Twenty & Six Espresso

594 Queensberry Street
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
03 9329 0298

I don’t normally publish coffee posts back-to-back, but let me make an exception here. Willem’s my secret informant when it comes to new places around North Melbourne and Carlton. He eats there very early on and then tells me if he thinks it’s worth visiting. I got very excited with Twenty and Six because he tells me they use Proud Mary beans. Proud Mary coffees so near where I work? That’s perfect!!

Fakegf and I asked boss to cover us while we eagerly scuttled out for an early lunch. Twenty and Six is a mere 5 mins drive from work, but food blogging can be such a photography assignment sometimes that I feel a lot has to be accomplished within an hour. Any extra minutes we have on hand makes a world of difference.

Stepping in, we instantly loved the bright and beautiful cosiness of this café. The tables, chairs and little details were whimsical, colourful and gorgeous. And bright, smiling staff completed the picture.

‘Angel Wings’ Skinny Magic $3.80

‘Angel Wings’ Piccolo $3.80

Trust fakegf and I to order our usual skinny magic / piccolo combo these days. It won’t be long before she moves on to skinny piccolos. Fakegf liked how fresh her magic tasted, but tells me she prefers blends with more punch and less citrus.

Beans here comes from Proud Mary’s ‘Angel Wings’ (Costa Rica / El Salvador / Guatemala) house blend. This was the first time I really could taste most of the hints and notes as it was written up on the board: “orange acidity, floral upfront, very complex mix of hazelnut, plum and cocoa”. The citrus and flowers were very detectable in my piccolo. Wonderfully refreshing, and I could taste nuts and chocolate at the end of my sip. Simply beautiful.

As mentioned in my previous post, Proud Mary beans have the tendency to taste astringent. I think it takes real skill balancing ‘citrusy-type beans’ in coffees as it can taste sour if made badly.  They were good here in my piccolo, smooth yet zesty. I’d even venture to say that they make ‘Angel Wings’ piccolos here better than at (mothership) Proud Mary.

While the menu is pretty small, the food on offer is good and they didn’t take long to arrive. Fakegf’s portobello mushroom, creme fraiche, baby endive, manchego on quinoa + soya bread $14.90 was a nicely balanced dish. Enjoyable, although she thought the portion was just a tad small.

I loved my dish. Robin $16 – roasted red capsicum and parsley salad, blue creme fraiche, Istra bacon, baby cos, two free range poached eggs on sourdough. Never had roasted capsicums in a breakfast dish before, and loved the use of piquant creme fraiche rather than butter. Great bacon, the eggs bled perfectly and the sourdough (by Brasserie Bread) was amazing. I’m not a bread person, but this one deserved mention. The bread’s texture was just so soft, yet elastic and resilient. Everything worked here, I was completely satisfied.

Single Origin Piccolo

Thanks to boss, we still had time for sweets and shared a chocolate and salted caramel tart $5. I also had a single origin piccolo from COD Tanzania “Oran estate” (washed). Again, a fascinatingly citrus drink with a fresh, floral zing. But this one was also punchier.

< This brunch simply had all the ticks happening. What a pleasurable one hour (and a bit) work lunch! We zipped back into work with such an ebullient mood... thats what a perfect brunch with good coffees does to you! Three things I know I'll be doing as a result of this visit: First, I'm more than happy to come back. Second, I'll be buying Proud Mary coffee beans from here, they sell it! And lastly, I now want to visit Brasserie Bread in South Melbourne!

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