Quick run down:
Chris made a stop by my work today, so we could get a coffee on the way to the University to get a bit of research done. In a bit of a detour, I made him walk back to Town Hall to give Workshop Espresso a try.
Described by GQ (2010) magazine as “barn chic” inner city cafe, once I walked in (as far as you can!) I could not help but agree. Workshop is a wonderful hole in the wall café on George Street, just across from the QVB, within the Galleries Victoria building. It blends city style rush with country style shed, to make something really special.
I ordered two long blacks and took a seat. Workshop while very stylish, is not made for a huge quantity of people to sit in and have a chat, but this is deliberate as they know 99% of their customers will be take away. Regardless there is a bench running against the wall and one table just sitting on the footpath.
There is always a line for this place, and I can see why. The coffee comes out quick, but with high amounts of attention to detail. Sitting here for a while, or waiting for your coffee it’s almost hypnotic watching the baristas work together to get a great drink in place.
The café prides itself on its coffee and its coffee beans, which are roasted just for the café by Toby’s Estate. They use a single origin, espresso blend named Kenya in their machines, which I know they keep good pride in. In just asking about the beans, I
found the staff to know a huge quantity of information and, in thinking I was wanting to buy beans, suggested a blend which would suit not just my method of home production (machine, filter, etc) but the time frame I was going to open the bag in. Which is great to see in a coffee shop!
The coffees came out quickly, and we were offered a glass of water, which is always a great touch if you’re drinking a non-milk coffee. The long black, had a thin dark crema, which passed all the basic visual and physical tests with ease. It smelled wonderful with hints of what I thought was a combination of cocoa and honey.
Taste unquestionably matched the amazing smell and in slurping it you were exposed to a short but sharp cocoa/honey, and perhaps some sort of berry taste. I really rate this long black, I found it ridiculously easy to consume and enjoy while taking my time taking in the busy environment and, of cause, good conversation (hi chris).
My only worry would be that given the gentle complexity of the espresso, in a milk based drink, it may become washed out against the strong taste of milk, which would be really quite sad, as I loved it. I am going to have to come back and try it out to see if I am wrong (I hope I am!).
Over all it’s a wonderful hole in the wall cafe, and I hope an inspiration for other coffee shops to open up like it.
style: I stick with GQ’s definition of the café as “Barn Chic”
liked: the coffee, and style of the cafe
disliked: the slight hurried nature of the espresso shot placed into my long black, giving it a bit of a messy look. Wish they had not done this so I could have awarded this cafe more.