Founded by couple Fabio and Lisa Costa, Coffea opened in 2000 offering Melbourne the convenient option of freshly roasted artisan coffee in the city. It's full name is actually Coffea Torrefazione Bottega with "Coffea" being the Latin word for coffee, "Torrefazione" the Italian word for a place where coffee is roasted and "Bottega" meaning an artisan's workshop in Italian.
This combined retail-roaster-cafe shop caters to coffee enthusiasts looking for hand roasted beans and quality equipment. The owners' focus is to help their customers enjoy good coffee at home. No doubt the centre of attraction in the shop is the coffee roaster, which offers customers a whiff of the coffee aromas and the excitement of buying freshly roasted beans. The selection of 15 coffee blends and single origins, including Fair Trade and decaf coffees are roasted in small batches daily using the onsite traditional drum roaster to allow control over the process and bean variations for a better result.
For customers to be proficient home baristas, they will also need the appropriate equipment. The owners sell a range of coffee equipment including stainless steel and aluminum stovetop coffee makers, milk forthers and frothing jugs, hand and electric coffee grinders, tampers, knockboxes, pour-overs, filters and cleaning equipment. Some of leading brands include Bialetti and Bodum.
Popular with shoppers visiting QVM and working folks nearby, the cafe does brisk breakfast and lunch trade. There is a choice of indoor seating or alfresco. With access to the fresh and seasonal produce from QVM, the cafe introduces different made-onsite dishes every day. Their changing selection of Italian styled patisserie are also backed on the premises especially its signature "Castagnaccio" , made with chestnut flour, pine nuts and rosemary.
After an afternoon of walking the aisle for some mussels, I sat down to a flat white. The cuppa I received was acceptable but unlike the flat white from its neighbour Market Lane, the espresso had less body resulting in a flatter and weaker brew. It reminded me somewhat of the coffee at Gino's in Freo.
On a separate occasion after checking out sea urchins I decided to test out the latte. Similar to the flat white, it remained weaker on my palate unlike the brew I had at Hush Espresso. I look forward to some full bodied dark Italian roast in the future.