Melbourne University may have a prestigious education program and gorgeous lush grounds, but the standard of coffee is just as great. There are plenty of cafes to choose from, situated in various parts of the campus providing great convenience. However, my all time favourite place to go would be KereKere.
KereKere is not your typical Starbucks-type coffee shop. The special thing about it is that it lets its customers decide how the profits are distributed, after all operational costs are covered. They do this by giving you a large playing card after you order, and as you pick up your drink or meal, you can place it into one of four slots: environmental, social, cultural or owner.
Environmental causes that have been supported in the past are CERES and The Australian Conservation Foundation. Oxfam and Women for Women have been the latest social causes that KereKere has supported and cultural causes that have recently received a donation are Malthouse Theatre and La Mama. A full list of organisations are found here.
Not only are customers allowed a say in what relevant cause they'd like to support, but many of the organisations that have received the unit donation of $1000 have been nominated by KereKere customers to promote community wellbeing.
KereKere also provides employment for young people facing barriers to finding work and service is great. The barristers are very friendly and drinks are usually ready within 5 minutes unless the cafe is very busy, which it usually is in the morning. The usual coffees are available, and the more popular ones are the espresso shot, cappuccino and the soy latte. My personal favourite is their mocha with one sugar, as I find KereKere's mix of chocolate and caffeine complementing perfectly. Also, the milk is always frothy and creamy, and not too hot, making their mocha an absolute delight.
Most drinks are $3 for regular and $3.80 for large, and are served in a recyclable paper cup, however bringing your own cup is just as encouraged as to be even more environmentally friendly. A slight disadvantage of the paper cup though is that the beverage gets cold relatively easily, however the warm cuppa still tastes fine and wakes you up in the morning.
KereKere also serves a lunch menu of jaffles, with five different delicious combinations. A few days ago, I tried the roasted chicken jaffle with field mushroom and a creamy sauce. I was blown away by the exotic taste. Other jaffles incorporate three different types of cheese, roast beef or roasted pumpkin.
There are also a small range of snacks which differ from day to day. They include chocolate brownies or croissants, jam or cream doughnuts, various types of muffins and pastries, and are all $3 or under. These are all decadent and my favourite would be the smooth, melting-in-my-mouth brownie which is even delicately crunchy on the outside.
KereKere's location may be a slight drawback for most but for those of us who attend the University of Melbourne, KereKere is rightly one of the most popular cafes.