This event has a split personality though. By day it presents its Dr Jekyll cafe side to the world with beautiful blends and comely cups to put your olfactory senses in overdrive and get your tastebuds tangoing. By night Mr Hyde comes out to play with a brew bar shaking and stirring up coffee inspired cocktails.
So, what's in store for you, the Melbourne coffee loving public? Melbourne already owns the mantle of the coffee capital of Australia but for these seventeen days you'll be tasting some of Australia's best coffee prepared by Melbourne's best baristas and mixologists. You'll also be learning about where your breakfast brew comes from. And the best part is that this is all available in one bespoke location. No need to scour Melbourne for your coffee fix.
Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar
The design for this coffee farm in the centre of the city was overseen by one of Australia's premier design groups, Hassell. The coffee farm atmosphere is designed to make you feel like you're slap bang in the middle of a Guatemalan coffee house. Pallets, packing boxes and shipping containers evoke the industrial side of the process, which is topped off with coffee plants for an equatorial feel. More than 125 Australian coffee trees create a mini urban rainforest along with 2,000 tropical plants locally grown in Victoria, not normally known for its tropical climate.
From 5pm every evening of the festival you'll be sampling alcoholic coffee concoctions, and once again they're designed, mixed and blended by the best. The bartenders on hand come from - yes, you guessed it - Melbourne's best bars, as nominated by The Age Good Bar Guide. Lily Blacks, Seamstress, Cumulus Inc. and Polly are among those cream-of-the-crop cocktail establishments represented. See the full list of participating bars here.
For those of you who can already smell that aroma wafting in and hear those coffee grinders whirring, here's the essential information you'll need to make the most of this cafe culture opportunity
Where: Queensbridge Square, 1A Queens Bridge Street, Southbank. When: Friday 1 March to Sunday 17 March Hours: Cafe from 8am to 4pm, Bar from 5.30pm to 10.30 pm Cost: Entry is free, take-away coffees and tasting flights $3.
Check out the video below to understand the design process for the Urban Coffee Farm.