffees here somehow tastes different. To put it simply, for coffee enthusiasts, it’s almost like drinking a mind-fuck.

I find Market Lane’s commitment and philosophy towards coffee alluring. That singleminded focus allowed the budding geek in me to be creative with writing this post. I’ve decided to veer away from my usual narrative style. Just this once, let’s dispense with talking about service, ambience, menu and food quality. Instead, I’ve mapped out the secret things that I really want to say about coffees by writing a series of short, simple poems. I hope you like them. 

it starts with a seat
coffee can be hard
to conceptualise
and verbalise.
but take your seat,
I sense an ethereal beauty
and symmetry coming.
the sort that
ever so fleetingly
wafts past your nose.

when a cup of coffee is
placed in front of you,
what do you see?
I see hands..
harvesting. tamping. frothing. pouring.
I see distant forests
and sun plantations
bearing the flesh-fruit
that cradles
trembling beans.

beans have memory.
If you listen carefully
as you sip,you can almost taste
the flowers, fruit,
rainfall and vegetationfrom its
place of origin.

Seasonal espresso – El Talapo, San Francisco, La Fany
a story of skill and artistry
can be unveiled
from the hieroglyphs
on top.
it’s a story of
precision, alchemy,
art and science,
engineered and poured
over a hazel, frothy sea.
Seasonal espresso – Musasa, Fazenda Rainha, Yirgacheffe Cabey
season: winter 2011
there’s an
unbridled keenness
when you’re new
and unfamiliar
with something.
first, a careful sniff.
then a studied sip,
and another…
and then it came,
in brief evanescence,
a hint of orange…
I screamed my discovery
so loudly, heads turned,
it was as if
I’d won first prize..
Satellite Store
(next to Queen Victoria Market)
109-111 Therry Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
game of palates i
I love watching how
our tongues differ
when tasting coffee.
it’s like the
character classes
in an adventure game.
fighter, healer,
magician and thief
game of palates ii
there are some
who’d require
milk in the potion
to unravel the answer,
while others may use
a backdrop of sugar
to crystallise hints..
game of palates iii
and there’s the
the espresso few
who’d use neither.
just water, as
a wily accomplice.

a secret lies
the crema.
just sip.
don’t stir.
La Perla, the single origin
even paper cups
can take you
on a journey.
we walked out of the store
holding the barista’s
handiwork carefully
in our hands.
it wasn’t a long walk back, but
as we reached our seats,
I’d already found
the grape acidity
from a plantation
in Guatemala.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 Prahran Market
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 Market Lane Coffee on Urbanspoon
 Victoria Market branch on GoogleMap
 Market Lane Coffee on Urbanspoon