I recently dashed into The League of Honest Coffee just to get a take away coffee. I ended up staying instead. As I looked around at the relaxed clientele, I gathered that I was not the only one who had been somewhat stupefied by the pleasant and tranquil atmosphere. The League of Honest Coffee is the perfect place to slow down and take a pause from a busy day.
The atmosphere of the cafe can be partly attributed to its spacious open-plan layout, as well as the wealth of natural light present, which largely streams in from the floor-to-ceiling windows on the west wall. The interior design is kept minimal with polished concrete and timber panelling, but there are also charming touches with the decor including retro chairs, wooden sculptures and freshly cut flowers. There are two counters at the League of Honest Coffee: one for the purchase of food and beverages, and the other for buying beans and other coffee-making paraphernalia. This is perhaps a telling sign that they take coffee very seriously here.
The League of Honest Coffee is the latest addition to the Padre Coffee family and it is nothing short of a shining accomplishment. Other Padre Coffee enterprises include the East Brunswick Project and Stall 33 at the South Melbourne Market. The brainchild behind Padre Coffee, Marinus Jansen, is hoping to inspire his customers to experiment with new blends and trends, by combining coffee retailing with cafe culture.
Although food is not the main focus at the League of Honest Coffee, the offerings are nonetheless tempting. There is a delightful selection of fresh pastries, sweet and savoury muffins, cakes and biscuits. For those looking for something more substantial, the gourmet egg and bacon tart is a bargain at only $3.50 - and already a very popular item on the menu.
The League of Honest Coffee has many positive attributes: atmosphere, superior coffee, delicious food and a plentiful supply of coffee-making merchandise. Yet, what holds all of these things together is the team of baristas and waiters behind the two counters. They are some of the friendliest staff you will come across in Melbourne.
I tracked down Padre at the South Melbourne market and the visit was a debacle. After waiting 10 minutes to find a seat which looked to have the previous day's rubbish underneath it, another 10 minute wait for table service resulted in a change of tactic to stand in front of the counter for service. 5 minutes later I walked out after not being able to make eye contact with any of the 5 staff members, to find coffee elsewhere.