A freelance writer from Melbourne, I blog at www.littlegirlwithabigpen.wordpress.com
Published August 28th 2011
Copyright Robert Knapp
It's a bit of a walk, but the coffee makes it worth it. And if you're partial to a muffin, you'll need the hike to walk off the muffins these guys have to offer.
The Dancing Goat Cafe is officially at 280 King Street, but the entrance is on Little Lonsdale. There's no real signage on the front window with the cafe name - just a picture of a dancing goat. If you're still not sure, there's a large blackboard above the bar with "FAQ FYI @ DGC" which tells you that yes, this IS the Dancing Goat.
The cafe name comes from the story about the discovery of the energizing qualities of coffee beans, by a herder whose goats ate the berries and got their jig on.
Dancing Goat Cafe serve a bright, golden coloured espresso, with a generous cream. It's got a really lovely smooth flavour, not overpowering at all, and really subtle. Don't let "subtle" read as "boring", because it's anything but. Seven Seeds is the everyday grind, but they also feature a special coffee every so often.
It's a simply decorated cafe, with bare concrete floors and plain white walls. It's not an unwelcoming space, but it's certainly not somewhere I'd choose to spend time unless they had good coffee - which these guys do. Lucky.
The staff are right on top of it - they seem to know all their regulars, and while I drank my coffee they were talking to another customer about where they came from, so it's easy to see how the client base for this cafe is so strong. As for my own interactions with staff, I was really glad to have someone be kind and friendly without being fake or overbearing - they left me to read and write in peace, to enjoy my long macchiatto, served in a simple glass with a tiny jug on the side of milk - I think this tiny milk jug is the thing I appreciated the most, because I do like my macchiato with just a little extra milk - this way, I had control.
They also have a very accomodating menu, including chai teas and lattes and the option of Bonsoy.
Dancing Goat is a clean and open space which is made cheerful by the people that work there. Their tasty coffees is what will bring you back here - it's worth the walk.