19 April, 2008

Artisan Espresso

438 Lygon St, Brunswick East

I think this is a first for this blog: neighbouring posts for neighbouring businesses. 438 Lygon St was a blank shopfront when I was lured by India on Lygon's neon at Number 440 earlier this week. On Thursday morning, however, it revealed itself as Artisan Espresso. Hurrah, I say, finally this ever-burgeoning strip of Lygon St has itself a dedicated coffee shop.

The new shop's owners are currently involved with the Appetite Food Store in North Melbourne. Artisan Espresso is an existing venture, summed up pretty well by its name, that has been roasting small batches of coffee for supply to customers via their website, or to a select few cafes. The roasters will be moved from North Melbourne shortly and the shop already has their own blended, roasted beans available for sale.

The roasting area will be separated from a bright, welcoming dining area. The space has been well-used in the front room: the coffee machine affronts the door, so it has an almost magnetic pull on coffee-lovers, who will find their feet turning and their mouths ordering before they can say Colombian free-trade. The paint job and floor are straightforward, with the colour in the room coming from a range of knick-knacks on tables and shelves: scales, coffee paraphernalia and bottles of drink from the Phoenix range. There are some great canvas prints on the shelves and walls too.

To the drinks. Their house blend is Padre, a mix of Dominican, Brazilian and Sulawesi beans. The coffee formed a bitter crema, but the body provided the smooth start you want to your Saturday. A bowl of hot chocolate resisted being too sweet and would be a happy alternative if you've reached your caffeine limit for the day/week/month. Sip tea and Phoenix Chai are also available.

It's only Day 3 of operations, and I'll be very curious to watch the business grow over the next few weeks, as well as excited to finally have a local coffee haunt.

Update: Artisan Espresso existed only briefly before re-opening, with one original partner, as The Brunswick East Project. The other partner, Josh Bailey, now runs his own coffee supply business, Bailey Coffee.


  1. Maybe you should make a little map and plot all the places you review on it.

  2. You're not the first person to suggest that. I might look into it. Have you come across any good coding to do that?