Ascot Vale is a very cool little suburb with a little bit of everything - and by everything, I mean everything from Yemeni or Somali food, a hardcore organic bakery (vegan sourdough donut, anyone?), a gangster past and a Hollywood "Walk of Fame" of famous racehorses, complete with horseshoes instead of handprints. Now we can add specialty coffee house to that list.
This latte was unreal, silky, balanced and made even more gorgeous with unrefined sugar. This blend was a Cup of Excellence contender from Guatemala. The Cup of Excellence is an awards system that many serious cafes are sourcing coffee through. Producers can enter their beans in a competition which is very thorough and audited by a third party. They are then auctioned live on the internet direct to coffee roasters and can command very high prices according to their quality and the subsequent demand. It's argued that this system is more fair than Fair Trade certification, as capital-F-and-T Fair Trade is a business and a sort of middleman who still set the price for producers, even if it's higher than standard trade, rather than letting the (high) quality dictate the price.
This tart was sublime - melt-in-the-mouth goats cheese with buttery leeks and tender pumpkin in perfect short crust. Every bite had a tantalising tiny buzz of my favourite spice, whole fennel seeds. I tried to do a bit of a fanfic effort and make this it home, but it didn't come close.
Roast chicken sandwich, $11.00
Move over, smashed avocado, you overexposed starlet of the brunch scene. Mushy peas are where it's at! This inspired sandwich comprised roasted free range chook, just-cooked, mashed green peas and stuffing, which was more like a crispy crumble of golden breadcrumbs, like mini croutons. So good.
Reverence are so serious about coffee, they roast their own single origins in store. They're also known for tea and have three separate urns with water kept at three precise temperatures. This fabulous cup was made using the Aeropress, which is like a very fancy plunger. Water and ground coffee are added to a tall tube, before another, slimmer tube is inserted and gently pressed to extract an extremely smooth brew. I can't recall where this blend was from but it was remarkable for having no bitter aftertaste at all - like drinking coffee juice rather than assertive espresso.
If you haven't tried alternative brewing methods like filter or cold drip, do give them a shot. Reverence is an excellent place to start that journey.
155 Union Road, Ascot Vale
Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm
In response to a request, I used to put accessibility info on posts, but it's enough of a battle to remember to write down the opening hours let alone make sure I've considered steps, bathrooms and counter height. Actually, sometimes it's enough of a battle to get out of the house at all! Luckily Maribyrnong Council have done a very comprehensive job in putting together a Cafe Access Guide of cafes in the area that have all accessibility bases covered. Check it out here.
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