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Coffees & Cafes

For many academics, coffee is an occupational necessity. Every morning, the first coffee of my day is something I greatly look forward to. Now, for those who don't know me very well, I am a mocha lover! So, for some this means I don't really drink coffee, so what would I know? However, I am quite particular with my mochas and you'd be surprised on how few baristas get mochas right.

The first thing I will notice about my morning coffee is whether the milk has been burnt and secondly, whether there is too much or not enough chocolate. It is a common mistake to overload a mocha with chocolate, with many baristas I have come across believing it should taste like a hot chocolate with a caffeine fix. However, a mocha is meant to be mostly coffee, with enough chocolate to mask the flavour of the coffee, but not too much as to overload your tastebuds.

Over the years I have come across a number of cafes that make particularly delicious mochas, and if they have that mastered, their other coffees, lattes, cappuccinos etc. are generally quite exceptional also.

So who are my favourite cafes? Well... my daily cafe is Bachelor of Coffee, located in the Agora at La Trobe University. Johnny and his staff are fantastic at making all kinds of coffee, especially mochas. What's even more incredible about BoC, is that Johnny himself roasts his own single origins. The lovely staff at BoC also know I am quite addicted to their BLATs and on most days, when I haven't taken lunch to work, BoC have a range of freshly homemade lunch choices on brioche buns, Turkish bread and bagels to choose from. Even my students know how much I love BoC, often asking as they walk into class whether I have had my morning medium mocha to start my day perfectly.

A weekend favourite is Haytch, a cafe located in Thornbury on High Street. Haytch is a great cafe for breakfast, brunch or lunch and make a great coffee! They also have

homemade vanilla slice and other pastries which are literally to die for. The menu is also quite lovely, as they do all the the breakfast classics perfectly.

Rococo is another favourite, located in Hawthorn on Glenferrie Road. I have never been disappointed when I've enjoyed a coffee and dessert here. It always has a warm and elegant atmosphere. I do particularly enjoy the Strawberries and Cream, a dessert you should definitely try when you visit.

Lastly, Vanilla in Oakleigh is a late night favourite, where again, the coffees are quite lovely and well-balanced. Although they have a full menu, which differs depending on the floor you're located, the cakes and slices, are a highly recommended by me and anyone who likes freshly made desserts.

It has been through trial and error, with numerous tastebuds burnt or overloaded by chocolate to find these cafes, but they surely won't disappoint. There are a number of places across Melbourne that this modern academic can choose from when it comes to a well-made mocha, and ultimately I'm quite spoilt for choice.

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