First Love Coffee is a specialty venture by the founders of artisanal bakery Rustica. It's a slick coffee bar at the base of Collins Arch that pours locally roasted blends you can pair with flaky Rustica pastries and grab-and-go salads and sangas.

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to take in the busy streetscape – if you can draw your gaze from the cafe’s interior, that is. Designed by architect Fiona Drago, the floors, walls and fixtures are a combination of green inspired by raw coffee beans, and pops of copper, terracotta and soft pinks. The walls are lined with peach-terracotta terrazzo, and the glorious cream-coloured coffee machine sits atop striking green marble.

While Rustica is best known for its sourdoughs and pastries, First Love makes locally-roasted coffee the star. All white coffees are made with Polaroid Espresso, a Brazilian, Colombian and Ethiopian specialty blend that has notes of strawberry and maple syrup and a light floral finish. You can also choose from a variety of single-origin roasts. All the beans for First Love blends are sourced green and roasted at Port Melbourne’s Criteria Coffee.

First Love is a standing-only cafe designed for on-the-go workers who want quick but quality coffee and food. In the morning there are egg-and-bacon rolls, and sourdough with sautéed mixed mushrooms, goat’s curd, spinach and truffle oil. At lunch, expect smoked chicken sandwiches with avo, cheese and mixed greens. Vegan options and a number of vegetarian sangas are also on offer. Grab a bag of beans to take home too.

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Updated: June 21st, 2023

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