Nothing beats exploring the little wonders of Brunswick with girlfriends on the rare Saturday I get off work. Except if it is sunny; and it was. The seven of us adventured up to Brunswick's Industry Beans in hope for some good food and good company- of which I believe we were very successful.
Like most cafes on a Saturday morning, Industry Beans doesn't do reservations but the girl I spoke to on the phone cleverly recommended a few of us to go in a bit earlier to score a table, so I did and it worked! We were seated at one of the communal tables and were served very promptly.
The cafe's interior concept appropriately suits what the cafe does: serve, source, roast and brew. The bags of coffee add onto the warehouse feel and secretly, I think the cafe just smells amazing.
There were two menus provided; one for food and one especially for coffee (the food menu is available online here). Even if you aren't a coffee-drinker (the heresy!), have a flick through the coffee guide as it is really quite amazing how intricate you can get into coffee. If you're like me where you just want to learn more about coffee but the menu makes little sense to you, just go ahead and ask one of the waiters/waitresses for help. They'll educate you as best they can in the short 30-second attention span you have before you realise you have no idea what they're talking about. At that point, the blank look on my face prompted a recommendation of a spring roast flat white. I'll get there.
|(L) spring roast flat white|
(C) skinny latte
(R) chai latte
I thought it might be worth sharing how to drink the chai latte since it might come across as somewhat of a scientific experiment, especially when most of us are used to drinking chai from a take-away paper cup. Needless to say, as I claim to be a guinea pig for everyone else, of course I've made all the mistakes you could possibly make with this five-part chai latte experience. However, if you've got it all locked down, feel free to skim past and move on.
It's not really as complicated as it looks. The strainer on the cup is used to filter out all the herbs and spices in the teapot when you pour it in. The little cup on top is not your drinking cup, but the place you put your strainer once you've finished using it. The gooey liquid in the white ceramic is honey to sweeten your drink. Most quick-to-serve places will put honey in your latte so if you're used to your chai latte being quite sweet, do not hesitate to put it all in. It will not warrant weird looks. Drink up!
|corn and chorizo fritters|
(minced chorizo & corn fritters served with crispy leeks,
chamomile mayonnaise, watercress, date relish and a poached egg)
One of the benefits of having seven people eating together is that we can all order something different and see most of the menu on a plate. The weakness of it however is that it's almost impossible to take a photo of seven meals. I personally had the corn and chorizo fritters (pictured above) and was very happy with it. My personal favourite corn fritters is actually from St. Ali but I have to say, this one is a good competitor. It wins me over with the little things like the chamomile mayonnaise and date relish which tasted amazing!
One of the reasons why I think Industry Beans makes a great gathering place is the flexibility in the menu. Before deciding on a place, I rang up to ask what their varieties were for individuals with dietary requirements (mainly gluten-free and fructose-free). Instead of providing specific meals, they were more than happy to adapt the menu to suit the requirements and the girl I spoke to commented that they get it quite frequently. One of my girlfriends was gluten-free and fructose-free and speaking to her later, she said that despite the dietary requirements, she didn't feel like she was missing out per se. So if you are gluten-free, vegetarian and fructose-free, Industry Beans is definitely a place you can visit!
|coffee chemistry tasting plate|
(L) latte pearls
(R) aeropress jelly and coffee toffee
Something unique in Industry Beans is their experimentation with coffee chemistry- slightly Heston Blumenthal. The lovely waitress suggested we order a tasting plate between the seven of us and it was a perfect amount to try every little bit. The latte pearls are obviously slightly difficult to 'share' but they were like little explosions of latte in your mouth. Be warned that the aeropress jelly is bitter and has a very strong hit of coffee and the coffee toffee is very very sweet, as toffee should be. The girls were inventive enough to have the two together which tasted a lot better but I personally preferred the jelly a lot more on its own. I think if we had more of the pearls, someone would have tried the three together. Who knows what that would've been like! The tasting platter was $9 altogether and split between 7 of us, it was definitely worth it. Did I also mention that these lovely people offer split bill? Lifesaver.
warehouse 3, cnr of fitzroy st & rose st,
fitzroy vic 3065
price point: ~$20
listening to: watch me by daytrip