A new year, a new column, a new coffee, a new cafe. Strada Coffee is the brainchild of Richard Nardella, who has over 10 years experience in Melbourne’s coffee scene.
I went to Mio Locale in Fitzroy North to sample his Maestro Blend three ways – as a single espresso, double ristretto and a piccolo. It’s not often you find a coffee that works well both black and white, but Richard has blended and roasted this perfectly to adapt to any situation and barista. The word I would use to describe it is ‘accessible’, not only for the maker but also for the drinker.
As an espresso there’s a little brightness on the front palate but very rich and smooth. The double ristretto brings out more of the punch, but no bitterness. Add some milk you get chocolate, nuttiness and a little tinge of marzipan.
The Maestro is a blend of five beans with origins of Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala and is a real crowd pleaser.
In a city that has embraced a lighter roasting style, Strada Coffee is medium roasted, celebrating Richard’s Italian roots yet still progressive, delicious to drink and very Melbourne.
Launched only in November, here are some places you can sample this fine brew.
Mio Locale – 465 Brunswick St, Fitzroy North Thomson St Foodstore – 81 Thomas St, Northcote Little Byrd – 160 Union Road, Ascot Vale Ritual – South Melbourne Solarino – 279 Little Collins St, Melbourne Coffee n All – 1010 LaTrobe St, Docklands St Zita’s – 1167 Glen Huntly Rd Glen Huntly