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Doctor Java Organic Coffee

Home > Melbourne > Breakfast | Cafes | Coffee | Food and Wine | Vegan
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published May 30th 2014
Always had great coffee but now excellent food and service

You can see why the new owner of Doctor Java Organic Coffee is keen to have her cafe re-reviewed.

Sean Goedecke reviewed the cafe for WeekendNotes back in 2011 but since the new owner took over in October 2013 this great little cafe has got even better.

First thing regulars note is how bright and airy the place now is. It is amazing what a coat of paint can do.

The second is that the infamous sign is now gone. The one that read: "excellent coffee, great food, okay service".

It was of course tongue-in-cheek virtually saying that our coffee is that good and the rest doesn't matter. Which of course is not true.

Well the coffee is still "that good." As Sean said:"The coffee is outstanding even for Fitzroy: smooth and without a trace of bitterness."

But the food has really improved. There is now an all-day breakfast menu, with an increase in organic offerings.

As for the service, I was served by two lovely guys who could not have been more pleasant, cheery, knowledgeable and helpful.

We talked about the range of coffee which is immense: Hondurian, Ethipian, Columbian Nicarguan to name a few. (You can buy the beans to take home with you, as well as having a great coffee on the spot or ordering a takeaway.)

The menu is now more extensive. It includes all-day breakfast items such as housemade organic baked beans, organic fruit and nut toast and smashed organic peas with feta fresh mint and organic rosemary oil. Yum!

Vegans only have to ask and their needs are met. (I couldn't help notice that Doctor Java is also just across the road from Vegan Wares, which is the only dedicated footwear shop I have ever seen.)

For coffee drinkers who are lactose intolerant there were alternatives such as soya, almond and even rice milk on offer.

I'd done my research and decided before I got there what I was going to order. All the reviews I had read raved about the "toasties" and the banana bread. So I blurted out my order without thinking it through.

"A ham, cheese and tomato toastie AND a half serve (one slice) of banana bread. Please."

The nice guy behind the counter didn't blink an eyelid but said he would bring them out separately. He knew what I didn't and that was that the toasties are huge, and by the time I finished it, I was going to struggle with that piece of banana bread.

I was valiant and steadfast. I take reviewing very seriously. I did get through the elephantine toastie and yet it was delicious. Crisp and buttery on the outside with golden brown criss-crossing. The perfect fodder on a cold day. (They also often also serve soup in winter and a homemade soup and a toastie would have to be the perfect cold weather fodder.)

After the vast toastie it meant sadly that the banana bread was a bit of a challenge as even the half serve was still a considerable portion size as you can see in the photo below.

Unlike their toasties this place is not huge. A couple of tables only really with some seating at a bar table at the window as well and another couple of tables on the street outside.

There were a few girlfriends meeting up for a chat over a cup of house chai that smelt delicious. And a few people had just come in to take a load off and enjoy a read and an excellent coffee. This is a relaxing place with little vases with sprays of bush flowers on the tables and a good selection of reading material.

When I asked about the old sign it was before this employee's time but he did say. "It probably wasn't a bad idea. As it allowed the coffee maker to a bit a surly."

He was joking of course. Both guys who served me were extremely pleasant, friendly and helpful.

So if you have been here before or read older reviews you must kick that old sign right out of your head.

If I lived in the area I would drop in all the time, especially if this was close to where I caught public transport into the city. Doctor Java is pretty much right on the corner of Smith and Gertrude Streets and just opposite a tram stop.

Doctor Java opens at the unheard time of 6.30 in the morning. The reason I have never heard of it is that I am still in bed.

But lots of commuters must thank their lucky stars (mainly because at that time in the morning they are probably still staring at them) that Doctor Java actually exists to offer them great coffee and organic food to go and to set them on the right path to success for the day.

So if you are on the way to work, get off the tram and grab a coffee and some munger as this pit stop is just what the doctor ordered.

STOP PRESS: I love their response to the 2014 Budget.

"In breaking news, the Doctor Java Cabinet (Stirling and Cynthia) met this evening in Fitzroy to discuss their response to the 2014 budget.

It was agreed: not only will there be no new taxes at Doctor Java (or in any café we manage), but we're giving back to the people!

- Removal of the extra shot excise -

We are no longer charging 50 cents for an extra shot. And we don't go back on our promises. (We're only running a café, not the country!)

- New midweek toastie and free coffee deal -

If you drop in on any Tues-Wed-Thurs, you can take advantage of our new deal: buy one of our fab toasties and get a free organic coffee with it. That's a massive toasted sandwich and a coffee for only $10.

(You could say it's a transparent ploy to get people in during the week but hey… Yep. OK. But it's still a good deal, no?)

Stay tuned for more budget-busting bargains. And possibly more unnecessary and annoying alliteration."

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*Nadine Cresswell-Myatt was invited as a guest
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Why? Great coffee. Excellent food and service.
When: During the weekdays 6.30 until 4pm. Saturday 8 to 5 and Sunday 9 till 4pm.
Phone: 9416 1431
Where: 87a Smith St Fitzroy. But virtually in Collingwood.
Cost: From $3.50. Food mainly around $10-$12.
Your Comment
It's great to hear about a takeover that has brought improvements. It is always worrying when a place you like changes hands, because you can't be sure wether you are going to like the new style.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12594) 2267 days ago
What's happened to Dr Java? They "closed for renovations" over the new year break. But the coffee shop that reopened has a different name, and doesn't know anything about Dr Java.
by Mnipp (score: 0|2) 1907 days ago
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