A welcoming vibe, interesting menu and clever marketing all contribute to a cafe’s popularity, but more often than not, it’s the coffee that defines the place. At the blandly named Espresso Cafe Richmond (formerly Espresso 3121), staff members take their coffee very seriously.
The stars of the small but pleasing menu of drinks is the full-bodied aromatic beans – all which are single origin – and a map on the wall plots which part of the world the coffee has come from.
Taking the form of a re-imagined former warehouse with two communal tables surrounded by low wooden stools, Espresso is a classic laneway coffeehouse. The simple menu of sandwiches caters for the constant stream of customers after a takeaway coffee and lunch, but there are also eat-in options, such as the delectable tuna melt.
The cafe advertises its soup of the day on Twitter, but the staff’s use of this social media tool runs far deeper. A large screen with a live Twitter feed hangs on the wall, and people on the run can Tweet their orders through.