If you know where to look, you'll find this miniature café buried in an inner city construction zone. At first glance you'll think, "My word, I am going to starve if I eat here," and you would be right. Quists is by no means your next lavish lunch location, but this is simply because they have chosen to focus all their energy on doing what they do best… Coffee.
According to the friendly and informative staff, Quists Coffee was actually Melbourne's first coffee roaster and was established in 1938. Still in production 74 years later, they are somewhat sages of the Melbourne coffee scene.
Seeing as there was no seating area in the shop, I ordered one takeaway cappuccino. While I waited, I was able to appreciate the vintage coffee appliances which filled the store, browse through a variety of coffee paraphernalia and chat with the friendly barista who gave me my Quists history lesson while he worked.
He gave me my coffee, we exchanged pleasantries, and off I went on my merry way. The coffee was divine without even a hint of bitterness. Without any sugar at all, there is a natural sweetness to it. After a few sips, I sheepishly walked back into the store and ordered a bag of coffee beans to take home with me. On a side note, if you are feeling like coffee without the buzz, Quists produces a fabulous de-caf that is decaffeinated through a Swiss water process, which means it is 100% chemical free (Hooray).
Although it is not a sit down café venue, if you are a local worker or resident, this could be your new coffee spot for that morning coffee to get you started, that mid-day coffee to keep you going, or that end of day coffee to pick you up. Also, any coffee enthusiast worth their beans should make this a hit list destination to sample the artfully roasted coffee blends available for purchase.
I left with my wonderful coffee, in a dream-like trance, on the hunt for some lunch. I was enjoying my Quists coffee so much, that a few blocks down, I committed a major café faux pas. I forgot myself and entered another café (which shall remain nameless) still clutching my take-away cup.
I sat down and began looking over the menu ravenously. Needless to say, a particularly savage waitress came and hovered over me, her eyes boring holes into my unholy coffee, so obviously not from her establishment. She darkly informed me that I was not permitted to drink coffee from another place in their shop and I should dispose of it if I wanted to remain where I was.
Not willing to part with my only half drunk, incredible Quists coffee, I ducked out the door the moment her back was turned and ran like a disobedient child. My only thought being how glad I was I could continue my love affair with my cappuccino as I walked down the busy city street.