There’s something special about going out to drink coffee. It’s never been for the caffeine because honestly it does nothing for me. I can go to sleep after an espresso and not wake up for hours. It’s an experience with the cup I hold in my hand and a relationship with the cafe and people who work there. The more I feel toward a place or the person I connect with, the better the coffee seems to taste and the more I want to return. Every Friday, unless I have somewhere else to be, you’ll find me at The St Kilda Dispensary drinking coffee with owner Kristy Andruszko. I rarely meet anyone there, because that way I get to chat with her and catch up on the week’s events while she prepares my coffee, exactly how I like it, vintage spoon on the side, ready for a photo, perfect every time. It has become a weekly ritual and one I don’t like to break.
The building used to be a thriving dispensary back in the 1940s and Kristy single-handedly transformed this into a unique space with medical knick knacks she collected, being sympathetic to its history, not wanting to follow the minimalist industrial trend of stark white walls, blonde wood and metal fixtures. At the same time back in 2013, coffee in Melbourne had also taken a new direction favouring lighter, fruitier roasts, but in her inimitable style Kristy went with her heart and what she believed her customers would want and chose Allpress and their original Supremo blend. Combining three beans from Brazil, Colombia and PNG, it has body, sweetness, a little acidity and a strong cocoa flavour. The coffee cuts through milk like a knife, but always blends beautifully to create a tasty well rounded cup. As it is roasted a little darker I find I need a touch more milk in my macchiato, but this is never an issue as it means a few more sips for me.
I decided on this occasion to pay a visit to the roastery in Collingwood to meet the team and check out their hot air roaster, designed by Michael Allpress himself together with engineer Mike Scobie in order to extract the sugars, develop richness and length of flavour and produce a consistent, even roast. From here the coffee is packed and labelled by hand and baristas and cafe owners are encouraged to participate in training offered on site. The sense of passion and care I felt while there aligns perfectly with Kristy and what she has set out to achieve at The St Kilda Dispensary, so now when I drink my coffee every week, I understand exactly why she chose this brand and why every cup is made with such affection, making the taste just that little bit sweeter.
Share in the Supremo love at – The St Kilda Dispensary – 13 Brighton Rd St Kilda Kitty Burns – 24 Acacia Pl, Abbotsford Tall Timber – 60 Commercial Rd, Prahran Friends of Mine – 506 Swan St, Richmond Francis Winifred – 94 Winifred St, Oak Park Pope Joan – 77-79 Nicholson St, Brunswick East